Though this is her debut picture book, Sullivan illustrates and directs for Pixar and has worked on many of their shorts, so she’s experienced in creating short tales for children. I love books that feature disabled characters having adventures and fun in a story not defined by their disability. This is a wonderful book written from the perspective of Rachel, whose younger sister has Down Syndrome. For example, in Avatar, the disabled (paraplegic) character becomes "cured" only when he is in his alien avatar body, so the story is resolved when he's permanently merged with his avatar.Avatar also presses home the myth that disabled = non-sexual, by the implication that only in the disabled hero's avatar body can he become fully sexual. She’ll go up and start talking to that person, and she won’t complain about the kids in her class with ADHD anymore.”. The signs are illustrated in a sidebar on each page spread. Ada Twist, Scientist is about a science-minded, hyper-focused little girl whose parents reject her interest in science and worry about her lack of speech until an advanced age. Thank you for your all your informative posts about disability representation in children’s books. My goal with Raising Luminaries is to collaborate with families and educators in raising the next generation of kind & courageous leaders, so we can all smash the kyriarchy together. Good children's books featuring (or even just including) disabled characters are few and far between but Alexandra Strick and Sean Stockdale have picked the best of … Would love to hear your thoughts. Peg Ted and Mikki Dolly show how tube feeding does not stop children having fun. Also the main character uses a wheelchair. Adult guidance and discussions can help create more positive and realistic attitudes about disabled people. Cheer non-disabled characters for basic human decency toward disabled friends and family, or contain excessive whining about how burdensome disabled people are for ‘real’ people to deal with. me again I just read an article written by the author of the book “Just Because” in which she writes that the book is based on the interactions between her young son and her daughter with mental and physical disabilities. Best known for her eight-year stint presenting CBeebies, she’s also the author of many children’s books featuring a diverse cast of characters, including those with disabilities. Brave includes a character with a leg brace and arm crutches periodically through the book. The Sight and Hearing books feature blind toddlers, glasses-wearing toddlers, and toddlers who need hearing implants. Blegh. What you may not know about her is that she’s also a linguist who specializes in sign language and activism for deaf children. This is the third in a four-part series on disability in children’s books: In this post, you’ll find stories starring disabled characters who aren’t defined by disability, teach your kids to see disabled people as peers worthy of respect, and discover how to recognize ableism & erasure in the media. Accountability Statement ‘Real Friends‘ – In this graphic novel/semi-memoir, the protagonist has OCD, which is mentioned a couple times, but doesn’t define the character. They’re also a great way to start conversations about disability, inclusion, and advocacy. How exciting! ‘Ernest, The Moose Who Doesn’t Fit‘ is about a Moose who doesn’t fit in the book. ‘The Deaf Musicians‘ features an impromptu jazz session on the subway. And these messages are even more impressive and relatable when children are the central character. This book is quite funny, and the photographs are pretty hilarious, especially the sections with Shane and his non-disabled brother getting into mischief. While some speak from the perspective of a child with autism, others show the perspective of a neurotypical sibling or friend. They can just sit and look pretty. These are the kind of questions adults are too polite to ask, but that children with their bluntness certainly will, like “What’s wrong with you?” and “How do you eat?” Burcaw has spinal muscular atrophy. Margaret Kingsbury writes about disability representation, fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales for Book Riot, The Bronzeville Bee, Star Trek, and more, and she’s co-creator of Baby Librarians where she, a friend, and their children write about the children’s books they love. ‘Dad And Me In The Morning‘ features a Deaf main character and a quiet morning sunrise with his dad. These are just as important, for it’s essential to show children that disabled people can have fun and adventures and full lives of their own. This may be my favorite book on the list. Feature under-represented characters with agency. Storybooks featuring disabled children. My Sister, Alicia May, by Nancy Tupper Ling. Also the main character uses a wheelchair. Suitable for children from age nine. I wonder if things like make a difference- easpecially because you put this