Special Collections

Middle Grade Novels featuring Characters with Visual Impairments

Description: This collection of novels is geared towards middle grade readers and each novel features a character with a visual impairment. (Ages 8-12 or Grades 3-7) #kids #disability

Showing 1 through 25 of 26 results


by Rob Harrell

A hilarious and heartwrenching story about surviving middle school--and an unthinkable diagnosis--while embracing life's weirdness.

Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn't want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don't know what to say to "the cancer kid."

But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table.

Based on Rob Harrell's real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life's weirdness.

Date Added: 03/31/2020

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

by Barry Denenberg

Blinded after a terrible accident, Bess must learn to overcome her disability with the help of new friends and skills at the Perkins School for the Blind, in the wake of America's Great Depression.

After Bess Brennan is blinded in a sledding accident, she must face a frightening, much-altered world. Confronted with a new set of obstacles, Bess manages to overcome her disability with the help of her new friends at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, where she also learns how to read braille. Her twin sister, Elin, assists her with recording daily events in her diary and contributes entries of her own. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Bess's story will inspire all readers to be strong in the face of hardship.

Date Added: 06/24/2019

Seeing Lessons

by Spring Hermann and Ib Ohlsson

In 1832, when Abigail Carter was only ten years old, two doctors from Boston invited her to be one of the first students in an experimental institution: a school for blind people. Abby and her younger sister Sophia, also blind, packed their bags and headed to the city. For the first time in their lives, the two girls were able to read a book for themselves and to write a letter to their father.

This small start-up school developed into the Perkins School for the Blind. From this school graduated Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's influential teacher.

Readers who love Helen Keller's story won't want to miss this inspiring story of courage and perseverance.

Date Added: 01/15/2019


by Mere Joyce

Fourteen-year-old Preston Craft is organizing a film festival for his school's film club. When one of the films goes missing two days before the festival begins, Preston is convinced it was stolen and is determined to get it back. The only indication of the theft is a suspicious shadow that Preston noticed right before he discovered the film was gone—but Preston is legally blind and no one quite believes him. However, not unlike the gritty private eyes in the classic black-and-white films he adores, Preston refuses to give up. Can he solve the mystery based on such a shady clue?

Date Added: 03/08/2018

A Blind Guide to Normal

by Beth Vrabel

Ryder Randolf can find humor in any situation-even in the fact that he is partially blind and has an artificial eye. He's spent the past year making jokes at Addison School for the Blind, earning the respect and friendship of his classmates. Now, he's headed off to a "normal" school for eighth grade. Ryder has gone from being a big fish in a small pond to a strange guppy in a vast ocean, and he struggles to maintain his dignity while everyone at school pities him

.Then Ryder makes an enemy in Dean Windham, the most popular guy at school. A situation between the two that could easily be overlooked is made worse by a teacher with good intentions and the fact that Ryder just can't seem to stay away from Dean's girlfriend, Jocelyn. To try to combat the bullying, Ryder listens to his friend Alice's recommendation that he take up karate. While he's pleasantly surprised to find that Jocelyn is an instructor, he's disappointed to learn that Dean is also one.

Ryder seeks to dominate the competition in his karate tournament. But he and Dean continue to clash, resulting in Ryder's good eye being injured. Suddenly things aren't so funny anymore.

In this exciting sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville, Beth Vrabel weaves humor, sadness, and love into a story with characters that have you hooked from page one.

Date Added: 03/08/2018

The Transcriber

by Kristen Witucki

Louis's sister, Emily, is blind.

She’s also in the marching band, sculpts, and has the biggest bedroom in the house to accommodate her Braille machine.

Everyone thinks her accomplishments are extraordinary, and most think that she can do no wrong.

The single person who doesn't feel awe--or pity--for her is Louis, who wishes people would just stop comparing them. He wants his own life.

Only a family tragedy can begin to bridge the widening gap between brother and sister.

Part of the Gemma Open Door Series, originally designed for new readers, these books confirm the truth that a story doesn't have to be big to change ‎the world. The Transcriber is specifically created for young adult readers.

