Books about Disability Rights
The following books feature discussion and resources about the disability rights movement. The books have been grouped for adults, teens, and children and can be borrowed from the Roslindale Branch.
Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans With Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights
By Lennard Johnson
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the widest-ranging and most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation ever passed in the United States, and it has become the model for disability-based laws around the world. Yet the surprising story behind how the bill came to be is little known. Published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, Enabling Acts promises to ignite readers in a discussion of disability rights by documenting this “eyes on the prize” moment for tens of millions of American citizens.
Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability
By Sheila Black
Beauty is a Verb is a ground-breaking anthology of disability poetry, essays on disability, and writings on the poetics of both. Crip Poetry. Disability Poetry. Poems with Disabilities. This is where poetry and disability intersect, overlap, collide and make peace.
Criptionary: Disability Humor and Satire
By Maria Palacios
This humorous collection brings attention to the everyday struggles and obstacles faced by persons with disabilities as it transforms the political incorrectness of the word “crip” into a message of disability power and activism through which we reclaim our bodies and our lives.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
By Jonathan Evison
In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (releasing June 24, 2016 as a Netflix Original Film titled The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez), Jonathan Evison, author of the new novel This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! and the New York Times bestseller West of Here, has crafted a novel of the heart, a story of unlikely heroes in a grand American landscape.
Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation
By Eli Clare
First published in 1999, the groundbreaking Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare’s revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability and permanently changed the landscape of disability politics and queer liberation.
Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children
By Natalie Erenah
Swan Mothers guides parents through the experience of raising autistic, ADHD, highly-sensitive, and otherwise uniquely magnificent children. The book relays stories of real mothers parenting not-what-I-expected children and shares fresh tools and techniques for moving from frazzled and frustrated to living a fabulous life.
Laughing at My Nightmare
By Shane Burcaw
With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw’s Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a “you-only-live-once” perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life-threatening disease.
Owning It: Stories About Teens with Disabilities
By Donald Gallo
Chris Crutcher takes us on a wild ride through the mind of a teen with ADD, while David Lubar’s protagonist gets a sobering lesson from his friends. In Gail Giles’s tale, Brad can’t help barking at his classmates but finds understanding when he gives a comical (and informative) presentation to his entire school. And Robert Lipsyte introduces us to an elite task force whose number-one enemy is cancer. Whether their disabilities are physical or psychological, the subjects of these powerful short stories — written by ten outstanding young adult authors — meet every day with wit, intelligence, and courage.
The Orange Houses
By Philip Griffin
Meet Tamika Sykes, Mik to her friends (if she had any). She’s hearing impaired and way too smart for her West Bronx high school. She copes by reading lips and selling homework answers and looks forward to the time each day when she can be alone in her room drawing. She’s a tough girl who never gets close to anyone until she meets Fatima, a teenage refugee who sells newspapers on Mik’s block. Both Mik and Fatima unite in their efforts to befriend Jimmi, a homeless vet who is shunned by the rest of the community. The events that follow when these three outcasts converge will break open their close-knit community and change the lives of those living in the Orange Houses in explosive and unexpected ways.
The Running Dream
By Wendelin Van Draanen
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels odd both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
Anything But Typical
By Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoenixBird — her name is Rebecca — could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to meet her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca will only see his autism and not who Jason really is. By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy’s struggles—and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
Thank You, Mr. Falker
By Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.
Don’t Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability
By Pat Thomas
This delightful picture book explores questions and concerns about physical disabilities in a simple and reassuring way. Younger children can find out about individual disabilities, special equipment that is available to help the disabled, and how people of all ages can deal with disabilities and live happy and full lives.
I Can, Can You?
By Majorie Pitzer
I CAN, CAN YOU? is the perfect book for parents and children to enjoy together. As your child sits on your lap and you read to him, he’ll see other children with Down syndrome modeling some things he can do and some which he will soon do. Reinforce your child’s abilities (Look at the boy going down the slide. You can do that!) and encourage the possibilities (Do you see the girl drawing a picture?). What’s more, as you read to your child and as he plays with the book and turns the pages, he will gain important pre-reading skills.
My First Book of Sign Language
By Joan Holub
This beginner’s guide to fingerspelling and sign language contains the sign for each letter of the alphabet along with signs for words that begin with each letter.
Some Kids Use Wheelchairs
By Lola Schaefer
Teach diversity and tolerance to young readers, and help them understand and appreciate those children who have health differences. Colorful photos show kids with disabilities enjoying activities with their peers.
I Am Helen Keller
By Brad Meltzer
When Helen Keller was very young, she got a rare disease that made her deaf and blind. Suddenly, she couldn’t see or hear at all, and it was hard for her to communicate with anyone. But when she was six years old, she met someone who change her life forever: her teacher, Annie Sullivan. With Miss Sullivan’s help, Helen learned how to speak sign language and read Braille. Armed with the ability to express herself, Helen grew up to become a social activist, leading the fight for people with disabilities and so many other causes.