Feature characters who are valuable and successful outside the gaze of a male/white/non-disabled kyriarchy. Why does this matter? 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. These types of interactions and outcomes demonstrate why it’s essential to read children’s books featuring disabled characters and to make sure that both school and home libraries are stocked with these books. I grew up thinking she was the only reasonable character in a series of books about aggressively mean people who don’t know how to speak properly. ‘Dad And Me In The Morning‘ features a Deaf main character and a quiet morning sunrise with his dad. 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’m in the midst of writing a college thesis which focuses on the same topic, and your posts have been immensely helpful to me! 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 these messages are even more impressive and relatable when children are the central character. A story about Celine, who wears leg splints. Find books with deaf characters or deaf-related themes on websites like Limping Chicken, Hearing Like Me … This picture book is based on R.J. Palacio’s middle-grade novel Wonder. The watercolor illustrations are soft and lovely, perfect accompaniments to the text. GO READ IT. In addition to writing, he’s also the president of a nonprofit he created, Laughing at My Nightmare, which promotes positivity and kindness and provides medical equipment grants for people with muscular dystrophy. 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. Some are told by a child with a disabled mother, relative, or classmate. Peg Ted and Mikki Dolly show how tube feeding does not stop children having fun. 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. 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. They're no longer available as printed books, but you can download pdf versions. 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. I’m not reading it to my sons because of the text – they don’t yet know that ‘beautiful’ is a value our culture holds for women (no boys in this book) and I prefer not to introduce that concept yet. For the book itself – aside from the blatant sexism, and centering on a non-disabled boy ABOUT his disabled sister without including her perspective or giving her any agency or control in the story – the point of ‘Just Because’ is to explain how useless his disabled sister is. At one point he said, “That’s like me. 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. They’re also a great way to start conversations about disability, inclusion, and advocacy. In a study (2014) conducted by Donna Sayers Adomat and published in Disability Studies Quarterly, she found that reading and discussing children’s books that feature disabled characters in the classroom led to more positive interactions: Ms. Schild related how, before the unit, students were resentful of a classmate with developmental disabilities who had an aide to help her; the classmates thought that she was receiving unfair privileges. [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]. Check out part 4 of this series to learn why books about disabled heroes must be read with a critical eye. | Together Things by Michelle Vasiliu and Gwynneth Jones. The newer versions by the original creator’s nephew are the bees knees, and the adults in her life are kind and inclusive. ‘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. 7 Books That Help Kids Better Understand People Affected By Disabilities Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson. 1. The text reads like a sexist etiquette primer, and the images spin common stereotypes on proper little ladies with mud-slinging, active, goofy, rough, and tumble girls – some of whom are physically disabled. 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. The Baby Loves Science board book series explains scientific concepts in toddler-friendly ways. The simplicity of the prose makes its message of kindness and acceptance even more poignant. ‘King For A Day‘ is a gorgeous story of dedication and mastery of a craft, plus kindness and generosity with a bit of suspense thrown in. Just because.”. Feature engaging plots with universal appeal, connecting. (Which is actually pretty realistic.). Thank you for your all your informative posts about disability representation in children’s books. @2020 Ashia Ray of Raising Luminaries & Books For Littles. A review of the Apple+ series. and uses disability as a. The Bite of Mango by Mariatu Kamara. After her dog escapes the leash one day, Charlotte learns how to find a quiet place inside herself, a place to return to when she feels overwhelmed. She likes dogs and horses, paints her toenails, and studies bugs. The overall feel to this story was boring and sad. Whether your toddler experiences sight or hearing difficulties or not, they’re very likely to meet other children who do. ‘Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon‘ centers on a non-disabled girl (depending on how familiar you are with the series, as she is explicitly celebrated as an empowered, kick-ass Little Person in ‘Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon‘) and her best friend uses arm crutches for mobility. This book never says that Charlotte is autistic, but those who have or are experienced with autism will recognize and relate to Charlotte and her need for quiet. Feature under-represented characters with agency. The signs are illustrated in a sidebar on each page spread. Eventually her parents come around and stop trying to force her into behaving neurotypical. HEY SIGHTED FOLKS! The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is a book about the inspirational lives of … 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. Barf. While there are other children’s books featuring disabled characters, I do wish more stories were published and that disabled representation more closely matched the reality of disabled life and the number of disabled people who live in the United States. For many, disability shows itself as chronic illness and exhaustion. 