March 2020 Peterborough Examiner
Sarah Strawbridge, seen here with her mother Laurie, is Norwood’s newest author. The 11-year-old was born with hearing difficulties and her first book details her life changing experience of receiving her first hearing implant device when she was seven
Sarah Strawbridge was born with mild to moderate hearing loss; however the eleven year old has not let her disability hold her back. The Grade 6 student at Norwood Public School has just published her first book titled "My Deaf Life" an autobiographical narrative of her first cochlear implant surgery at Sick Kids Hospital when she was only seven years old. Her heartfelt story of what was a life changing experience for Sarah is told in her own words and illustrated with her own drawings.
The idea for the book came from Sarah's hearing itinerant teacher at school. (This is an extra support teacher provided in the school for students with hearing disabilities.) Her teacher suggested that telling her story would be a good way to help her "get out of her shell,” Or as Sarah puts it "the teacher told me it might be a good idea, and make other kids feel like they are not alone." A year and a lot of work later "My Deaf Life" was a reality and only the beginning as Sarah has every intention of writing more books, perhaps the next one will detail her experience when this talented young lady received her second cochlear implant at only nine years old.
Sarah is justifiably very proud of her book although admits to be a little overwhelmed with all of the excitement it has generated which include book launches and several readings that she has done since the release. The official launch was held at Norwood Public School and including Sarah reading her book in front of her entire school, she was also invited to the Peterborough Offices of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board to present and read it for the entire board of Trustees. The trustees were so impressed that copies will be purchased and provided to every school library in the board, with the hope that it will go a long way to help promote the inclusiveness that the board strives to achieve for all students.
The young authors book is available on Amazon, just search for "My Deaf Life by Sarah Strawbridge" and to quote Amazon "Sarah's story will help put kids who are about to embark on the same surgery and their parents at ease.”