PrAACtically Reading: Books Featuring Children & Youth with Disabilities (Updated)

June 24, 2021 by - 8 Comments

PrAACtically Reading: Books Featuring Children & Youth with Disabilities (Updated)
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Looking to freshen up your library of books that include characters with disabilities? This updated list has a few that you may want to check out.

The books in these lists vary in terms of their subject, target audience, and reading level. As with any book that you consider providing to children and youth, be sure to review it first to determine its appropriateness for the individual reader. Some of the books, particularly those for teens, have scenes that are intense and may contain mature content, and/or strong language.

Note: If you have others that you would recommend, please reach out to us and we will update the list.

Books Featuring Children & Youth with Disabilities


  • Dancing Daisies (2013) by Sara Pyszka
  • Fur Cubs Present First Day of School (2010) by C. Lynne Luster
  • How Katie Got a Voice (And A Cool New Nickname) (2012) by Pat Mervine
  • Inside My Outside: An Independent Mind in a Dependent Body (2020) by Sara Pyszka
  • Lucas the Lion Loves the Tiny Talker (2018) by Ryan Rollen and Brittani Rollen
  • My Brother Otto (2019) by Meg Raby
  • My Eyes Can Talk: Adventures of a Rett Girl (2015) by Bruce and Michelle Masse
  • Private Eye Romeo Riley Series (2012) by April M. Whitt
  • On Being Sarah by Elizabeth Helfman
  • Out of My Mind (2010) by Sharon M. Draper
  • Sabita Finds Her Voice (2021) by Stephanie Vavilala
  • Sara’s Surprise (1992) by Nan Holcomb
  • Say What You Will (2015) by Cammie McGovern
  • So Don’t and See What Happens (2012) by Sara Leal
  • Something to Say about My Communication Device (2017) by Eden Molineux
  • Sour Puss (2013) by Sara Leal
  • Switch the Song (2017) by Sara Pyszka
  • Resonating the Sound (2011) by Linda Mitchell Maddox
  • Rules (2007) by Cynthia Lord
  • The Adventures of Bug and Boo: Under the Sea (2018) by Denay Hooks
  • The Boy Who Saw Too Much (2012) by April Whitt
  • The Case of the Crooked Campaign (2012) by Lewis Montgomery
  • The Cottage Tooth Fairy (2013) by Sara Leal
  • Year of the Buttered Cat (2021) by Susan and Lexi Haas


