Special Collections

Heroes with Disabilities

Description: Learn about the experiences of children with disabilities. This list is a collection of fiction and nonfiction books for children and teens. #kids #teens #disability


Showing 1 through 25 of 51 results

Mariah Finds a Way

by Marc Gaskins and Darrin Gladman and Makayla Sutton and Mira Ko and Kathy Crutcher

Mariah really wants to take over her parents' fruit shop one day, but they don't think she can do it. Why? Because she's blind. When her parents leave on vacation, Mariah gets her hands on the keys to the store. With the help of her parrot sidekick, Blue, Mariah must find a way to get the job done. The authors of this story are part of an innovative program run by Reach Incorporated. Reach creates confident readers and capable leaders by training teens to teach, creating academic benefit for both tutors and students.

Date Added: 05/27/2021


I Am Not A Label

by Cerrie Burnell

I Am Not a Label: 34 Artists, Thinkers, Athletes and Activists with Disabilities from Past and Present, is full of fascinating biographies of people who have made an impact on the world, from centuries past to the present. This insightful book includes both physical and mental disabilities, helping readers understand that mental and physical health play a role in navigating everyday life. Burnell prefaces the information with her own biography as a disabled person, and includes an extensive glossary.

Date Added: 05/27/2021


Dragon School

by Sarah K. L. Wilson

A disabled teen, an empathetic dragon, and a bond that will save the world. Sixteen-year-old Amel arrived at Dragon School just like everyone else - with a dream to ride dragons and join the Dominion Dragon Riders. But Amel has a crippled leg and Dragon School training is grueling. Before she can even become an initiate, she must complete her First Flight on a dragon. Can Amel survive First Flight and become a Dragon School initiate or will her dreams dash on the rocks below? This book contains Episodes 1-5 of Dragon School: Dragon School: First Flight Dragon School: Initiate Dragon School: The Dark Prince Dragon School: The Ruby Isles Dragon School: Sworn

Date Added: 05/27/2021


We'll Paint the Octopus Red

by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she vividly imagines all of the things they can do together. Emma feels ready to be a big sister! Then when the baby is born, her dad tells her that it's a boy and he has something called Down syndrome. Finally she asks, "If Isaac has this Down thing, then what can't he do?". Her dad thinks about it, then tells her that as long as they are patient with him, and help him when he needs it, there probably isn't anything Isaac can't do. In this touching story, Emma helps her father as much as he helps her to realise that Isaac is the baby they dreamed of. The book concludes with a set of commonly asked questions about Down syndrome with answers for children and how it might affect their sibling and family. For ages 3-7.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Uniquely Brave

by Trace Wilson

Sometimes to overcome your challenges, all you need is bravery. Follow one little boy as he proves that a little bit of courage can go a long way and shows his friends what it means to be brave!

Date Added: 05/26/2021


This is My School

by Mark Weakland

How do I find my way around school? This Is My School gives young readers the grand tour through all the rooms and special areas that make up an elementary-school building. Featuring playful illustrations that embrace diversity, and led by a 1st-person student narrator, the tour takes kids to the front office, the library, the gym, the nurse’s office, and other rooms.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Silent Lotus

by Jeanne M. Lee

Lotus could not speak or hear but learns to dance.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


She Persisted in Sports

by Chelsea Clinton

Throughout history, women have been told that they couldn't achieve their dreams, no matter how hard they tried. Women athletes have faced their own unique set of challenges, across countless sports and levels of play. In this third She Persisted book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women who have excelled in their sports because of their persistence. She Persisted in Sports is a book for everyone who has ever aimed for a goal and been told it wasn't theirs to hit, for everyone who has ever raced for a finish line that seemed all too far away, and for everyone who has ever felt small or unimportant while out on the field. Alexandra Boiger's vibrant artwork accompanies this inspiring text that shows readers of all ages that, no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the power to persist and succeed. This book features: Margaret Ives Abbott, Gertrude Ederle, Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, Wilma Rudolph, Jean Driscoll, Mia Hamm (and the 1996 Olympic soccer team), Kristi Yamaguchi, Venus and Serena Williams, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Diana Taurasi, Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair

