Disability Pride Month – Accepting, Honoring, and Celebrating Human Diversity

El Deafo – Cece Bell
This graphic novel is based loosely on Bell’s own experience growing up with a hearing impairment. The protagonist, Cece, is starting at a new school and feeling that what makes her feel different can also be a superpower!

I am Not a Label – Cerrie Burnell
I am Not a Label is a collection of biographies of 34 artists, athletes, and activists with disabilities from the past and present. Each of their stories explore how their disabilities impacted and/or inspired their success and enabled them to make their mark on the world!

Listen – Shannon Stocker
Listen is a beautifully written and illustrated biography of Elevyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist who despite her disability, never gave up on her dream of being a musician.
I am Odd, I am New – Benjamin Giroux
This picture book is an illustrated poem by Benjamin Giroux, in which he explains his experience as a young person with autism and what he wishes people knew about him and others on the autism spectrum.

I Talk Like a River – Jordan Scott
I Talk Like a River is about a boy’s struggle with spoken language using the metaphor of a river to illustrate the feeling of being surrounded by words, but not able to speak them, sputtering and whirling much like a river does.

Hello Goodbye Dog – Maria Gianferrari
Zara’s dog, Moose, is determined to be with her as much as she can, but dogs aren’t allowed at Zara’s school. After a few escapes and appearances at school, Zara and her friends determine Moose can be a service dog for Zara’s mobility impairment!

Not So Different – Shane Burcaw
Not So Different is written by Shane Burcaw, an adult with spinal muscular atrophy and advocate for disability awareness. This book explains how his condition affects his daily life, but also how it doesn’t- he is able to do a lot of the same things people of different abilities can, but sometimes he needs a little help. This book and others by Burcaw encourage readers to ask questions, learn, and be a good friend to a person with disabilities!

Just Ask! – Sonia Sotomayor 
This book was written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to help young readers learn about different abilities. Sotomayor has diabetes and explains her condition, and introduces other characters who experience the world differently. 

Rolling Warrior– Judith Heumann
This is Heumann’s autobiography adapted for young readers- a story about a girl who fought to be included since the age of five and never stopped fighting for equity and inclusion as an adult. Heumann’s story is inspiring for activists of all ages!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue does a superb job of including disabled, LGBTQ+, and people of color in the oft-monolithic genre of historical fiction. This novel follows Monty, a young and wild aristocrat who is touring Europe with his equally strong-willed sister, and best friend/love interest Percy. 

Love from A to Z – S.K. Ali
This novel features two characters, Adam who has MS and is trying to keep it a secret, and Zayneb, who is trying to keep a low profile, despite her fury at her islamophobic teacher. Each feels they can only be the truest versions of themselves in their journals until they meet one another in person. 

Marcelo in the Real World – Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo is in the summer of his senior year when his father proposes he works with him at his law firm instead of Marcelo’s choice- raising horses on his friend’s farm. In the “real world”, as his dad puts it, Marcelo makes discoveries and moral quandaries that have him questioning how to ethically navigate adult life.
You’re Welcome, Universe – Whitney Gardner
Julia is an artist who attends a school for the deaf and hearing impaired. When she discovers and covers up a slur about her friend on the back of their school, she begins a sort of stealth graffiti art war that has her sharpening her skills and wit!

Unbroken – Marieke Nijkamp
Unbroken is an anthology of 13 stories featuring protagonists with disabilities- written by authors who identify as disabled, a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis. Each story is fiction, but ranges in genre from fantasy, contemporary, romance, and more!

A Time to Dance – Padma Venkatraman
A Time to Dance is a story of resilience written in verse about Veda, a dance prodigy in India who is injured on a bus ride returning from a dance competition that results in the loss of her leg and hope for the future in an art she loves.

The Silence Between Us – Alison Gervais
Attending a hearing school for the first time is an unwelcome adjustment for Maya, a deaf teen who is rigorously planning her future and fiercely advocating for the deaf community who finds herself surprised by the kindness of her new classmates when they begin to learn ASL to communicate with and befriend her!

The Boy Who Steals Houses – C.G. Drews
Sam and his older brother Avery are unwelcome in the homes of any of their known relatives on account of Avery’s autism and Sam is left to his own devices to make a new life for them. Until one day, he is caught stealing from a large and vibrant family that allows them to blend in and find the home they needed.

Finding Balance – Kati Gardner
Finding Balance is based loosely on the author’s experience with childhood cancer that resulted in the amputation of a limb. The protagonists in this story, Mari and Jase are each in remission and struggling to be seen as equal to their peers, but also allowed to be themselves with one another.

Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott
Five Feet Apart is an award-winning and generally beloved YA romance featuring Stella and Will, teens with Cystic Fibrosis, as they navigate young love through physical distance.
Disability Visibility – Alice Wong
This book is an anthology of 20 perspectives of Americans with disabilities which celebrate disability awareness and acceptance to honor 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

All the Light we Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
One of the best known and loved works of historical fiction, All the Light we Cannot see explores an era of world history with which we are all familiar, but through the eyes of a unique protagonist- Marie-Laure, a twelve year old blind girl living in Nazi-occupied France. 

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Hoang is uniquely skilled at writing romance novels with neurodiverse protagonists that are kind, and intelligent, and treated with dignity in her heartwarming love stories. The Kiss Quotient is the first in this series, but all novels can be read as standalones.
True Biz – Sarah Noviċ
True Biz is a unique work of fiction best described by its publisher: “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”

Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert
Hibbert’s series of romance novels featuring each sister in the quirky and loveable Brown family are perfectly smart, inclusive, and hilarious. This story focuses on Chloe, a chronically ill computer programmer who has a plan and a plan b for every aspect of her life- including having fun. 

Sitting Pretty – Rebekah Taussig
Sitting Pretty is subtitled as “The View from my Ordinary, Resilient Disabled Body”. It’s a memoir in essays that aim to expand disability awareness beyond its current iterations- as an ordinary, complicated, completely human human.

The Pretty One – Keah Brown
Keah Brown is a disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute hashtag. The Pretty One is a collection of essays on living with Cerebral Palsy, romance, and finding love for oneself as a disabled person of color in the United States. 

A Quick and Easy Guide to Sex and Disability – A. Andrews
This comic is written by a disabled cartoonist to help individuals with disabilities and their partners to understand their bodies, improve communication, and lead to more rewarding relationships!

A Disability History of the United States – Kim E. Nielsen 
This is another great addition from the Howard Zinn model of American History books. A Disability History of the United States focuses on the contributions of disabled individuals in American history, activism and legislation aimed at improving accessibility, and much more.

How to Be Human – Jory Fleming
How to Be Human is Jory Fleming’s autobiography, in which he discusses his experiences as a person on the Autism spectrum, looking beyond limitations and into the humanity that connects us all.
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