book as an example of bad dipiction. Like Amelia Bedelia, she’s also a neurodivergent super-hero without explicitly stating the obvious. While this is excellent, I wish I saw more instances of invisible disabilities, like my own. 20 Must-Read YA Books with Disabled Characters. They're no longer available as printed books, but you can download pdf versions. A review of the Apple+ series. These ten children’s books are essential for classroom and home libraries alike. @2020 Ashia Ray of Raising Luminaries & Books For Littles. At the time, 93 percent of children's books were about white or non-human characters*. (They/them or She/her) It covers A Splash of Red , a picture book biography of artist Horace Pippin, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus , a middle grade novel, and The Dragon Slayer’s Handbook , a fantasy for tweens and teens. Erin Entrada Kelly didn't plan to create a deaf character. GO READ IT. They don’t have to do much either. Review of 8 Kid’s Books with a Character in a Wheelchair A Very Special Critter (Look-Look) by Mercer Mayer (1993) 4/5 stars.. Aside from the title really bothering me (and not... Arnie and the New Kid (Arnie) by Nancy Carlson (1992) 2/5 stars.. A story about Celine, who wears leg splints. The newer versions by the original creator’s nephew are the bees knees, and the adults in her life are kind and inclusive. Why does this matter? The Baby Loves Science board book series explains scientific concepts in toddler-friendly ways. But first – the most important books you need for your bookshelf – stories that normalize disabled characters and includes us in everyday narratives. The overall feel to this story was boring and sad. ‘Just Because’ makes me twitch. Far From You by Tess Sharpe. Donna Jo Napoli is a prolific and award-winning children’s book author. Here are some books to start those conversations, whether your child is a toddler or reading middle grade. One tendency I’ve noticed in these children’s books is for authors to portray characters with easily identifiable physical disabilities, like wheelchair use. So Fern decides to try and capture some joy for her Nanna, but that’s more difficult than she thought. Accept Read More, Igniting the kind & brilliant leaders of tomorrow, Influential Kids Books Featuring Capable Disabled Characters. It means a lot to have someone like us so well-represented in kids books, even if the original books by Peggy Parish foisted her as a burden on her employers and friends and she was treated with kindness only when earning her humanity via her autistic area of interest – baking. Clean It!‘ features a young family cleaning around the house. Representation matters! All promote understanding and acceptance for kids on the spectrum. … https://www.thinkinclusive.us/10-childrens-books-with-disabled-characters The simplicity of the prose makes its message of kindness and acceptance even more poignant. fiction books that portray children and teens with disabilities as characters in stories and novels; books for adults with developmental delays, language disabilities or reading difficulties; The Collection offers: a variety of books for hands-on experiences in the library It’s also vital to discuss the books afterward, as the study notes, children often speak about disabilities utilizing societal stereotypes and attitudes. Our lives are not defined by our disability, even when it’s something we think about every day. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos. Throughout the book, the brother both views and treats his sister like an accessory and a pet. First, we learn about all the things a little girl loved to do with her father, from flying high in the swings to “taming wild animals” (like crickets.) Celine’s New Splints. ‘Susan Laughs‘ features an active, boisterous little girl going doing typical kid stuff, who happens to use a wheelchair. Louis has autism and doesn’t speak on his own or participate in class activities like the protagonist, a little girl, and fellow student does. This work is primarily researched and created within the traditional homelands of the Wampanoag & Massachusett people. She likes dogs and horses, paints her toenails, and studies bugs. Ashia Ray, Raising Luminaries & Books for Littles are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. and uses disability as a. It’s awful. Illustrator Isabelle Follath uses color to show the impacts of depression visually and also the vibrancy of joy. Thank you! the children’s books my daughter and I read, linguist who specializes in sign language, The Jumblies Project: an Interactive Sensory Story, Think Design: The Future of an Accessible World. This picture book is based on R.J. Palacio’s middle-grade novel Wonder. Cerrie Burnell was born with a right arm that ends just below the elbow. Find out more on her website and follow her on Instagram @babylibrarians or Twitter @areaderlymom, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, 