Kids Booklists

Disabilities Booklist

    Byars, Betsy. The Summer of the Swans, 1970. j Award.

      Fourteen-year-old Sara experiences the opposite mood extremes that accompany growing up; grudging tolerance, affectionate envy and her tender, wordless love for Charlie, her mentally handicapped younger brother. When Charlie disappears Sara learns a lot about love and life. A Newbery Award Winner.


    De Angeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall. 1949. j Award.

      Set in fourteenth-century England, follow the adventures and misadventures of young Robin, crippled son of a great lord, who struggles to prove his courage and win the King's recognition. A Newbery Award Winner.


    Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. 2004 j Fiction

      When she is an infant, Heidi and her mentally disabled mother arrive at the doorstep of Bernadette, who suffers from agoraphobia. Bernadette takes good care of Heidi and her mother, but no one can tell Heidi what she longs to know: her history. Fueled by curiosity and old photographs Heidi sets out on an amazing journey.


    Lamstein, Sarah. Hunger Moon. 2004. j Fiction

      Quick, episodic glimpses into sixth-grader Ruth Tepper's life in 1954 reveal a family beset by the random, confusing, contagious effects of anger. Ruth, frequent caregiver for her three younger brothers, is hungry for what she lacks: warmth, comfort, and attention that her obsessively tidy, perfectionist mother and inarticulate father fail to give her. A swirl of volatile emotions seems to churn particularly around Eddy, the next oldest, a mentally retarded third-grader with a penchant for maps.


    Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. 1998. j Fiction.

      In this rollercoaster of a ride, ingenuously and breathlessly narrated by young Joey Pigza, readers are treated to an up-close and personal introduction to life with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder – or being "wired," – as Joey puts it. Forthright, kidlike commentary has an unaffected charm in this compelling tragicomedy. National Book Award Finalist.


    Denenberg, Barry. Mirror Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, 2002 j Series DEA

      In 1932, twelve-year-old Bess begins attending Perkins School for the Blind following an accident in which she loses her sight. Her twin sister records Bess's diary entries for her, and writes a few herself, providing an additional point of view to round out the narrative. Denenberg creates a convincing, engaging portrait of Bess's adjustment to her new school and her new life.


    Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral. 2000. j Fiction and Teen Fiction

      Born with cerebral palsy and unable to communicate, Shawn is presumed to have the mental age of a three-month-old. Bright, funny, occasionally sarcastic, and astonishingly optimistic, Shawn longs to make contact with others. This fascinatingly horrifying premise evokes one of our darkest fears and deepest hopes--that a fully conscious being may be hidden within such a broken body, as yet unable to declare his existence.


    Konigsburg, E. L. Silent to the Bone. 2000. j Fiction

      Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb on Wednesday, November 25, at 2:43 p.m, Eastern Standard Time. A British au pair contends that thirteen-year-old Branwell dropped and shook his infant half-sister, a charge he cannot deny as he was rendered mute by the traumatic event. This edgy, thought-provoking novel explores the mysterious web of complex emotions that surrounds the case and is written with Konigsburg's trademark wit.


    Martin, Ann M. A Corner of the Universe. 2002. Teen and J AC; J CD.

      The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.