July is Disability Pride Month! Check out the titles on this all-ages reading list carefully curated by your librarians.
Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus
Youth Picture Books ANT
Little Bear feels the world around him. He feels the floor shake when someone stomps to get his attention – but something is missing. Little Bear is not sure what is happening. All around him he hears the familiar refrain: “Can bears ski?” Then Dad Bear takes him to see an audiologist and they learn that Little Bear has been experiencing deafness. With new hearing aids, he discovers that “Can bears ski?” is actually “Can you hear me?” His new world is loud and will take some getting used to, but with the love and support of Dad Bear, Little Bear will find his way.
I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
Youth Picture Books SCO
When a child has a “bad speech day” at school, his father gives him a new perspective on his stuttering.
Emma Every Day series by C. L. Reid
Youth Easy Readers EMM
Emma Carter loves swimming, writing, and biking. She also loves her pet goldfish and tacos. In general, Emma loves her life! Emma is Deaf and uses her cochlear implant to help he hear. She uses sign language too. Every day is a new chance to have fun, and Emma does just that by conquering daily challenges with a positive and nonstop determination.
Aven Green series by Dusti Bowling
Youth Early Chapter Books AVEN GREEN
Aven Green, the remarkable heroine of Dusti Bowling’s Life of a Cactus series, marches to her own beat in this hilarious, upbeat, and unforgettable chapter book.
The Chance to Fly by Ali StRoker
Youth Fiction STROKER
After moving across the country, thirteen-year-old Natalie auditions for her new school’s play and overcomes her fears and insecurities about performing in a wheelchair.
I Am Not a Label by Cerrie Burnell
Youth Nonfiction J 303 B
This book brings together 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present. In this stylishly illustrated biography anthology, meet 30 artists, thinkers, athletes and activists with disabilities, from past and present.
The Words In My Hands by Asphyxia
Teen Fiction ASPHYXIA
Near-future Australia is controlled by Organicore, a company that produces the “perfectly balanced” synthetic meals that have all but replaced wild food, but Piper McBride, sixteen, deaf, and cued white, begins to wonder if wild food is as dangerous as Organicore’s propaganda says.
tHE fIRST tHING aBOUT yOU by cHAZ hAYDEN
Teen Fiction HAYDEN
A high school student with spinal muscular atrophy is determined to reinvent himself in a hilarious and poignant debut from an exciting new voice.
The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes
Teen Fiction REYES
Ariana Ruiz wants to be noticed. But as an autistic girl who never talks, she goes largely ignored by her peers–despite her bold fashion choices. So when cute, popular Luis starts to pay attention to her, Ari finally feels seen. Luis’s attention soon turns to something more, and they have sex at a party–while Ari didn’t say no, she definitely didn’t say yes. Before she has a chance to process what happened and decide if she even has the right to be mad at Luis, the rumor mill begins churning–thanks, she’s sure, to Luis’s ex-girlfriend, Shawni. Boys at school now see Ari as an easy target, someone who won’t say no. Then Ari finds a mysterious note in her locker that eventually leads her to a group of students determined to expose Luis for the predator he is. To her surprise, she finds genuine friendship among the group, including her growing feelings for the very last girl she expected to fall for. But in order to take Luis down, she’ll have to come to terms with the truth of what he did to her that night–and risk everything to see justice done.
Letters for Joy by Melissa See
Teen Fiction SEE
Less than a year away from graduation, 17-year-old Joy is too busy overachieving to be worried about relationships. She’s determined to be Caldwell Prep’s first disabled valedictorian. And she only has one person to beat, her academic rival Nathaniel. But it’s senior year and everyone seems to be obsessed with pairing up. One of her best friends may be developing feelings for her. Joy starts to wonder if she has missed out on a quintessential high school experience. She is asexual, but that’s no reason she can’t experience first love, right? But falling in love might mean risking what she wants most.
A Face for Picasso by Ariel Henley
Teen Biographies BIO HENLEY
A YA nonfiction story about Ariel and her twin sister’s experience living with Crouzon Syndrome
True Biz by Sara Novic
Adult Fiction NOVIC
True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they’ll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both at the same time.
Disability Visibility by Alice Wong
Adult Nonfiction 305.9 D
Disability rights activist Alice Wong brings tough conversations to the forefront of society with this anthology. It sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences. It’s an eye-opening collection that readers will revisit time and time again.
Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig
Adult Nonfiction 362.43 T
From disability advocate with a PhD in disability studies and creative nonfiction, and creator of the Instagram account @sittingpretty, an essay collection based on a lifetime of experiences in a paralyzed body, tackling themes of identity, accessibility, bodies, and representation.
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
Adult Nonfiction 616.898 W
Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the ‘collected schizophrenias’ but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life.
Your Hearts, Your Scars by Adina Talve-Goodman
Adult Nonfiction 617.412 T
Adina Talve-Goodman was born with a congenital heart condition and survived multiple operations over the course of her childhood, including a heart transplant at age nineteen. In these seven essays, she tells the story of her chronic illness and her youthful search for love and meaning, never forgetting that her adult life is tied to the loss of another person-the donor of her transplanted heart.