by Natalie Gonchar

Lisa and her friends have a big problem: bullies. Billy and Joe run the neighborhood, taking allowances, stealing snacks, and pushing people around. After a run-in with the boys one day, Lisa's wheelchair breaks, but her kind neighbor Mr. Gringle gives her a new one, painted colorfully and brimming with magic, he says. She doesn't believe him at first, but Lisa soon realizes that with this magical chair, she has the power to stand up to the bullies that she didn't before! As she watches her bravery and courage inspire other kids around her, Lisa will learn a very important lesson about inner strength and believing in your own abilities, and about the magic that lies inside all of us.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


King for a Day

by Rukhsana Khan

Basant is here, with feasts and parties to celebrate the arrival of spring. But what Malik is looking forward to most is doing battle from his rooftop with Falcon, the special kite he has built for speed. Today is Maliks chance to be the best kite fighter, the king of Basant. In two fierce battles, Malik takes down the kites flown by the bully next door. Then Malik moves on, guiding Falcon into leaps, swirls, and dives, slashing strings and plucking kites from the sky. By the end of the day, Malik has a big pile of captured kites. He is the king! But then the bully reappears, trying to take a kite from a girl in the alley below. With a sudden act of kingly generosity, Malik finds the perfect way to help the girl. This lively, contemporary story introduces readers to a centuries-old festival and the traditional sport of kite fighting, and to a spirited, determined young boy who masters the sport while finding his own way to face and overcome lifes challenges.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Juan Has The Jitters

by Aneta Cruz and Miki Yamamoto

A story about inclusion, diversity, and the power of math to help one boy with autism thrive among his peers. Juan claps his hands to get his Jitters out. They make his tummy swoosh and swirl. His Jitters happen when there are too many people, too much noise, or too many changes to his day. Juan doesn't like surprises. Tomorrow there is an athletic event planned at school, which makes Juan very nervous. But his teacher has the perfect solution: math--Juan's favorite subject! Counting, sorting, and matching help Juan calm his Jitters. By making math part of the day's athletic games, and by appointing Juan the official judge, his teacher can make sure that Juan will have fun and feel included. The class is calling it the Mathletic Games! Parents of children 4 to 8 years-old can use this book to help teach kids about neurodiversity, inclusion, and the beauty in what makes every one of us unique. Teachers will find the book meets several Common Core Standards for pre-K through third grade in reading and math, and nurtures multiple domains of scholastic development.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon

by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon's grandma taught her to be happy with herself no matter what, but that's not all she learned. Molly Lou heard all about how her grandma didn't have fancy store-bought toys when she was little. She made dolls out of twigs and flowers and created her own fun in her backyard. So Molly Lou does just that, proving that the best thing to play with is a huge imagination!

Date Added: 05/26/2021


The Girl Who Thought In Pictures The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

by Julia Finley Mosca

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Different is Awesome

by Ryan Haack

A little boy brings his older brother, born with one hand, for show-and-tell. The students ask him all sorts of questions about how he does things with one hand and realize that he can do anything they can do, he just does it differently. Along the way, they notice that we're all different in one way or another, leading to the realization that not only are differences a similarity we all share, but, they are what make us unique - AND AWESOME!

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Completely Me

by Justine Green

Completely Me is a story about a little girl who never noticed there was something different about herself until others pointed it out. When she decides to stand up for herself, she teaches the townspeople an important lesson about acceptance.

Date Added: 05/26/2021


Benji the Bad Day and Me

by Sally J. Pla

Nothing seems to be going right for Sammy today. At school, he got in trouble for kicking a fence, then the cafeteria ran out of pizza for lunch. After he walks home in the pouring rain, he finds his autistic little brother Benji is having a bad day too. On days like this, Benji has a special play-box where he goes to feel cozy and safe. Sammy doesn't have a special place, and he's convinced no one cares how he feels or even notices him. But somebody is noticing, and may just have an idea on how to help Sammy feel better.

