15 Children’s Books Featuring Disabled Characters

By Kerry McGuire
For this month’s booklist, our team of Quiz Writers have picked 15 of their favourite titles featuring characters with physical disabilities or sensory impairments. Each of these titles has an Accelerated Reader quiz.
Lower Years

Proud to be Deaf: Discover my community and my language by Ava, Lilli and Nick Beese, illustrated by Romina Martí
Quiz # 235133 | BL 5.6 | Wayland
In this non-fiction title you’ll get to know Ava as she shows you her family life, introduces her Deaf heroes, and teaches you her favourite language, British Sign Language.

Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon by K.T. Johnston
Quiz # 238968 | BL 4.0 | Raintree
Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack.

Frida Kahlo by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Gee Fan Eng
Quiz #234820 | BL 3.8 | Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
This is the story of Frida Kahlo, who had a terrible road accident as a teenager and as a result was unable to walk. She then began painting from her bed and her self-portraits have made her one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.

Middle Years

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Quiz # 238374 | BL 4.8 | Nancy Paulsen
This novel in verse tells the story of a girl in India, who excels at Bharatanatyam dance and refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.

A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel
Quiz # 240212 | BL 4.5 | Sky Pony Press
Leaving her best friend and the familiarity of Seattle for the paper mill town of Sinkville, twelve-year-old Alice, who lives with albinism and blindness, takes on the challenge of entering the Sinkville Success Stories essay contest.

A Storm of Strawberries by Jo Cotterill
Quiz #237114 | BL 4.1 | Piccadilly Press Ltd
Darby loves music, chocolate and the strawberry farm where she lives with her family. She’s not so keen on Lissa, her sister’s best friend who thinks Darby is weird because she has Down’s syndrome. And Lissa is coming to stay for a whole weekend…

El Deafo by Cece Bell
Quiz # 236822| BL 2.7 | Amulet Books
In this graphic-novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful and very awkward hearing aid.

Middle Years Plus

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson
Quiz # 233185 | BL 4.1 | Electric Monkey
Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy and cannot move or communicate. She feels she has no secrets of her own and can’t do anything without someone knowing about it. Sometimes people forget she can see and hear, but sometimes people tell her their secrets. When Dan tells her his dark secret she wishes she could tell someone.

I Am Not a Label: 34 artists, thinkers, athletes and activists with disabilities from past and present by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Lauren Mark Baldo
Quiz # 238322 | BL 7.0 | Wide Eyed Editions
Meet 30 artists, thinkers, athletes, and activists with disabilities, from past and present. From Frida Kahlo to Stephen Hawking, find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences, and paved the way for others.

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis
Quiz # 240486 | BL 5.6 | Disney * Hyperion
After losing her sight and the footballing future she dreamed of, seventeen-year-old Maggie meets the one person with the ability to help her see all the possibilities life still holds.

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
Quiz # 240482 | BL 6.3 | Blink
When Deaf teen Maya is forced to attend a hearing school for the first time, she finds it tough to adjust to the hearing culture. Not even an unexpected romance can distract her from proving that her lack of hearing won’t stop her from chasing her dreams.

   

Upper Years

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Quiz # 236554 | BL 4.2 | Bloomsbury
Prince Rhen has been eighteen years old three hundred and twenty-seven times. He despairs of breaking the curse that turns him into a beast – until feisty Harper enters his life. She’s always been underestimated because of her cerebral palsy, but can she help to break the curse and save Rehn from ruin?

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
Quiz # 240046 | BL 5.0 | Salaam Reads
Eighteen-year-old Muslims Adam and Zayneb meet in Doha, Qatar, during spring break. Adam has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Zayneb has been suspended for confronting a teacher. Soon the two begin to fall in love as both struggle to find a way to live their own truths.

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank
Quiz # 240483 | BL 3.7 | Random House
In this novel in verse, two very different girls share a hospital room while both have Crohn’s disease. Chess is polite and seems to be slowly recovering, whilst Shannon is rude and seems to be getting worse, yet the two form an unlikely bond.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens by various authors
Quiz # 240484 | BL 5.2 | Farrar, Straus, Giroux
This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. The stories cover various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more.

   

 


Posted on 8 June 2021 at 3:12 pm
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