The best YA books with amputee characters

Who am I?

I’m a YA writer who likes to tackle difficult subject matter. My books cover things like euthanasia, drug abuse, coming out, and accessing sex as someone with a disability. If my books are found by even just one person who needs to see themselves in a story, then I feel like my job is done.

I wrote...


By Kate Larkindale,

Book cover of Stumped

What is my book about?

Ozzy has a super-hot girlfriend who’s ready to take their relationship to the next level.  But a missing condom scuttles his plans for seduction. Furious, Ozzy takes his girlfriend home and drives off—into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up with both legs amputated above the knees.

When his girlfriend runs out gagging after one look at him, Ozzy knows he’s a hideous freak. Determined to prove he can be a man despite his disability, Ozzy throws himself into dumping his virginity, but finds there are few people willing to touch legless dudes in wheelchairs. His obsession takes him into an underworld where he discovers the difference between sex and intimacy, and that sometimes the price is much higher than a sex worker’s fee.

The books I picked & why

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Finding Balance

By Kati Gardner,

Book cover of Finding Balance

Why this book?

This book deals with two different experiences of being a cancer survivor which is not something I've seen in a book before. I liked the way the book explored the idea of visible and invisible disabilities and how people view them differently. It's not a subject I've seen covered often in YA books and it's something so many people deal with every day. Jase was a jerk through a lot of the book, but I felt like this behavior was realistic given his past and his desire not to be seen through the cancer lens. His growth through the book was the most significant and it was gratifying to see the way his friendship with Mari changed his perspective on the world and his place in it.

I'll Meet You There

By Heather Demetrios,

Book cover of I'll Meet You There

Why this book?

All the characters in this book felt totally real and the situations they find themselves in and live through are honest.  And I’m not just talking about the main characters here – all the supporting characters have their own personalities and don’t resort to stereotypes as shorthand.  The romance developed organically and felt like something healthy that both Josh and Skylar needed in order to really accept who they are.

The Opposite of Falling Apart

By Micah Good,

Book cover of The Opposite of Falling Apart

Why this book?

I really enjoyed this book. Both main characters had real problems to deal with and the ways they coped and reacted felt authentic, even when they frustrated me. Jonas and Brennan are sweet kids and I was rooting for them to work out ways to overcome their issues and realize they were better together than they were on their own.  I also liked that their parents were part of the picture and were just as clumsy in the way they dealt with their kids' problems as their kids. It was clear they really loved them and wanted the best for them, but they were no better prepared to deal with these issues.

The Summer I Found You

By Jolene Perry,

Book cover of The Summer I Found You

Why this book?

Perry has created two great characters in Aidan and Kate. Both are damaged in their own ways – Kate has diabetes and Aidan lost an arm in Afghanistan - and certain their problems are the only things that define them. Watching them grow and change and accept that they are so much more than their problems makes this a satisfying read.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

By Stephanie Oakes,

Book cover of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Why this book?

Minnow is a fascinating character having narrowly escaped the cult she’s been living in for twelve years. They took her hands, but she’s alive and away from the daily cruelties the cult subjected her to. The authorities want her to tell them everything, but Minnow wants her freedom and won’t give up her secrets for anything less. So she’s stuck in a detention center with too much time to remember the events that led to her escape and the carnage she left behind.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in people with disabilities, amputation, and cults?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about people with disabilities, amputation, and cults.

People With Disabilities Explore 39 books about people with disabilities
Amputation Explore 9 books about amputation
Cults Explore 23 books about cults

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Izzy, Willy-Nilly, The One Thing, and Navigating the Transition from High School to College for Students with Disabilities if you like this list.