Date Added: 05/25/2021


All the Way to the Top

by Annette Bay Pimentel

This is the story of a little girl who just wanted to go, even when others tried to stop her. Jennifer Keelan was determined to make a change―even if she was just a kid. She never thought her wheelchair could slow her down, but the way the world around her was built made it hard to do even simple things. Like going to school, or eating lunch in the cafeteria. Jennifer knew that everyone deserves a voice! Then the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that would make public spaces much more accessible to people with disabilities, was proposed to Congress. And to make sure it passed, Jennifer went to the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC to convince them. And, without her wheelchair, she climbed. ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!

Date Added: 05/25/2021


Sign Up Here

by Kathryn Cole

It seems like every kid in Dee-Dee’s class has joined a club but her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to join a club, it’s that no one will let her! Because of her disability, she doesn’t walk fast enough for the walking club and the Strong-Arm Wrestling Club became the All-Boys Strong-Arm Wrestling Club when she beat Joseph easy-peasy in a match. Dee-Dee knows that friends shouldn’t leave you out and that she is a very good friend. So she and her teacher come up with a plan to show what good friends are and how they should treat each other.

Date Added: 05/20/2021


Benny Doesn't Like To Be Hugged

by Zetta Elliott and Purple Wong

A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend. Benny likes trains and cupcakes without sprinkles, but he can also be fussy sometimes. The narrator doesn’t mind, however, because “true friends accept each other just the way they are.” A gentle story encouraging children to appreciate and accept our differences.

Date Added: 05/20/2021


Not So Different

by Shane Burcaw

Not So Different offers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into Shane Burcaw’s life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else. Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles’ growth. As a result, his body hasn’t grown bigger and stronger as he’s gotten older―it’s gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.

Date Added: 05/19/2021


Slug Days

by Sara Leach and Rebecca Bender

On slug days, Lauren feels slow and slimy. She feels like everyone yells at her, and that she has no friends. Today there is a different bus driver; Dan and Sachi are sitting in Lauren’s seat on the bus; and Lauren’s teacher interrupts her reading time. It is definitely a slug day. But not every day is like this. On butterfly days, Lauren makes her classmates laugh, or goes to get ice cream, or works on a special project with Mom. Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder (an umbrella term that has included Asperger Syndrome since 2013), and she sees the world differently from many people.

Sometimes this makes Lauren want to flip her lid, especially at school, where she learns differently from her classmates. But with support and stubbornness and a flair that’s all her own, Lauren masters tricks to stay calm, to understand others’ feelings, and to let her personality shine. She even manages to find common ground with her sticky, slobbery baby sister. Best of all, being different gives Lauren insight into the insecurities of the new student, Irma. Award-winning author Sara Leach writes Lauren’s endearing story with empathy and humor, sending her flying off like a butterfly into a new chapter of life with a new friend. ― Publisher

Date Added: 05/12/2021


Why Johnny Doesn't Flap

by Clay Morton & Gail Morton

Johnny is different. He is never exactly on time, he can't seem to stick to a routine and he often speaks in cryptic idioms. Johnny is neurotypical, but that's OK. A picture book with a difference, Why Johnny Doesn't Flap turns the tables on common depictions of neurological difference by drolly revealing how people who are not on the autistic spectrum are perceived by those who are. The autistic narrator's bafflement at his neurotypical friend's quirks shows that 'normal' is simply a matter of perspective.

Date Added: 04/22/2021


Why Are You Looking At Me

by Lisa Tompkins

This story is about the life of a child with Down Syndrome that wants to be your friend. Lynn may look different than most children, but has many of the same likes and dislikes. Help your child discover what it means to accept and embrace a relationship with people who are different.

Date Added: 04/22/2021


We're Amazing 1, 2, 3!

by Leslie Kimmelman

This story stars Elmo, Abby, and their friend Julia, who has autism. Together, the three pals have a delightful playdate.

Date Added: 04/22/2021


The Chance to Fly

by Ali Stroker

A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity—from Tony award–winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz

Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there’s one thing she’s absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there’s not a cast album she hasn’t memorized and belted along to. She’s never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast?

But when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids’ production of Wicked, one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)— especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and “Defy Gravity” in every sense of the song title?

Date Added: 07/12/2021



Showing 1 through 25 of 51 results