From Writer's Digest
2018, Judge 29
Author Susan Langlois draws us into the story with sound, which is vital and effective throughout the book. She paints sound as a connection, and we are indeed connected to the author’s experience from the start. So much so that we begin assessing our own relationship with sound and with the voices of those we love. It was tremendously moving that the author captured her son’s voice as being so different from how he sounded when she first started losing her hearing. We imagine how we would fare in that same situation. Pace is glorious here. Author has a stellar talent for structuring her story, knowing just when to turn the dial for forward motion, never leaving us wanting more. Some gorgeous phrasing throughout: “despair is the birth of faith and hope” was especially resonant. Very well done. Author’s description of being able to feel music in her fingertips is another fine example of sharing the sensory so that the reader can relate well. Dialogue is written with excellence, as author wisely provides movement, extension, gestures and connection in many dialogue scenes. I appreciated moments when the author inserted pauses and cautiously-delivered dialogue to reflect emotion and comfort or discomfort. Well done. Author has a true talent for layering dialogue scenes. Perfect timing in delivering us back to the implant scene ¾ through the book. Timing is especially effective here, and we’re more than able to reconnect to that scene with greater depth. I loved the repetition of “this is the best day of my life!” throughout the book, an inspiring message that also shows off the author’s positivity and gratitude. This is far beyond a book about overcoming a disability or limitation. It’s an encompassing narrative that layers the love and support of family whose voices count, heard or unheard, in the unspooling of our own gifts. Very well done.
From Texas State Rep. MARK KEOUGH:
Susan Langlois has shared her personal life story of how she lived and overcame obstacles in the misunderstood world of those who are hearing impaired. Defining her disability as being neither “deaf nor able to hear”, she chronicles for the reader how her disability gave her the motivation to complete her education and ultimately achieve; The HEB Excellence in Education Lifetime Achievement Award, Heritage Elementary Teacher of the Year, Houston Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen, five times Grant Award Winner, Spring ISD Points in Pride Recognition not to mention founding the Once Upon a Time Storybooks for Kids Charity. From being shy, regularly embarrassed, lacking in self-confidence and disconnected from her peers (her words) she illustrates for the reader how her faith in God, her personal mantra “I can, I will, I must” and taking personal responsibility for the outcomes of her life caused here to develop the courage, strength and character that have led her to achieve what most people would consider unachievable.
Out of My World into Theirs is a must read for parents, teachers, school administrators, athletic coaches or any public officials who assume the responsibility of teaching or mentoring children of all ages.