This post contains Amazon links.
I adore reading. Last year, I somehow managed to read 55 books in spite of my crazy schedule. Youth and YA chapter books are some of my favorites. I especially love books containing strong, awesome characters (who happen to have disabilities)!
The following is a list of books that I personally have read and adored. I would highly recommend them to any teacher, parent, or therapist! I will add to this list as I read more and more amazing books! (Click on each image to see the book on Amazon.)
Wonder by RJ Palacio: An amazing story of 5th grader, August, who is attending his first year in public school. August was born with multiple cranio-facial differences and has had multiple surgeries. His appearance make acceptance by his peers difficult, but watch out world…August is one fantastic character!
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick: I absolutely adored this book, which has few words and many, many, many gorgeous illustrations. The story goes back and forth between two characters and two generations. Both of these characters are hearing impaired and trying to find something they desperately seek.
Rules by Cynthia Lord: Twelve year old Catherine is trying to help her younger brother, who has autism, learn the rules of living in the social world. She is also discovering the difficulties of friendship with both disabled and non-disabled peers.
The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White: Many do not realize that this classic story by E. B. White is an early Alternative and Augmentative Communication story! Louis the swan has no voice, so he learns to communicate beautifully with the help of a trumpet!
Al Copone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko: Moose Flanagan has just moved to Alcatraz Island, where his father is a prison guard. The family moved to San Francisco so that Moose’s sister can attend a special school for children with special needs. Moose is an amazing brother and great kid trying to navigate a difficult living and home environment. I took my children to Alcatraz recently with the hopes that they would love this book as much as I do!
Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine: Caitlin has Asperger’s and since the death of her brother, she is very alone. This story explores Caitlin learning to accept the loss of her brother and learning how to make friends.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: This is one of a series of 4 absolutely incredible books, that in my opinion, ranks second for best series ever (Harry Potter will always be number one). Kira’s mother has died and she is completely alone in a futuristic world in which her physical disability is reason enough for society to end her life. But Kira is smart, brave, and possesses an incredible skill. This story reveals how she survives, when her own town does not want her to do so.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper: This may be my second all time favorite book ever (A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favorite). I absolutely adored this story of a non-verbal child that with the help of AAC proves she is not only the most intelligent mind in her school, but possibly her town.
If you are looking for great chapter books, see my list here.
Okay, now it’s your turn! What books should I add to my library list??