  • A Boy Called Bat (2017) by Elana Arnold & Charles Santoso
  • A Manual for Marco: Living, Learning, and Laughing with an Autistic Sibling (2015) by Iman Tejpar & Shaila Abdullah
  • A Whole New Ball Game: A Rip and Red Book (2015) by Phil Bildner & Tim Probert
  • Al Capone Does My Homework (2014); Al Capone Does My Shirts (2005); Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2011); Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (2018) by Gennifer Choldenko
  • All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism (2015) by Shaina Rudolph & Danielle Royer& Jennifer Zivoin
  • Anything but Typical (2010) by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Apples for Cheyenne: A Story about Autism, Horses, and Friendship (2010) by Elizabeth King Gerlach & Kim Miller
  • Armond Goes to a Party: A Book About Asperger’s and Friendship (2014) by Nancy Carlson & Armond Isaak
  • Blue Ribbon Trail Ride (2016) by David Cook & Miralee Ferrell
  • Crow Boy (1955) by Taro Yashima
  • Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2007) by Lauren Tarshis
  • Every Turtle Counts (2014) by Sara Hoagland Hunter& Susan Spellman
  • Everyday Hero (2016) by Kathleen Cherry
  • Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is (2009) by Heather Henson
  • How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine (2018) by Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, & Giselle Potter
  • How to Say I Love You Out Loud (2015) by Karole Cozzo
  • Ian’s Walk (1998) by Laurie Lears & Karen Ritz
  • Jasper and the Magpie: Enjoying Special Interests Together (2015) by Dan Mayfield& Alex Merry
  • Just My Luck (2016) by Cammie McGovern
  • Kids Like Us (2017) by Hilary Reyl
  • Leah’s Voice (2014) by Lori DeMonia & Monique Turchan
  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend (2012) by Matthew Dicks
  • My Brother Charlie (2010) by Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, & Shane Evans
  • My Brother Sammy (1999) by Becky Edwards & David Armitage
  • My Friend Has Autism (2010) by Amanda Doering Tourville & Kristin Sorra
  • Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles (2011) by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, Nicole Katzman, & Jeremy Tugeau
  • Navigating Early (2013) by Clare Vanderpool
  • Rain Reign (2014) by Ann Martin
  • Remember Dippy (2013) by Shirley Reva Vernick
  • Rookie of the Year (2016) by Phil Bildner& Tim Probert
  • Sarah’s Socks: My World of Autism (2010) by Litsa Kamateros & Nia Morfonios
  • Secrets of the Book (2014) by Erin Fry
  • Silent Days, Silent Dreams (2017) by Allen Say
  • Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book (2012) by Celeste Shally & David Harrington
  • Slider (2017) by Pete Hautman
  • Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am (2012) by Harry Mazur & Peter Lerangis
  • Sometimes Noise is Big: Life with Autism (2017) by Angela Coelho & Camille Robertson
  • Summerlost (2016) by Ally Condie
  • Superstar (2017) by Mandy Davis
  • The Alien Logs of Super Jewels (2015) by B. Bradshaw & Travis Hanson
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) by Mark Haddon
  • The Emperor, C’est Moi (2015) by Hugo Horiot, translated by Linda Coverdale
  • The Girl Who Thought in Pictures (2017) by Julia Finley Mosca & Daniel Rieley
  • The London Eye Mystery (2010) by Siobhan Dowd
  • The Someday Birds (2017) by Sally J. Pla & Julie McLaughlin
  • The Two Trees (2015) by Sally Meadows & Trudi Olfert
  • The World From Up Here (2016) by Cecilia Galante
  • Tillmon County Fire (2009) by Pamela Ehrenberg
  • Tomas Loves: A Rhyming Book about Fun, Friendship and Autism (2015) by Jude Welton & Jane Telford
  • Trainman: Gaining Acceptance…and Friends…Through Special Interests (2010) by Stefan & Barbara Kavan & Michaelin Otis
  • Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome (2008) by Clarabelle van Niekerk, Liezl Venter, & Clarabelle van Niekerk
  • Waiting for Benjamin (2008) by Alexandra Altman& Susan Keeter
  • Waiting for No One (2012) by Beverley Brenna
  • We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3! (2015) by Leslie Kimmelman & Marybeth Nelson
  • West Meadows Detectives: The Case of Maker Mischief (2016) by Liam O’Donnell & Aurelie Grand


  • A Dog Called Homeless (2012) by Sarah Lean
  • Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller (2012) by Doreen Rappaport & Matt Tavares
  • I Am Helen Keller (2015) by Brad Meltzer & Christopher Eliopoulos
  • Me and Mr. Bell (2013) by Phillip Roy
  • Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller (2007) by Sarah Miller
  • She Touched the World: Laura Bridgwater, Deaf-Blind Pioneer (2008) by Sally Hobart & Robert Alexander
  • The Awesome Miss Seeds: Her Courage Overcame Disabilities; Her Determination Changed Schools and Teaching (2016) by Dolores Escobar, Sandra R. Radoff, & Stephen Adams