Date Added: 03/08/2018

Diamond in the Rough

by Kristie Smith-Armand

Abby Diamond, Girl Detective, returns once again with her lovable and popular friends. Abby does not allow her visual impairment to stand in the way of her solving mysteries that surround her and Neils, Alison, Andrea, Jaxson and Glen.

In the third novel of the series, "Diamond in the Rough", Abby and her friends meet up with children and adults who are not what they seem to be. Are the new friends in this series really ghosts or the figment of Abby's imagination? Children and adults will laugh when Abby and her gang learn about a mysterious boy named Cliff who takes them on a whirlwind of bicycle hills and mysteries. Abby grows up in the series and runs a detective agency with her best friends Jaxson and Neils. Did this really happen or is it simply Abby's imagination once again?

Join Abby and her friends through this fast-paced novel that will leave children begging for more Adventures of Abby Diamond.

Date Added: 03/08/2018

Blindness and Vision Impairment

by Patricia Souder

It's impossible to predict all the ways that being blind will affect a person's life. From relearning things like reading and moving around, to the emotional impact of not being able to see, blindness and vision impairments present people with a whole new set of difficult challenges. In this book, as you read the story of Kyla's vision impairment, you'll learn about many of the disorders and injuries that can cause blindness and impaired vision. You'll also find out about the techniques and services used to treat and deal with blindness, including guide animals, white canes, Braille, and programs such as special summer camps. Becoming blind doesn't have to get in the way of leading a fulfilling life!

Date Added: 03/08/2018

Can You Feel the Thunder? (First Edition)

by Lynn E. Mcelfresh

Thirteen-year-old Mic Parsons struggles with mixed feelings about his deaf and blind sister while at the same time he makes his way through the turmoils of junior high.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

The Sound of Colors

by Jimmy Liao

In this breathtaking, evocative book, a young blind girl travels from one subway station to another while her imagination takes her to impossibly wonderful places.

She swims with the dolphins and sunbathes on a whales back; flies through the air with the birds and travels to the station at the end of the world.

Poetic text is paired with haunting and beautiful watercolor paintings in this incredible book that explores themes of overcoming a disability and the power of the imagination.

The Sound of Colors is a magical book that will take readers on a journey unlike anything they've ever experienced before.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

What Would Joey Do?

by Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos' acclaimed hero is attempting a breathtaking balancing act, as he tries to keep a handle on his wild, wired behavior without letting his hyperactivity spin him out of control all over again. This is truly a touching story, where Joey makes a friend with another child with disabilities, and finally comes to terms with his dysfunctional family.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

by Sharon Creech

Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today.

Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don't always get along, that's true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her warm words and family recipes. She understands from experience that life's twists and turns can't rattle the unique bond between two lifelong pals.

Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech cooks up a delightfully tender novel, filled with homemade dishes and secret recipes. It's easy to remember what's important about love, life, and friendship while Granny Torrelli makes soup.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Who Is Stevie Wonder?

by Jim Gigliotti

Discover more about Stevie Wonder, the music prodigy whose awards include 25 Grammy Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful singer-songwriter-musicians of our time. Signing his first record deal when he was only eleven, he had his first No.1 hit when he was thirteen.

Since then he has had thirty US top ten hits, won a range of awards for his music and his civil rights work, and created such iconic songs as "Isn't She Lovely" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Stevie Wonder is a beloved entertainer who continues to tour and perform around the world.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

As Brave As You

by Jason Reynolds

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally—in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Johnson Steptoe Award.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and—being a curious kid—Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

Date Added: 02/21/2018

The Danger Box

by Blue Balliett

From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Chasing Vermeer" and "The Calder Game" comes an all-new mystery featuring a boy in a small town who has a different way of seeing, a mischievous girl who won't stay in one place, and a mysterious notebook.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

A Dog Called Homeless

by Sarah Lean

My name is Cally Louise Fisher and I haven't spoken for thirty-one days. Talking doesn't always make things happen, however much you want them to. When Cally Fisher sees her dead mother, real as anything, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking - what's the point if no one is listening? The only other living soul who sees Cally's mum is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mum appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mum is still with them, and how will she ever persuade her Dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her? An outstandingly assured debut novel from a sparkling new talent.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

Date Added: 02/21/2018


by Edward Bloor

Though legally blind, Paul Fisher can see what others cannot. He can see that his parents' constant praise of his brother, Erik, the football star, is to cover up something that is terribly wrong. But no one listens to Paul--until his family moves to Tangerine.

