Portrayal of disability in a positive way and can assist people with understanding disability from a different perspective; for senior students.


See ya, Simon by David Hill. Although sad - it is realistic & Simon has a good group of friends, and his disability is just something about him - but not all he is (if you know what I mean!). See ya, Simon won the Nasen Award - so info on that award might help - http://www.nasen.org.uk/awards/ and http://www.booktrust.org.uk/show/feature/Bookmark-Nasen-awards.

Petey by Ben Mikaelsen. This is about cerebral palsy from the sufferer’s perspective and how others treat him - Very sad but uplifting.

Reach for the sky - the story of Douglas Bader........for those (unlike me) too young to know who he was, a British air ace of the 2nd world war who lost both legs in an air accident before the war. Appeals to boys particularly.

My left foot by Christy Brown.

Love you to bits and pieces - life with David Helfgott. The story of the Australian pianist who was a child prodigy but suffered a mental breakdown and how he triumphed over adversity.

Torn Apart by James Patterson & Hal Friedman – biographically written from a teenagers view (Hal’s son) who suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome.

Accidents of nature / Harriet McBryde Johnson. From the blurb: “Seventeen year old Jean has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, but she lives as normal a life as possible. Then she arrives at Camp Courage and meets Sara, who welcomes her to ‘Crip Camp’ and nicknames her Spazzo. Sara is full of rage and revolution against the unthinking condescension of the able-bodied and in her company Jean’s world view shifts. The camp session is only ten days long, but that may be all it takes to change a life forever.”

Breakdown lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard has a main character who develops MS, although this isn’t the main focus of the book.

Stoner and Spaz by Ron Koertge. I really liked this one. The blurb on the back says: “Nicknamed Spaz because of the cerebral palsy that has disabled him since birth, Ben’s a real loner. Living with his overprotective grandmother, he escapes whenever he can to the decrepit Rialto Theatre to watch old movies – and it’s here, one fateful Friday evening, that he runs into Colleen Minou. Drugged up, outspoken, clad in ripped tights and a neon miniskirt, she’s the kind of trouble Ben’s spent his life avoiding. But when Colleen climbs into the seat beside him and rests a woozy head on his shoulder, it’s the start of relationship that will alter Ben’s life, forever.” Spaz is a neat character with a great sense of humour.

The London Eye Mystery. The main character is a boy called Ted who has Aspergers or autism. It’s shaping up well, though not in the league yet of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time.

Don't Just Sit There - Tony Christiansen & Liz Dobson. Qualified surf lifeguard, champion swimmer, second degree black belt in tae-kwon-do. Speedway and racing car champion, gold-winning athlete in world games - a qualified pilot, successful businessman a husband and a father of three children...and he has no legs. At nine years of age Tony Christiansen lost his legs in a railway accident but chose NOT to say 'can't'.

Never Tell Me Never - Janine Shepherd. Janine was training for her Olympic cross country skiing event when she was involved in an accident - her story is of courage and determination and inspiration.

One Stroppy Jockey / The Christine Lawn Story with Sandy McKay. Christine fell from a horse during a horse race at Wingatui. She was told she'd never walk again and she'd spend her days in a wheelchair. Story of Christines' courageous struggle in the Burwood spinal unit - her determination to find a new independence and her spirited resolve to walk again. An inspiration to us all..

To The Max - Mark Inglis Another great book about a New Zealander overcoming adversity.

Into the Void by Joe Simpson is another story not about permanent disability, but about the strength of character one associates with the other stories mentioned.


A friend like Henry by Nuala Gardner - autism.

Naked Without a Hat by Jeanne Willis. It is not a primary school level book. When reading it, the reader knows something is wrong, but all is not revealed till the end.

Every Day's a Good Day by William Pike. He survived a lahar on Muont Ruapehu and lost his lower right leg. He has since gone back into full time Primary teaching, has been climbing, kayaking, bush walking and is even trying out crampons on the snow! It's a very inspirational and fun book. Including exploits from his school days when he wasn't quite the model student. The book is a great read suitable for children with some lovely full colour pictures of his leg before surgery.

Riding on the bus with my sister by Rachael Simon is inspirational, easy to read and challenging.
http://www.rachelsimon.com/ A young woman gives up work to spend time with her sister who is most happy when riding on the busses in a large city, she knows all the people on the busses and all the drivers talk and are her friends. A great book about how people with special needs are judged and how they can make us examine our lives and examine our priorities. For mature readers.

One Unknown by Gill Hicks is a survivor of the London 2006 tube station bombing and excellent reading – inspirational and not too old.

Life in His Hands by Susan Wyndham – the story of a young pianist with a brain tumour and how he tried to beat it with the help of his innovative surgeon. He does die in the end, but it is a fantastic book all the same!


Some others from the AGGS catalogue

Brodie
Cowley, Joy
Brodie was a really cool guy, always lots of fun to be with and an awesome artist. We knew he was sick, but we never thought he'd die! Death and disability

Scented gardens for the blind
Frame, Janet
Hailed by one reviewer as 'likely a work of genius', Scented Gardens for the Blind (first published in 1963) ostensibly follows the members of the fractured Glace family, suffering from different forms of sensory deprivation; the daughter mute, the mother blind, the father estranged, yet each living in a vivid world of their own making. While the father looks to the past in his obsessions with genealogy and toy soldiers, the modern age hangs over them with the hint of nuclear apocalypse. But all is not what it seems in this dark and dazzling novel, and Janet Frame's narrative virtuosity is expressed in an ending that makes the reader re-interpret all that has gone before.

Hine's rainbow
Holloway, Judith Bryers
Spina Bifida

Buddy
Jones, V.M.
Winner of the Junior Fiction and Best First Book Awards in the 2003 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards – disability as a result of injury – impact on sibling

The raging quiet
Jordan, Sherryl
IBBY Honour Book 2002
Forced into marriage to an older man to save her family from eviction, Marnie is soon widowed by a freak accident. She is befriended by Raven who she discovers is not mad but deaf. They form a friendship through sign language. But this brings accusation of witchcraft by the villagers. A story of prejudice and courage. Paperback 320 pages 1999


A Mango-shaped Space
Mass, Wendy
Synesthesia - Winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, honoring artistic expression of the disability experience.
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special colour with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her.


Peeling the onion
Orr, Wendy
Anna is used to being athletic, popular, 'normal'. But after a terrible car accident she feels the layers of her familiar self being peeled away: nothing is normal or easy.

Bad Alice
Ure, Jean
Duffy has been left with his gran for the holidays. What is he going to do for 6 whole weeks? His Tourette's Syndrome means he can hardly string a sentence together let alone go out and meet friends - and then Alice appears on his gran's garden wall. Bold, brave, bad Alice - she's loud, foul-mouthed, bruising for a fight and not in the least fazed by Duffy's Tourette's. But as their friendship grows, Duffy realises that there is someone she is scared of...

Helen Keller
various