Disability Pride Month
Disability Pride month is celebrated every July in honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passing in July of 1990. In honor of this landmark event, we put together some great books featuring disabled characters for people of all ages and some non-fiction books as well. Let us know if you pick any of these up!
Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (Various)
by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael López
In this warm and inclusive story by U.S. Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor, inspired by her own childhood diagnosis of diabetes, readers join along as disabled kids use their strengths to work together and learn about each other.
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay (Vision Impairment/Blind)
by Cari Best and Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Zulay is a blind girl who longs to be able to run in the race on field and track day at her school
Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship (Mobility Impairment/Amputee)
by Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Scott Magoon
Based on true events, this inspiring story of love and teamwork is about a girl and her service dog, both of whose lives turned out differently than they imagined they would.
Mommy Sayang (Chronic Illness)
by Rosana Sullivan
Aleeya, concerned when her beloved mother becomes sick, remembers and returns the promise Mommy has made to her–that she will always be by her side
Dancing with Daddy (Mobility Impairment)
by Anitra Rowe Schulte
Elsie can’t wait to go to her first father-daughter dance. She picked out the perfect dress and has been practicing swirling and swaying in her wheelchair. But when a winter storm comes, she wonders if she’ll get the chance to spin and dance her way to a dream come true
Show Me a Sign (Hearing Impairment/Deaf)
by Ann Clare LeZotte
It is 1805 and Mary Lambert has always felt safe among the deaf community of Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard where practically everyone communicates in a shared sign language, but recent events have shattered her life; her brother George has died, land disputes between English settlers and the Wampanoag people are becoming increasingly bitter, and a “scientist” determined to discover the origins of the islands’ widespread deafness has decided she makes the perfect “live specimen”–and kidnapped her
What Stars Are Made Of (Turner Syndrome/Genetic Disorder)
by Sarah Allen
Twelve-year-old Libby, born with Turner Syndrome, is determined to win a science contest and use the money to help her older sister’s growing family, while surviving middle school.
Storm Runner (Mobility Impairment, Seizures, Light Sensitivity)
by J.C. Cervantes
To prevent the Mayan gods from battling each other and destroying the world, thirteen-year-old Zane must unravel an ancient prophecy, stop an evil god, and discover how the physical disability that makes him reliant on a cane also connects him to his father and his ancestry
Air (Mobility Impairment)
by Monica Roe
Twelve-year-old Emmie is working to raise money for a tricked-out wheelchair to get serious about WCMX, when a mishap on a poorly designed ramp at school throws her plans into a tailspin. With the help of her best friends, Emmie makes a plan to get her dreams off the ground, and show her community what she wants, what she has to give, and how ready she is to do it on her own terms.
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Type 1 Diabetes)
by Carlos Hernandez
In order to heal after his mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things–and people–from other universes.
Graphic Novel: The Tea Dragon Society (Various, including Mobility Impairment)
by Katie O’Neill
After discovering a lost Tea Dragon in the marketplace, apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the dying art form of Tea Dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners.
Forget Me Not (Tourette Syndrome)
by Ellie Terry
When her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend, Calliope meets Jinsong at her latest middle school, who becomes her friend despite her Tourette Syndrome and the embarrassment it can cause.
The Wicker King (Mental Illnesses, including Peduncular Hallucinosis and Anxiety)
by K. Ancrum
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mental Illnesses, including PTSD)
by Michelle Hodkin
Seventeen-year-old Mara cannot remember the accident that took the lives of three of her friends but, after moving from Rhode Island to Florida, finding love with Noah, and more deaths, she realizes uncovering something buried in her memory might save her family and her future.
Stolen City (Autism)
by Elisa A. Bonnin
When twin thieves, Arian and Cavar, attempt to pull off a daring heist, they find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, making their mission more than just another artifact theft.
One for All (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS))
by Lillie Lainoff
In 1655 sixteen-year-old Tania is the daughter of a retired musketeer, but she is afflicted with extreme vertigo and subject to frequent falls; when her father is murdered she finds that he has arranged for her to attend Madame de Treville’s newly formed Académie des Mariées in Paris, which, it turns out, is less a school for would-be wives, than a fencing academy for girls–and so Tania begins her training to be a new kind of musketeer, and to get revenge for her father.
Manga:I Hear the Sunspot (Hearing Impairment)
by Yuki Fumino
Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.
The Final Strife (Addiction, Mutism)
by Saara El-Arifi
In the first book of a visionary fantasy trilogy with its roots in the mythology of Africa and Arabia that “sings of rebellion, love, and the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny”, three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.
So Lucky (Multiple Sclerosis)
by Nicola Griffith
So Lucky is the sharp, surprising new novel by Nicola Griffith―the profoundly personal and emphatically political story of a confident woman forced to confront an unnerving new reality when in the space of a single week her wife leaves her and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Always Only You (Autism, Arthritis)
by Chloe Liese
Always Only You is an opposites-attract, forbidden love sports romance about a nerdy, late-blooming hockey star, and his tough cookie coworker who keeps both her soft side and her autism diagnosis to herself.
True Biz (Hearing Impairment)
by Sara Novic
This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection
Starling Days (Depression)
by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
When Mina considers suicide only six months after her marriage to Oscar, they decide to move to London for a change of scene. There, Mina develops an unexpected relationship with another woman. This complex and meditative novel explores the challenges of building a romantic relationship with depression.
This intimate manga anthology is about the struggles and successes of individuals learning to navigate daily life with a developmental disorder. The comics follow the stories of nine people, including: a junior high dropout finding an alternate path to education; a former “troublesome” child helping kids at a support school; a so-called problem child realizing the beauty of his own unique quirks; and a man falling in love with the world with the help of a new medication.
by A. Andrews
As explained by disabled cartoonist A. Andrews, this easy-to-read guide covers the basics of disability sexuality, common myths about disabled bodies, communication tips, and practical suggestions for having the best sexual experience possible. Whether you yourself are disabled, you love someone who is, or you just want to know more, consider this your handy starter kit to understanding disability sexuality, and your path to achieving accessible (and fulfilling) sex.
edited by Alice Wong
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent; but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life (Crohn’s Disease)
by Samantha Irby
Whether Samantha Irby is talking about her Crohn’s disease diagnosis, detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms, she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
by Hannalora Leavitt ; illustrations by Belle Wuthrich
This nonfiction book for teens provides a history of disability, describes types of disabilities and examines the challenges faced by people living with disabilities.
A Face for Picasso (Crouzon Syndrome)
by Ariel Henley
At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome — a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it. Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.
by Emily Ladau
A guide for how to be a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible place
Graphic Novel: Parenthesis (Epilepsy, Brain Tumor)
by Élodie Durand
Judith is barely out of her teens when a tumor begins pressing on her brain, ushering in a new world of seizures, memory gaps, and loss of self. Suddenly, the sentence of her normal life has been interrupted by the opening of a parenthesis that may never close. Based on the real experiences of cartoonist Élodie Durand, Parenthesis is a gripping testament of struggle, fragility, acceptance, and transformation which was deservedly awarded the Revelation Prize of the Angoulême International Comics Festival.