Genre Feature: Disabled/Neurodiverse #OwnVoices

Happy 30th Anniversary to the Americans with Disabilities Act! Despite the fact that roughly 1 in 4 Americans have a disability, we rarely see people with disabilities depicted in fiction. It’s even harder to find accurate depictions of characters with those disabilities. With that in mind, we scoured our physical and digital holdings to find books about people with disabilities, written by authors who share at least one of those disabilities. (Since we have such narrow holdings, I also included neurodiverse authors, as they can sometimes be grouped in with disabled people.)

Notice some big names not on this list? Click on these titles to learn more: Me Before You, Wonder, The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time

Are all the books below great examples of representation? I don’t know. I’m no expert, and I don’t have any of these disabilities myself. But, at the very least, these are all #OwnVoices stories.

El Deafo
by Cece Bell

Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school — in the hallway… in the teacher’s lounge… in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Can Cece channel her power into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

Ebook – Hardcopy at RML

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens
by Eddie Izzard

Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proven himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen, and raised in Ireland, Wales and post-war England, he lost his mother at the age of six. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a two-man escape act; when his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man act, and thus a career was ignited. Izzard broke the mold performing in full make-up and heels, and has become as famous for his advocacy for LGBT rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from street busking to London’s West End, to Wembley Stadium and New York’s Madison Square Garden.

ebookaudiobook

Six of Crows (and Crooked Kingdom)
by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Both available in hardcopy at RML – ebook

Into the Drowning Deep
by Mira Grant

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Available in hardcopy at RML

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens
edited by Marieke Nijkamp

This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.

available as an ebook

This is Where it Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp

10:00 a.m.: The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m.: The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03:
The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05:
Someone starts shooting.
In 54 minutes, four students must confront their greatest hopes, and darkest fears, as they come face-to-face with the boy with the gun.

ebook

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