Review from Library Journal: Willman was born profoundly deaf in 1969 and, here, her mother, Gernon, paints a vivid picture of fitting a 16-month-old with hearing aides and learning American Sign Language from library books. Gernon shares her battle to obtain residential education for Willman at the Nebraska School for the Deaf (NSD) as well as her feelings of guilt, fear, and pride in her “favorite daughter, who just happens to be deaf.” Willman tells her side of the story, too: her hatred for the hearing aides and her joy in life at NSD. Now a special education lecturer at the University of Nebraska and an irrepressible traveler, Willman does not allow her deafness to define her. She states, “Shooting for the stars is not enough; I’m going for the universe!” VERDICT Willman’s life story parallels the story of the birth of disability rights and deaf culture. The book unfortunately lacks an introductory explanation of deaf grammar and sentence structure; to the uninitiated, Willman’s writing may feel awkward. Recommended reading for parents of deaf children and anyone interested in education, disability rights, and deaf culture.—Virginia Johnson, Weymouth P.L., MA

Reviews and Comments from Readers Like YOU! 

Rene in New Orleans: "At times I smiled and laughed outloud.I raged and promptly pardoned the insensitivity of others. I closed the book for more than a few moments when the sorrow of separation became too fierce. I cheered each triumph. I reveled in the tenactiy of a mother's enduring love and the determination of a young girl to overcome her disabity and her desire to help others to do the same. Thanks for sharing a remarkable story!" Rene is an adult male with no children. To learn Amy Signs touches such a diverse audience made my day. 

Dana in Grand Island: I liked the book, it was very interesting especially because you talked alot about Grand Island and all of the things familar to me. I love the photos too because thats exactly how I remember Rebecca, John & Amy.

Dan, a teacher of homebound students in Omaha: Rebecca. The book is so good! I'm only on chapter 15, but your writing is excellent and I feel your frustration and "almost" hopelessness. I also think of your intelligence, and wit and humor as I read it. The Lord is good and He led you through it and gave you the strength. Though somedays I'm sure you couldn't feel it. It is extra interesting for me knowing you and having you tell me about Amy and John. I taught Jack's step-children at Dodge school.
I am horrified at Dr. Zimmer's and Esther's behavior and the pain it caused you, and okay, Jack's too. You were and are a very strong person.The book I bought already has a waiting list at the Omaha Public Schools Special Education department when I'm finished!  Maybe I will buy one for the professional library and for my church's library.

Marge, a Deaf Educator and Amy's godmother: I finished the book last night and plan to order several more copies for parents and my staff. It is absolutely and amazing book and I thank you on behalf of readers everywhere. I posted the following on Amazon. "A Gift" In the book Amy Signs, God's divine plan for our lives challenges the feeble knowledge of mankind and silently moves humanity toward a new understanding of perfection. Throughout the book, a mother struggles against the tide of social bias to develop the perfection seen in her young child experiencing deafness. Amy, herself, describes a "silent world" as a problem for hearing people, but certainly not for the Deaf. The book leaves the reader with the knowledge that many people with Deafness are indeed "Deaf and Bright."

Charmaine, friend and mother of an autistic child: This book gripped me from the first chapter....could not put it down. I was in the middle of Rebecca's story, her trials and triumphs. Stirred me to tears a few times. As a special needs mom, I could relate to her anguish and determination navigating the system on behalf of her child. I also really enjoyed reading things through Amy's perspective, and her feelings.. Very interesting to hear the story from both sides. I would recommend this book, of course, to people in the deaf community, but also to anyone who deals with the special needs population. Even if you just know someone with special needs, as most people probably do, you will gain insight into their life from reading this book.

Barb, a pet lover, who has no children: Rebecca's and Amy's book is very informative and an excellent read. Very interesting to read the mother's viewpoint and also the daughter's viewpoint. I have no disabled children but worked with some at a home for the mentally retarded. This book gave me valuable insigt into both their worlds and a more knowledgeable awareness of their feelings and life. The part of the book that touched me the most was the most thoughtless ruling to close the Nebraska School for the Deaf and others like it. Amy's experiences there and the independence, education, and opportunies she received were absolutely invaluable and it's a crying shame that deaf children now do not have that same community. Mainstreaming for these children takes away their feeling of cohesiveness and the opportunities that Amy and her fellow schoolmates found at NSD are sadly missed opportunities. A "wave of the hands" to both Rebecca and Amy. I truly appreciated John and Amy's love for each other. A wonderful book written with love. Thanks, Rebecca and Amy, for sharing.