7 books that feature characters with disabilities

Wednesday, 9 June, 2021 - 1:48 pm


It’s important that children feel represented in the shows they watch and the books they read. It’s equally important for all children to be exposed to the beautiful diversity of our world. We’ve rounded up 7 books that feature characters with disabilities that promote representation and inclusivity. 


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1. The Animal Boogie, Debbie Harter

Kids of different cultural backgrounds and physical disabilities meet animals in the jungle in this lively book. 


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2. Susan Laughs, by Jeanne Wills

Susan Laughs is an award winning book that uses simple rhymes to show Susan laughing, playing, being scared, working hard, and more. Wills depicts Susan as a little girl who is no different than anyone else. It’s not until the end of the book that readers find out Susan uses a wheelchair. 


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3. Dan and Diesel, by Charlotte Hudson

Dan’s dog rides trains, fights dragons, helps Dan at the market and is always by his side. It’s not revealed until the end that Dan is blind and Diesel is his seeing eye dog. 


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4. Just Ask!, Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote this book that depicts kids of different disabilities working together to create a garden. 


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5. The Deaf Musicians, by Pete Seeger

When Lee’s bandmates notice him struggling to play the piano, he’s forced to leave the jazz band. Lee begins to struggle with rhythm because he’s losing his hearing. He then enrolls in a school for the deaf and finds new friends and a new band. 


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6. Emmanuel’s Dream, Laurie Ann Thompson

Emmanuel’s Dream tells the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a Ghanaian athlete and disability rights activist. 


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7. We’re Amazing 1,2,3!, Leslie Kimmelman

This Sesame Street storybook focuses on a 2015 character addition: Elmo’s friend Julie, who has autism.


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