Intellectual Disabilities

  • A Small White Scar (2006) by K. A. Nuzum
  • A Step Toward Falling (2015) by Cammie McGovern
  • A Time to Run: Stuart and Sam (2018) by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
  • Be Good To Eddie Lee (1993) by Virginia Fleming & Floyd Cooper
  • Because of Winn-Dixie (2001) by Kate DiCamillo
  • Best Kept Secret (2014) by Ann M. Martin
  • Crazy Lady! (1994) by Jane Leslie Conly
  • Dear America, Down the Rabbit Hole (The Diary of Pringle Rose) (2013) by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Dear Blue Sky (2012) by Mary Sullivan
  • Desperate Measures (2011) by Laura Summers
  • Eddyto’s Journey (2018) by Isabel Orellana
  • Encore Edie (2011) by Annabel Lyon
  • Fort (2015) by Cynthia DeFelice
  • Gap Life (2016) by John Coy
  • Half a World Away (2014) by Cynthia Kadohata
  • Keeping Up with Roo (2004) by Sharlee Glenn & Dan Andreasen
  • Me and Rupert Goody (1999) by Barbara O’Connor
  • Mosquitoland (2016) by David Arnold
  • My Louisiana Sky (1998) by Kimberly Willis Holt
  • My Sister, Alicia May (2009) by Nancy Tupper Ling & Shennen Bersani
  • Neil and the Dolphin Adventure: A story about kindness and empathy (2018) by Isabel Orellana (English Edition)
  • Neil y la Aventura con el Delfin: Una historia de amabilidad y empatia (2018) by Isabel Orellana (Spanish Edition)
  • Neil and the Cruise Ship Adventure: A story about kindness and empathy (Neil’s Life and Adventures Book 2) (2018) by Isabel Orellana (English Edition)
  • Pablo Pineda: Being Different is a Value (2016) by Albert Bosch, Maria Sala, & Silvia Alvarez
  • Perfect Game (2013) by Fred Bowen
  • Prince Noah and the School Pirates (2016) by Silke Schnee & Heike Sistig
  • Rain Shadow (2014) by Valerie Sherrard
  • So B. It (2004) by Sarah Weeks
  • The Ables (2015) by Jeremy Scott
  • The Bus People (1989) by Rachel Anderson
  • The Last Best Days of Summer (2010) by Valerie Hobbs
  • The Prince Who Was Just Himself (2015) by Silke Schnee & Heike Sistig
  • This is Ella (2017) by Krista Ewert & Celia Marie Baker
  • Tru Confession (1997) by Janet Tashijan
  • Welcome Home, Jellybean (1988) by Marlene Fanta Shyer
  • When I’m Asleep, I Can Fly (2017) by Jill Ostrowski & Amy Butterfield
  • Why Are You Looking at Me? I Just Have Down Syndrome (2013) by Lisa Tompkins & Ryan Eubanks
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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Susan Haas says:

    My 19 yo daughter with cerebral palsy has cowritten a middle grade book with me about life with CP. Aug Com features prominently in it, as well. I hope you will add this to your list! The Year of the Buttered Cat, by Susan and Lexi Haas. Published April 2021 by Penny Candy Books

  • Jane Lindley says:

    My friend, Victoria Nelson, has written 2 books featuring children with disabilities – I think they would make great additions to your list!

    Hiya Moriah written by Victoria Nelson, Illustrated by Boddz

    I Am Me from A-Z written by Victoria Nelson, Illustrated by Boddz and Rose Reardon

  • Shelley says:

    Hi! I’m a children’s librarian and I have a few additions for your list.

    I also have a handout I made that highlights why I not only dislike the book Rules by Cynthia Lord, but think that it is an actively harmful book:

    We Move Together is my favorite disability book EVER and I can’t stop recommending it to everyone. It has phenomenal representation of Deaf characters, AAC, people using feeding tubes, disabled people as activists, etc etc etc, and is a great story both 1 on 1 and in large groups.

    Get a Grip Vivy Cohen is a delightful middle grade read, about an autistic girl written by an autistic author.

    Moojag and the Auticode Secret is a fun science fiction book about neurodiverse kids by an autistic author.

    I have a few others I enjoy on this list, that don’t fall into your subcategories:
    They include d/Deaf and limb difference, for example. Happy reading!

  • Beth Bowers says:

    Good morning!

    This list is wonderful, and I will definitely be purchasing more than a few books. 😀

    I wrote a children’s picture book with a student of mine who has cerebral palsy and uses Proloquo2go and Proloquo4text. Would you be able to add this book to your list? It’s called “I Have Something to Say” by Beth Bowers. It is available on Amazon.

    Thanks for your consideration, and have a great day!!

  • Shaun Pearson says:

    This is terrific! Thank you! So many titles I was unaware of!

  • Deanna Wagner says:

    Has anybody noticed if any of these books have Spanish versions (or are bilingual)?

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