A list of books with disabled characters that you need to read.
What I like about Novels/Stories that include disabled characters is is that you can really feel/understand their point of view from a first person perspective in many cases and in others you can empathize from a far as you watch how they are treated or how they over come the challenges that their stories “through” at them.
What we know now more than ever is that disabled representation matters.
10 Books with Disabled Characters
So B It
So B. It tells the story of Heidi a young 12 year old girl who as far back as she can remember has been raised by her next door Neighbor Bernadette. Heidi lives with her Mother who for the most part is non-verbal. As the story progresses Heidi learns how she came to be born to a Mother who had Special Needs.
Mockingbird – written from the perspective of Caitlin, a young girl who happens to be Autistic and feels totally alienated from the world around her.Her world as fractious as it was before the loss of a loved one, turns up side down and she spends the pages of this excellent book trying to find the closure she needs to mend her world back to the way it used to be.
Far from the Tree
This is a book I am actually reading right now, every chance I get. It is one of those books that you just can’t put down. The notion “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is challenged here on every single page. Andrew Solomon challenges the reader to wonder what would you do if your child was so unlike you and your family, if they just didn’t “Fit” in, how would you react? Could you love them just as easy as their sibling who shared the same vertical identity as you? A must read.
August is a young boy that for most of his life has been home-schooled by his Mother. Wonder tells the tale of August’s transition to school for the first time. We read on every page what it feels like to not fit in when you stand out so strangely from the crowd because you have facial deformities. Your heart will break a little for him throughout when you find out how he copes when people gasp and give him “the look”. A real page turner and also a great book for older children/teens to read. It is a real eye opener on how a person who is different may feel internally. A must read.
The Night Rainbow
Pea who is five and her younger sister Margot have recently lost their father to a tragic accident. Their Mother all though still alive is now lost to them in her grief.Pea and her sister spend their days in the meadow where they become “friends” with an older man called Claude. Suspicion follows Claude wherever he goes in his village as they are uneasy at his friendship with two young girls. But all is not as it seems. – A real page turner.
The curious incident of the Dog in the night
A murder mystery novel with a twist, narrated by a 15 year old Christopher Boone who is Autistic. He has never gone further than the end of his road but having found his neighbor’s dog murdered his world really starts to unravel. Having read this book over the course of a few days I feel that I have a better perspective of how an Autistic peroson may feel and how they internalize all of their thoughts culminating on occasion in non-socially accepted actions and reactions. I have to admit I struggled to read this book at times and found myself skipping the chapters wherein Christopher went into detail about his love of Math but for the most part it is an excellent read if you want to know more about the perspective of an Autistic person.
Expecting Adam is a new book I have on my bookshelf that waits patiently to be read. A friend of mine recommended this book to me. It tells the true story of how the world’s of John and Martha were turned upside down when they found out the child they had conceived would be born with Down Syndrome.
When Martin was 12 years old he fell inexplicably ill, became wheel chair bound and mute. His parents were told by professionals that he had a degenerative disease that had left him with the mind of a baby and would have no more than 2 years to live. The reality was that eventually Martin’s mind woke up despite his body remaining unresponsive, yet he had no way to tell anyone that he was intellectually alive inside a broken down body. A true story about recovery and the power of love.
Jacob is a young boy who is Autistic who has a keen interest in all things Crime Solving. When a murder takes place in his town, somehow the Police arrive at his door.
Rose is a little girl who makes sense of her world by relying on routines, rules and obsessions. Not everyone understands why she is the way she is. Her pet dog goes missing and suddenly Rose leaves all her rules and routines behind as she strives to bring her pet back home. – I adore this book, but be warned you will need some tissues!
I hope you found this post useful.