4 Truths All Special Education Teachers Must Accept. I am a disabled mother, so I know how important it is to have disabled representation in the children’s books my daughter and I read at home. This is a great way to explain these types of differences in a scientific way. He despairs at losing his passion, but he soon discovers that music is still a part of him, and he forms a band of deaf musicians on the subway. (Obviously.) From this book, young children will learn unconventional friendships can work, self-acceptance, and be captivated by the characters' adventure. Books about kids and teens with physical difficulties can help build understanding, compassion, and tolerance among readers who don't face those challenges -- as well as give those who do a chance to see relatable kids powering through compelling stories. One boy with autism, who was usually quiet and withdrawn during class time, participated actively in the book discussions and could identify with some of the characters in the stories. I'm an Autistic, multiracial (Chinese/Irish) 2nd-generation settler raising two children alongside my partner on the homelands of the Wampanoag and Massachusett people. Her grandparents just accept her as she is and they are awesome. [Featured Image Description: Book cover for ‘King For A Day.’ The rest of the images in this post are book covers from the preceding text]. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. It’s something to be aware of. For more on normalizing targeted identities, check out the Uhura Test, featuring guidelines on normalizing girls of color in kidlit. The watercolor illustrations are soft and lovely, perfect accompaniments to the text. After the unit, they understood why she needed assistance. Bookworm Raya runs-down about eight books with a disabled character as the lead or where they are the focus, many of which have since been made into popular films. Of all the books on this list, this one made me the saddest, though it does end on a hopeful note when another child offers his friendship. He stars in a feature spread, standing up to a bully. Barf. Include Disabled Peers & Equals. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. It’s never addressed in the story and I love that. by Berniece Rabe is out of print, but I own it & like it because, while the photographs show a child who has Down syndrome, the story is universal, about a little girl who can’t find her stuffed monkey at bedtime, but does find a dozen other favorite toys while searching for monkey. From the facially different boy in Wonder to the deaf girl in El Deafo to the teen girl with cerebral palsy in Say What You Will, these books feature characters … Bonus for disability: Non-disabled characters accommodate and acceptance the needs of disabled folks without any whining. ‘Charlotte And The Quiet Place‘ isn’t explicitly about sensory processing disorders, but helps all children begin to understand the need to escape from painful, overwhelming sensory input. Rely on tropes – sage blind grandmas, misogynistic autistic men, magic cures, etc. About Her illustrations are sweet and engaging, just like the prose. Text & images may not be re-posted for profit, in whole or in part, without written permission. HEY SIGHTED FOLKS! If we don’t, it … Searching “disability fiction,” I primarily encountered books written by able bodied individuals with disabled characters. There are few children’s books about mental illness, but this simple story helps fill that gap. ‘Hands And Hearts’– Simple book featuring a mom and daughter’s day at the beach, and they communicate via ASL. I have autism—a little bit.” A parent noticed changes in her daughter: “She doesn’t say, ‘Oh, I changed,’ but I notice a big difference in her attitude when we go out and see someone in a wheelchair. Stories that include characters with disabilities shouldn’t just be to inspire us able-bodied people, to make us feel like anything is impossible, but should show us a different perspective to build empathy. When Sam, another classmate, plays soccer with Louis one day, a whole new world opens up for Louis, and all the children learn a bit more about communication, joy, being human, and that breaking the rules is allowed in certain circumstances. Influential Kids Books Featuring Capable Disabled Characters Accept Disabled Characters As Normal. Her fairytale fiction has been published in Nonbinary Review, Devilfish Review, and Expanded Horizons, among other places. And check out 3 Children’s Books with Disabled Main Characters, a Kidlit Karma review I wrote as a guest post on Angela Isaac’s blog. Recommended Books with Disabled Main Characters By Natasha Razi Natasha Razi is an Editor at Disability in Kidlit, moderator at YA Pride, environmental policy analyst, and writer of queer fantasy. Books represent some of the first opportunities children have to explore the world. 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