The best children’s books for kids with disabilities

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and I currently work as a High School Guidance Counselor for the past 25 years. I love kids and I love helping them to understand and love themselves and helping them to love and accept others as well. These books, even though the target audience is young (0-11 years old), older kids and adults can learn something from them as well. Sometimes a simple message is more powerful than a bunch of words.

I wrote...

Gloria and the Unicorn

By Wanda Luthman,

Book cover of Gloria and the Unicorn

What is my book about?

Gloria and the Unicorn will delight you and pull on your heart strings as Gloria struggles with her facial disfigurement and wanting to fit in. Gloria’s mother died and her father gave her to Miss Libby, the owner of a children’s home. Miss Libby loves the little girl and feels protective of her. But it’s not until Sir Louie, the unicorn, arrives that Gloria starts to believe in herself. She has a conflict at school and never wants to go back but then she finds herself in an even worse situation; she encounters the evil Wizards of Malcadore who want to kill her. She must decide if she will face her fear of certain death to save her friend, Sir Louie, or lose him forever.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of What Happened to You?

Wanda Luthman Why did I love this book?

This book is awesome because often when children see someone who is different from them, they ask a question that can be considered rude or hurtful without them meaning to be rude or hurtful. They are just being curious. This book shows how that sort of question can be hurtful and shows children another more important way to interact with someone who is different and that is with empathy.

By James Catchpole, Karen George (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What Happened to You? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first ever picture book addressing how a disabled child might want to be spoken to.

What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off?

Every time Joe goes out the questions are the same . . . what happened to his leg? But is this even a question Joe has to answer?

A ground-breaking, funny story that helps children understand what it might feel like to be seen as different.

'A revolutionary book on disability.' Inclusive Storytime

'Catchpole's beautifully judged, child-friendly words ably evoke the fatigue and wariness of repeatedly being asked…

Book cover of Can Bears Ski?

Wanda Luthman Why did I love this book?

This book is a picture book for a younger audience. Can you imagine being born deaf but no one around you knows it? That's what this book shows through a Bear who isn't responding to his friends when they speak to him. Fortunately, his Dad figures it out and takes him to a doctor where he is fitted with hearing aids. This book will help children that are deaf and their friends who may not always understand what it's like to be deaf.

By Raymond Antrobus, Polly Dunbar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can Bears Ski? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The debut children's book from Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus that tracks a father-and-son journey into the discovery and management of deafness.

This new paperback edition includes an illustrated BSL alphabet.

Boy Bear cannot hear Dad Bear coming to wake him up in the morning but he can feel the floor vibrate with his heavy footsteps. He can only grasp little bits of what his teacher says to him at school. He cannot catch what his friends are laughing at. And, all the time, Boy Bear keeps hearing the question, "Can Bears ski?" What does it mean? With the…

Book cover of The Chance to Fly

Wanda Luthman Why did I love this book?

This book is about a girl in a wheelchair who is cast in the middle school play. I love this book because it helps us understand the challenges of being in a wheelchair as well as all the challenges that go along with being a middle schooler. It addresses all those identity issues that occur during that age with the added challenge of being in a wheelchair.

By Ali Stroker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Chance to Fly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations-and gravity-from Tony award-winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz

Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there's one thing she's absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there's not a cast album she hasn't memorized and belted along to. She's never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair…

Book cover of The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

Wanda Luthman Why did I love this book?

I love this picture book because it's based on a true story! The girl in this picture book was diagnosed with autism. She overcame this disability and has made improvements in the world around her. This story will inspire anyone who thinks differently to know that they have something to offer the world.

By Julia Finley Mosca, Daniel Rieley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Girl Who Thought in Pictures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NSTA Best STEM Books for K-12 Selection
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books Selection
Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award Recipient
A Mighty Girl Book of the Year

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals…

Book cover of A Friend for Henry

Wanda Luthman Why did I love this book?

This book is one of my favorites because Henry is looking for a friend. Someone who truly cares about him. I think that's everyone's quest in life, so very relatable. But, furthermore, Henry, being on the autism spectrum, finds making friends very difficult. I love that there's a book to help children on the spectrum see that they can make friends.

By Jenn Bailey, Mika Song (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Friend for Henry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

2020 Schneider Family Honor Book

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend-or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.

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The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

Book cover of The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

John Winn Miller

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Hunt for the Peggy C is best described as Casablanca meets Das Boot. It is about an American smuggler who struggles to rescue a Jewish family on his rusty cargo ship, outraging his mutinous crew of misfits and provoking a hair-raising chase by a brutal Nazi U-boat captain bent on revenge.

During the nerve-wracking 3,000-mile escape, Rogers falls in love with the family’s eldest daughter, Miriam, a sweet medical student with a militant streak. Everything seems hopeless when Jake is badly wounded, and Miriam must prove she’s as tough as her rhetoric to put down a mutiny by some of Jake’s fed-up crew–just as the U-boat closes in for the kill.

The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

What is this book about?

John Winn Miller's THE HUNT FOR THE PEGGY C, a semifinalist in the Clive Cussler Adventure Writers Competition, captures the breathless suspense of early World War II in the North Atlantic. Captain Jake Rogers, experienced in running his tramp steamer through U-boat-infested waters to transport vital supplies and contraband to the highest bidder, takes on his most dangerous cargo yet after witnessing the oppression of Jews in Amsterdam: a Jewish family fleeing Nazi persecution.

The normally aloof Rogers finds himself drawn in by the family's warmth and faith, but he can't afford to let his guard down when Oberleutnant Viktor…

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Interested in theatres, bears, and amputation?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about theatres, bears, and amputation.

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