Barking Rain Press: October 2013
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-935460-41-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935-460-37-4
LCCN: 2013951284



You’re a healthy twelve-year-old, carefree and prone to dreaming. You’re the star pitcher for your baseball team and you hit the winning home-run against your cross-town rivals. You revel in the cheering, the applause, the atmosphere. But after the game, you become sick. Rushed to the hospital and stuck with needles, poked and prodded, your world spins out of control. When you wake, you are deaf and your dreams crumble.

My first Young Adult novel, SOUNDS OF SILENCE, shows how Marco Lippa deals with his deafness and comes to terms with his grief and anger and lost dreams. Marco is forced to leave his comfortable home, and adapt to life away from his family. He needs to relearn how to communicate and function without his hearing, while beset by the normal anxieties of a teenage boy—bullies, girls, and fitting in.

Growing up, my best friend’s parents and brother were deaf. Since then I have been fascinated with sign language and Deaf Culture. During my research, I worked closely with the Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD), meeting with teachers, students, administrators and the school psychologist. I’ve also worked with a deaf college professor, and author, Harry Lang, from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). As an aside, Rochester, New York, is home to one of the countries largest Deaf communities.

I have high hopes for this novel, and am thankful that Barking Rain Press seems to share my excitement!




“This heart-warming coming-of-age story will resonate with many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, as well as their hearing families and friends. It is both a realistic and an upbeat account of how one young man confronts his sudden deafness and in doing so, realizes that it need not keep him from attaining his dreams.”– I. King Jordan, President, Gallaudet University

“This inspirational novel beautifully represents how family support, the resilience of youth, and the universal languages of love and friendship can help overcome any obstacle.  Mr. Tomasso does a superb job of illustrating the beauty of two cultures and how we are all better by embracing diversity.”—Harold Mowl, Jr.. PhD, Superintendent, Rochester School for the Deaf

“A positive story about meeting a special life challenge.”– Jeanne Griffin, Deaf Friends International

“Tomasso has a likeable rhythm/pace in his writing style.  Where you are in your own deaf experience will shade the meaning of the book for you. Some might say that Mark only ‘lost his hearing,’ he didn’t become deaf. Their experience with hearing loss will invite different interpretations of Mark’s journey. Mark does appear to easily join ‘deafness’ but Tomasso introduces enough ambiguity about this new chosen identity to keep us wanting to learn more of Mark’s journey after the book ends.”—Max Wilhite, American Society for Deaf Children

“Sounds of Silence is a memorable story about a boy dealing with dashed dreams after a battle with meningitis leaves him deaf. Phillip Tomasso’s poignant yet witty portrayal of courage and determination kept me captivated page after page. The only thing missing was a box of tissues.” — K.G. Wehner, author of Amy & Tracy: Dr. Von Thistle’s Curious Concoction

“Sounds of Silence is a realistic and warm story of the journey of a young boy coming to acceptance with his hearing loss.”—Janice Justice: Cajun’s Song by Darlene Toole

Video Book Trailer for SOUNDS OF SILENCE

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