The Butterfly Cage

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Product Details
Unruly Voices
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 1.0 inches | 1.59 pounds

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About the Author
Rachel Zemach was hearing for half her childhood and Deaf the other half, after an accident left her Deaf at age ten. But it wasn't until much later, over a ten year period when she taught a Deaf class in a hearing, public school, that she began to identify as Deaf-with-a-capital-D. Incidents occurring in her classroom and in her interactions with the hearing administration and staff were often absurd, comedic and at times, shocking. The students were language-hungry, wonderful and smart. They-and their sometimes surprising journeys, particularly one boy whose story turned tragic-provided the fire and impetus for this book.

"In this brave, important and most timely book, Rachel Zemach...provided a superb[rz3] account of what it is like to be a Deaf teacher striving for her pupils in a 'mainstream' system that does not understand their identities and needs."

- Paddy Ladd, author of Seeing Through New Eyes: Deaf Culture and Pedagogies - The Unrecognized Curriculum

"The Butterfly Cage by Rachel Zemach is a remarkable, beautifully written, and important book. For those of us involved in education and with any experience with the vibrant Deaf Community in America, this is absolutely required reading."

- Larry Siegal, Author, Special Ed. Attorney and Hastings Law Professor

"Zemach brings her students to life for us, and shares their trials and triumphs, heartbreaks and moments of pure joy, all while taking us along for the twists and turns of her own life journey."

- Mal May, California School for the Deaf school psychologist

"Rachel's gentle, wry, kind voice allows the reader to witness the shocking systemic indifference endured by Deaf children without looking away. But the voice that keeps you engaging and wanting to continue reading will also shatter your soul. Be prepared to emerge a new person with a Deaf heart."

- Amazon reviewer

"I loved this book for many reasons. Rachel captures so vividly the frustrations, challenges, and joys of teaching in a public school. Rachel's compassion, dedication, and humor come through on every page."

- Amazon reviewer

"Those who are new or not as familiar with the needs of Deaf children are in for an eye-opening experience. The book starts out like a nice, leisurely drive through the countryside and then holy smokes-strap yourself in!-you realize you're in a fighter jet pulling 7 G's."

- Mark Drolsbaugh, author of On The Fence

"The Butterfly Cage is a clarion call not only to reconsider how Deaf students have been historically served but also how they deserve a far better chance now to improve their own lives not as Deaf people trying to be hearing, which is actually a form of oppression which is brilliantly delineated in these pages, but as Deaf people as themselves with their own set of unique cultural attributes: diverse, vibrant, and powerful."

- Raymond Luczak, author of A Quiet Foghorn: More Notes from a Deaf Gay Life