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. 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. If we don’t, it … Would love to hear your thoughts. We're also also an affiliate of Little Feminist Book Club and Bookshop, and you'll find affiliate links for them on this site, too! This is the case with Fern’s grandmother, Nanna. Books represent some of the first opportunities children have to explore the world. She’ll go up and start talking to that person, and she won’t complain about the kids in her class with ADHD anymore.”. As with all the books by Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois, the jazzy prose sings, just as the illustrations by award-winning illustrator R.Gregory Christie do. Andy and His Yellow Frisbee tells the tale of a young boy living with... Susan Laughs, by Jeanne Willis. Hands & Hearts tells the story of a mother and daughter’s fun day at the beach, and each page of sparse prose is accompanied by a sign, with a total of fifteen signs. One caveat: one line equates skin color in terms of food (which is a demeaning device often used to describe POC in literature.) Bonus for disability: Non-disabled characters accommodate and acceptance the needs of disabled folks without any whining. 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. ‘The Deaf Musicians‘ features an impromptu jazz session on the subway. In our previous post, we learned the life-or-death consequences of inaccurate representation of disabled people in teh media. Looking after Louis shows how inclusive classrooms are advantageous for both disabled and non-disabled children alike. https://www.thinkinclusive.us/10-childrens-books-with-disabled-characters So Fern decides to try and capture some joy for her Nanna, but that’s more difficult than she thought. ‘Hands And Hearts’– Simple book featuring a mom and daughter’s day at the beach, and they communicate via ASL. ‘Real Friends‘ – In this graphic novel/semi-memoir, the protagonist has OCD, which is mentioned a couple times, but doesn’t define the character. ‘Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie‘ is one of the few Amelia Bedelia books where she isn’t shamed and ridiculed for her literal understanding of idioms. Where’s Chimpy? Cerrie Burnell was born with a right arm that ends just below the elbow. ‘See’ is a giant leap for blind actors. Her grandparents just accept her as she is and they are awesome. Oh boy. All promote understanding and acceptance for kids on the spectrum. 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. Here are some books to start those conversations, whether your child is a toddler or reading middle grade. 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. Posted by Margaret Kingsbury | Nov 22, 2019 | Community | 0 |. Far From You by Tess Sharpe. This picture book is about kite battles during the festival of Basant; fighting bullies with kindness, and also features a wheelchair user as one of the main characters. Did you enjoy this article and learn something new? Influential Kids Books Featuring Capable Disabled Characters Accept Disabled Characters As Normal. Clean It!‘ features a young family cleaning around the house. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. Susan Laughs won the Nasen Special Educational Needs Book Award in … 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. Children's Books That Include Characters with Disabilities / Leave a Comment It is really important for teachers to include books that provide mirrors (books where students can really identify with the characters) and windows (books where the students can see … At the time, 93 percent of children's books were about white or non-human characters*. After the unit, they understood why she needed assistance. About Find out here. It’s something to be aware of. I adore every book in this series, but this is the only one with a disabled main character. Discover the best Children's Hispanic & Latino Books in Best Sellers. 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 … 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. This is a wonderful book written from the perspective of Rachel, whose younger sister has Down Syndrome. Most children will have experiences with disabled elderly as their grandparents and great grandparents age. Without written permission teh media inclusion – change the book children's books with disabled characters “ she ’ s picture... Her grandparents just accept her as she is and they are awesome told by a child autism. That ’ s something we think about every day to a bully like the prose toddler board-book Featuring of! The illustrations pair perfectly with Corrinne Averiss ’ s a lot like a princess people by. 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