The world will live in is so diverse and children especially need to see themselves represented in different aspects of life. Choosing the best book can be tricky as sometimes disabilities are viewed as negatives rather than celebrated. Here you will find books that celebrate and enlighten the different disabilities that affect the lives of many.
1. We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch
A wonderfully simple story that will help grow the conversation about disabilities, accessibility, social justice, and building a community. This book also has a fully accessible ebook with read-aloud function as well as captions with alt-text and zoom-in function.
2. What Happened to You? by James Catchpole
What Happened to You is a funny story that reminds us how a disabled person may feel when the same question is posed to them all the time. The constant questioning to Joe about his leg is hurtful and this story will open conversations about how it is more important to show empathy towards others.
3. Mama Zooms by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
This book shows a wonderful experience between a mother who is disabled and her child. They go about their day zooming through life and having wonderful personal experiences. This beautiful picture book will inspire many to see their day differently.
4. It Was Supposed to Be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill
Changes in routine for a person on the autism spectrum can sometimes be very challenging and difficult to understand from a person who doesn't have experiences with someone with autism. This book does a beautiful job of showing what it is like to be an autistic child. The issues the young girl encounters before her birthday party really show how challenging autism can be.
5. This Beach Is Loud! by Samantha Cotterill
The Beach is Loud will really help others understand children with autism and how they view the world. In this heartwarming story, a boy with autism encounters all the overwhelming aspects of going to the beach, but his dad is there to help him face these obstacles.
6. Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus
Sometimes people have physical disabilities that aren't quite as obvious as others. When Little Bear has trouble hearing, he learns that he is experiencing deafness. When Little Bear is fitted with hearing aids, his new world takes some getting used to.
7. Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel
Lone Wolf is a beautiful, sweet book about self-acceptance and belonging. Sometimes we question ourselves about who we are and whether we are where we are supposed to be. When Maple questions who she is, she goes on a journey that leads her to overcome her identity crisis.
8. I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
I Talk Like a River is a wonderful all-ages book about a boy who feels trapped because he stutters. The boy's dad helps him connect to the world around him through kindness and compassion. When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice.
9. My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best
Zulay is a blind girl who surprises everyone when she chooses to run a race on Field Day. This sweet book will make non-disabled people question their own abilities and motivations.
10. Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw
Shane Burcaw offers his personal experience and true story about how he tackles some of the tedious, repetitive questions that he always gets. Shane shows that he is just like everyone else in this humorous glimpse into his world, except he relies on a little help from family and friends.
11. Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
This charming book is about a dog named Rescue who thinks he will follow in the family business of being a seeing-eye day. However, a girl named Jessica needs him as her service dog. This beautiful story was inspired by a real-life Boston Marathon victim who lost both legs and found a wonderful companion in Rescue.
12. All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything
Before the Americans with Disabilities Act was law, people with disabilities faced accessibility issues. Jennifer Keelan literally left her wheelchair and crawled the steps of the Capitol Building to fight for disabled children and adults in the United States.
13. I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes, and activists from past and present by Cerrie Burnell
This beautiful book of biographies from people from different walks of life share their own challenges with disability and mental health. The perfect Amazon purchase to share with children of all ages to encourage people to overcome their own obstacles and differences to persevere and conquer their goals.
14. Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker
Chance to Fly is a heartwarming middle-grade story about Nat Beacon, a 13-year-old wheelchair-bound girl, who is absolutely obsessed with musicals. When Nat is cast in the musical Wicked, she continues to overcome her disabilities and challenges.
15. Benji, the Bad Day, and Me by Sally J. Pla
This is a heartwarming story of two brothers who aren't having good days. While Benji, Sammy's brother who has autism has a way to deal with his bad day, Sammy doesn't. When feels like no one cares about him, someone close to him has an idea how to help.
16. El Deafo: Superpowered Edition! by Cece Bell
El Deafo: Superpowered Edition is a Cece Bell upgrade from El Deafo with 40 more pages of new material. This clever book about disabilities turns a disability into superpower status for Cece. However, Cece finds out that being a superhero can be lonely and just looked at as being different.
17. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures is the first educational book series about the inspiring life of one of the world's quirkiest science heroes. When Temple Grandin was young, she was diagnosed with autism and not expected to speak ever. Yet, as Temple grew, she learned to cope with her autism and allowed her to connect to animals, helping to create groundbreaking improvements for farms!
18. Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco is a world-renowned book author who has written many authentic books with characters that allow the reader to connect to themselves. Thank You, Mr. Falker is a wonderful book for children ages PreK-3rd grade that may be struggling readers. Trisha is an artist, but when it comes to reading, the words look jumbled. It takes a special teacher to recognize her dyslexia and to push her to overcome it.