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July is Disability Pride Month!

What is disability pride? According to the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), “Disability Pride is the idea that people with disabilities should be proud of their disabled identity. People with disabilities are the largest and most diverse minority within the population, representing all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, religions and socio-economic backgrounds.

Disability pride focuses on the social model of disability. The disability community views the social model as more positive than the medical model, which is often used to subdue and/or place the individual in a less-empowered role.”

To celebrate and bring awareness, the Youth Services department would like to highlight the books in their collection that focus on a protagonist with a disability.

Emmanuel’s dream : the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people–but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Hello goodbye dog by Maria Gianferrari

A student who uses a wheelchair finds a way to see her dog each day in school.

We’re amazing 1, 2, 3! : [a story about friendship and autism] by Leslie Kimmelman

This story stars Elmo, Abby, and their friend Julia, who has autism. Together, the three pals have a delightful playdate.

I will dance by Nancy Bo Flood and Julianna Swaney

Eva’s cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to do many things, but she longs to dance and, finally, her dream is realized. Includes author’s note and information about Young Dance Company.

Just ask! : be different be brave, be you by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael Lopez

In Just Ask , United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges–and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Rescue & Jessica : a life-changing friendship by Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Scott Magoon

When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn’t up to the task of being her service dog.

My three best friends and me, Zulay by Cari Best and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Zulay and her three best friends are all in the same first grade class and study the same things, even though Zulay is blind. When their teacher asks her students what activity they want to do on Field Day, Zulay surprises everyone when she says she wants to run a race. With the help of a special aide and the support of her friends, Zulay does just that.

Hands & Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli and Amy Bates

A mother and daughter spend a sunny day at the beach together where they swim, dance, build sandcastles, and, most importantly, communicate. But their communication is not spoken; rather, it is created by loving hands that use American Sign Language. Readers will learn how to sign 15 words using American Sign Language with the help of sidebars that are both instructive and playful. And the beautifully illustrated beach scenes will appeal both to the deaf community and to hearing parents and children, who will enjoy this gentle introduction to some basic words in ASL. Hands & Hearts is a picture book unlike any other, revealing the special bond between mother and child.

I am not a label : 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present by Cerrie Burnell and Lauren Mark Baldo

This book brings together 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present. Find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences and paved the way for others by making their bodies and minds work for them. These short biographies tell the stories of people who have faced unique challenges which have not stopped them from becoming trailblazers, innovators, advocates and makers. Each person is a leading figure in their field, be it sport, science, maths, art, breakdance or the world of pop.

Not so different : what you really want to ask about having a disability by Shane Burcaw

A picture book answering the questions young children ask Shane Burcaw about his wheelchair and life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy with equal parts optimism, humor, and empathy.

King for a Day by Rukshana Khan and Christiane Kromer

Malik, a Pakistani boy who uses a wheelchair, is excited to compete in the annual kite-flying festival of Basant. Can his kite defeat the bully’s and make him “King” of the festival?

This lively, contemporary story introduces readers to a centuries-old festival and the traditional sport of kite fighting, and to a spirited, determined young boy who masters the sport while finding his own way to face and overcome life’s challenges.

Wink : surviving middle school with one eye open by Rob Harrell

A hilarious and heartwrenching story about surviving middle school–and an unthinkable diagnosis–while embracing life’s weirdness.

Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn’t want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don’t know what to say to “the cancer kid.” But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table.

Based on Rob Harrell’s real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life’s weirdness.

Song for a whale by Lynne Kelly

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.

Resources:

https://www.ameridisability.com/post/how-to-display-disability-pride

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/disability-is-diversity/202107/disability-pride-month-disability-is-broader-you-think