The push for inclusion and representation in media doesn’t just stop at race or gender — ability is also an important aspect of representation for readers and consumers whose brains and bodies don’t look quite like everyone else’s. If you want to stock up a broadened library, here are some great books to get you started.
El Deafo | Going to school can be one of the most terrifying events for children who know their needs are different than most of the other students. Whether its speech, looks, or a device that aids human functionability, students notice when something gears away from their normalcy.
El Deafo is a fun book that takes the reader to an interesting perspective on heroism and friendship. When the main character Cece uses a hearing device that grants her super hearing, she realizes that she’s different from the other students just as she was without her hearing.
Growing up hearing impaired can be a lonely journey. Through humor and somewhat heartache, the author of El Deafo has turned her real-life childhood into a relatable lesson on growing up and true friendship with every page.
Wonder | As a society, we are naturally drawn to notice when something is different. Wonder is a book inspired by a true life experience when the author’s son notices a little girl that has birth defects in her facial features to which the author’s son began to cry. When the author took her son away so he wouldn’t offend the little girl and her family. Naturally in similar incidents, society’s first instinct is to look or walk away in order to not offend anyone. However, the author unintendedly offended the family by walking away– thus this situation inspired this book.
A slight twist to the author’s story, Wonder is about two siblings, August and Via who go to school together. Via is a protective older sister of August, the younger brother who has treacher collins syndrome. As this family embarks on August’s journey from homeschooling to a mainstream school, Via learns a valuable lesson in which society can learn from as well.
PaperBoy | Communication is a prime means of human interaction. Speech impairment makes communication difficult, where sounds and general language become a struggle. PaperBoy is a raw novel that displays the challenges of communicating with the public to someone who is speech impaired.
The 11-year old main character takes over a paper route for his friend and is forced to speak to people on his paper route through his stutter. This original storyline removes the feeling of isolation and overcoming disabilities– without being cured.
Accommodation to disabilities goes beyond having a ramp option over stairs, a handicapped waiting line, or even a class dedicated to learning needs. Books are a great way for anyone to engage in education, personal experiences, fantasies, and more. Do you have additional books that would fit in perfectly with this list? We’d love to hear about them. Tweet @client with your suggestions!