In this Florida town, weird is normal: Lightning strikes at the same time every day, a sinkhole swallows a local school, and Paul the geek finds himself adopted into the toughest group around: the soccer team at his middle school.

Maybe this new start in Tangerine will help Paul finally see the truth about his past--and will give him the courage to face up to his terrifying older brother.

Includes a reader's guide and an afterword by the author.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Who Was Helen Keller?

by Gare Thompson and Nancy Harrison

At age two, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. She lived in a world of silence and darkness and she spent the rest of her life struggling to break through it.

But with the help of teacher Annie Sullivan, Helen learned to read, write, and do many amazing things. This inspiring illustrated biography is perfect for young middle-grade readers.

Black-and-white line drawings throughout, sidebars on related topics such as Louis Braille, a timeline, and a bibliography enhance readers' understanding of the subject.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

The Window

by Jeanette Ingold

A girl, blinded by the auto accident that killed her mother, comes to terms with her disability--and her new life.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Blind Spot

by Laura Ellen

There's none so blind as they that won't see.

Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni's body floated to the surface of Alaska's Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can't remember.

Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it's her memory that needs piecing together--to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.

This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

The Heart Of Applebutter Hill

by Donna Hill

Imagine you're 14 and in a strange country with your camera, your best friend, her guitar and her dog. You uncover a secret and are instantly in danger.

Join Baggy, Abigail and Curly Connor as they explore Elfin Pond, sneak around Bar Gundoom Castle and row across an underground lake. The powerful Heartstone of Arden-Goth is hidden nearby, and corporate giants unleash a spy to seize it. Compelled to unmask the spy and find the Heartstone, they can't trust anyone.

As summer heats up, their troubled friend Christopher is viciously bullied and an armed stranger terrorizes Abigail and Baggy. The friends disagree about the spy's identity, but are convinced it's a teacher.

When a desperate Christopher shows up one night with a terrified cat, the truth is revealed. Soon, police are involved.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Annerton Pit

by Peter Dickinson

A blind boy and his brother set out on a motorcycle in search of their ghost-hunting grandfather It all starts with the postman. Jake cannot see the mail, but he is an excellent listener, and he can tell by the sound the mail makes when it hits the floor that bad news is coming. At the top of the pile is a very thin letter rejecting Jake's brother, Martin, from every college he applied to. Even worse, there is no news from their grandfather, an eccentric ghost hunter whose supernatural investigations have carried him into the wilds of northern England. Martin cashes in his college savings to buy a secondhand motorcycle, and the boys set out to find their grandfather. It is a trip that will change their lives forever. This ebook features an illustrated personal history of Peter Dickinson including rare images from the author's collection.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Teacher's Pet

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Maggie's still getting used to middle school. One of her teachers is, too - Mr. Carlson, her new science teacher, is blind, and is working with a guide dog for the first time. Scout is a love of a German shepherd and really wants to do his job, but Maggie can tell that Mr. Carlson's still having a hard time. Maybe she can help. . . .

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

by Jonathan Auxier

Raised to be a thief, blind orphan Peter Nimble, age ten, steals from a mysterious stranger three pairs of magical eyes that lead him to a hidden island where he must decide to become a hero or resume his life of crime.

Date Added: 02/21/2018

The Angel Tree

by Daphne Benedis-Grab

A heartwarming Christmas mystery and friendship story!

Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square--the Angel Tree. Some people tie wishes to the tree, while others make those wishes come true. Nobody's ever known where the tree comes from, but the mystery has always been part of the tradition's charm.

This year, however, four kids who have been helped--Lucy, Joe, Max, and Cami--are determined to solve the mystery and find out the true identity of the town's guardian angel, so that Pine River can finally thank the person who brought the Angel Tree to their town.

This is a heartwarming Christmas mystery, full of friendship, discovery, and loads of holiday cheer!

Date Added: 02/21/2018

Showing 1 through 25 of 26 results