A Disability Awareness Booklist for Children

Kids , Book List

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability

Title: Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability
By: Shane Burcaw and Matt Carr
Published: 2017

A picture book answering the questions young children ask Shane Burcaw about his wheelchair and life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy with equal parts optimism, humor, and empathy.

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Age 6-9.

Normal: One Kid's Extraordinary Journey

Title: Normal: One Kid's Extraordinary Journey
By: Magdalena Newman & Nathaniel Newman
Published: 2020

In this uplifting and humorous memoir that includes black-and-white comic illustrations, mother and son tell the story of his growing up--from facing sixty-seven surgeries before the age of fifteen, to making friends, moving across the country, and persevering through hardships.

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Ages 10+.

 The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

Title: The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
By: Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley
Published: 2017

Describes the life and accomplishments of the animal scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities, from her early life and autism diagnosis through her journey to become a livestock expert.

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Ages 4-9.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Title: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
By: Dusti Bowling
Published: 2017

Aven Green gets that question a lot. She loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again.

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Ages 9-12.

The Blind Guide to Stinkville

Title: The Blind Guide to Stinkville
By: Beth Vrabel
Published: 2015

Leaving her best friend and the familiarity of Seattle for the paper milltown of "Stinkville," South Carolina, twelve-year-old Alice, who lives with albinism and blindness, takes on the additional challenge of entering the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest.

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Ages 8-12.

Counting by 7's

Title: Counting by 7's
By: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Published: 2013

Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chase must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.

J Sloan.H
Ages 10+.

As Brave As You

Title: As Brave As You
By: Jason Reynolds
Published: 2016

When Genie and his older brother spend their summer in the country with their grandparents, he learns a secret about his grandfather and what it means to be brave.

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Ages 10 +.

The War That Saved My Life

Title: The War That Saved My Life
By: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published: 2015

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

J Bradl.K
Ages 9-11.

Show Me a Sign

Title: Show Me a Sign
By: Ann Clare LeZotte
Published: 2020

It is 1805 and Mary Lambert has always felt safe among the deaf community of Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard where practically everyone communicates in a shared sign language, but recent events have shattered her life; her brother George has died, land disputes between English settlers and the Wampanoag people are becoming increasingly bitter, and a "scientist" determined to discover the origins of the islands' widespread deafness has decided she makes the perfect "live specimen"--and kidnapped her.

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Ages 8-12.

Out of my Mind

Title: Out of my Mind
By: Sharon Draper
Published: 2010

A brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy, considered by many to be developmentally disabled, discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

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Ages 10 up.


Title: Wonder
By: R.J Palacio
Published: 2012

Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates.

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Ages 9-11.

Hello Goodbye Dog

Title: Hello Goodbye Dog
By: Maria Gianferrari and Patrice Barton
Published: 2017

A student who uses a wheelchair finds a way to see her dog each day in school.

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Ages 4-8.

El Deafo

Title: El Deafo
By: Cece Bell
Published: 2014

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers!

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Ages 7-10.

Emmanuel's dream : the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Title: Emmanuel's dream : the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
By: Laurie Ann Thompson
Published: 2015

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people--but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

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Ages 4-8.

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Title: Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship
By: Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Scott Magoon
Published: 2018

When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn't up to the task of being her service dog.

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Ages 4-8.

Dancing hands : a story of friendship in Filipino sign language

Title: Dancing hands : a story of friendship in Filipino sign language
By: Joanna Que
Published: 2023

Sam is fascinated by her new neighbors and their ability to talk with their hands, and when she meets Mai, she starts to learn Filipino sign language so they can communicate. Includes dictionary of Philippine signs.

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Ages 3-5.

Henry, Like Always

Title: Henry, Like Always
By: Jen Bailey
Published: 2023

Henry, a first grader on the autism spectrum, attempts to navigate friendships, and sudden changes in classroom routines--like a parade on Friday instead of share time.

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Ages 6 to 9.

Good Different

Title: Good Different
By: Meg Eden Kuyatt
Published: 2023

Seventh-grader Selah Godfrey knows that to be "normal" she has to keep her feelings tightly controlled when people are around, but after hitting a fellow student, she needs to figure out just what makes her different--and why that is ok. Told in verse.

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Ages 8-12.

Honestly Elliott

Title: Honestly Elliott
By: Gillian McDunn
Published: 2022

Struggling with ADHD, loneliness, and connecting with his divorced father who would rather see him embrace sports instead of cooking, sixth-grader Elliott finds an unlikely friend in popular, perfect Maribel when the two are paired in a school-wide contest.

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Ages 8-11.

A Kids Book About Disability

Title: A Kids Book About Disability
By: Kristine Napper
Published: 2023

Sometimes people act like having a disability means you're from another planet, even though over a billion people in the world have disabilities. So how do you talk about disability? How do you talk to people with disabilities? This book helps kids and grownups approach disability as a normal part of the human experience.

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Ages 5-9.

I Talk Like a River

Title: I Talk Like a River
By: Jordan Scott
Published: 2020

When a child has a "bad speech day" at school, his father gives him a new perspective on his stuttering.

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Ages 6-8.

So B. It

Title: So B. It
By: Sarah Weeks
Published: 2005

After spending her life with her mentally disabled mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.

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Ages 10+.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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