By Nicole Jones
As we all know, diversity matters and everyone should feel represented in literature in some way. For many reasons, it’s important for children to have someone that represents them in some way, while also providing them someone they can relate to.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to find books that feature disabled and/or neurodiverse characters. It’s even rarer to find good books on those topics, meaning books that are positive, authentic and real.
However, these five books which feature disabilities and neurodiverse characters are tailored towards elementary-aged kids. They provide a great starting point to help children find someone they can connect with.
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold: This book is about an autistic boy named Bat who loves animals. There are also two other books in this series: Bat and the Waiting Game and Bat and the End of Everything.
El Deafo by Cece Bell: In this book, the author shares her childhood experience of losing her hearing and having to wear a hearing aid.
Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt: The main character Ally, has dyslexia and struggles to learn to read as a result.This book does a great job of showcasing what challenges a dyslexic reader faces in school while also highlighting the power of a good teacher.
Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper: This book features 11-year-old Melody, who is non-verbal, physically disabled and has cerebral palsy.
The State Of Grace by Rachael Lucas: Written by a woman with autism, The State of Grace is about an autistic teenager named Grace.