5 Children's Books that feature people with Disabilities

11:30 AM

As a special education teacher it is important for me to show representation of my students in the books we read in class.  Not only is it important to show acceptance of people with disabilities in books, but it's also important to show people with disabilities in leadership roles, in control of their life and as people with just as much to offer society as anyone else.   July is Disability Pride month and so I thought I would highlight five of my favorite books that feature people/children with disabilities.

A Very Special Critter by Gina and Mercer Mayer is a classic about a new critter that starts school.  The new critter is in a wheelchair but that doesn't stop him.  Even though he's a special critter, he's still one of class.  I really this reading of the story by Rachel's mom.

So Don't and See What Happens by Sarah Leal it one of my absolute favorite books.  For one, it's Canadian, and it's main character uses AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).  They book also has a great message as you can see from the title and also appropriate for older students. 

The Deaf Musicians by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Pete Seeger is a book I read my students when we visited the library.   Lee who used to be a jazzman lost his hearing and could no longer play in his band.  He goes to the school for the deaf to learn sign language and meets Max, who used to play the sax. Soon they are overcoming obstacles, and are showing people all the different ways to hear the world.  This book has wonderful illustrations.  You can see a reading of the book for deaf history month here.
Howie Helps Himself by Joan Fassler is also a classic.  This is the story of a young boy who wants badly to be able to move his wheelchair by himself.  After lots of practice, he finally does it.  Since it was published in 1975, it does show him in a special needs class.  As there are still specialized classes around (mine included) I felt it was relevant to portray this too.  Rachel's mom also reads this book.  I love the way she interacts with her daughter during the reading.

Zoom by Robert Munsch.  Zoom is by another Canadian author, Robert Munsch.  This one is always well loved in my class, by wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users.  Zoom is about a little girl who wants a faster and faster wheelchair.  She also gets a speeding ticket!  Told with humor, grab it to find out how Laurette saves the day.  On Robert Munsch's official website, you can find the back story to zoom and how the story came about.

Thanks for reading.

by A Special Kind of Class

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