Tag Archives: Disabilities

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree

Ten-year-old Mafalda has Stargardt Disease, which causes progressive vision loss and eventual blindness. She has six months of sight left and she hides this fact from her family and friends. She keeps a list of all the things she cares about, like climbing the cherry tree near her school and counting stars. She makes a plan for when she can’t see and runs away to live in her favorite cherry tree.  This is a powerful, thought-provoking story of a young girl’s fears. mjw
Title: The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree
Author: Paola Peretti
Illustrator
: Carolina Rabei
Publisher
: Hot Key Books, London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Publisher
: Rizzoli
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-4714-0755-0
Paperback pages
: 195
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Italy
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Verona, Italy
Translator’s residence
: Edinburgh and Abruzzo, Italy
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Blindness, Cats, Emotions and feelings, Sight, Special needs, Stargardt disease, Trees

Stand On The Sky

Twelve-year-old Aisulu is an expert equestrienne who loves to ride horses across the mountains. She is one of the Kazakh people of Mongolia, who are nomads and androcentric. It goes against all tradition for her to train eagles. But because her brother is disabled and he and their parents have to travel to a hospital in a faraway big city, she is left with her aunt and uncle and she secretly starts caring for an orphaned baby eagle. She becomes an Eagle Hunter. The setting for this animal-friendship story is unique and fascinating. A glossary of Kazakh and Arabic words and phrases, a list of characters, and an author’s note help readers gain a better understanding of Mongolia and nomadic culture. mjw
Title: Stand On The Sky
Author: Erin Bow
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-328-55746-9
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Kazakh nomads in Mongolia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Awards
: 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award
Subjects
: Asia, Birds, Eagles, Horses, Mongolia, Mountains, Nomads, Wildlife

Thukpa For All

Young Tsering can’t wait to taste his grandmother’s thukpa – noodle soup.  On his way home, he invites many friends, neighbors, and family members to join him.  Just as his grandmother is preparing the soup, the power goes out. Tsering helps with the soup-making steps by identifying spices and other ingredients by their smells. The power comes back on and everyone can enjoy the thukpa.  Told from a blind child’s perspective – Tsering is blind – this story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations that teach about the Ladakhi culture which is not often depicted in picture books.  Alliteration and onomatopoeia make it a fun read.  A Glimpse into Ladakhi Life gives information about the culture and geography of Indian Ladakhi. A glossary and a recipe for thukpa are also included. mjw
Title: Thukpa For All
Author: Prada Ram and Sheela Preuitt
Illustrator
: Shilpa Ranade
Publisher
: Karadi Tales. Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-81-9338-898-3
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakhi, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Mumbai
Awards
: 2019 IBBY Catalog of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Blind, Cooking and food, Culture, Diversity, Family life, Grandmothers, Sense and sensations, Special needs

Crossing The Farak River

Fourteen-year-old Hasina, her younger brother Araf, and her thirteen-year-old cousin Ghadiya are forced out of their home in the Rakhine province of Myanmar when the Sit Tat Myanmar Army invades one night.  They become separated from their parents.  They know to flee because they are persecuted Muslim Rohingyas. They run deep into the Rakhine forest to hide, but when they return to their village, it has been burned and mostly destroyed.  Their house is still standing, but their family is gone. Hasina is a strong, courageous character who fights for her family in this captivating account of the crisis in Myanmar. mjw
Title: Crossing The Farak River
Author: Michelle Aung Thin
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Hasina
Original Publisher
: Allen and Unwin. Australia
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-77321-396-5
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Myanmar
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Burma, now Myanmar
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Arakan, Buddhists, Burmese, Human trafficking, Muslims, Persecution, Rakhine State,Refugees, Rohingyas, Soldiers

The Brave Princess And Me

Young Tilde Cohen and her mother are Jews who are searching for a safe place to hide.  They go to Princess Alice’s residence unannounced, begging the princess to hide them.  Princess Alice of Greece was born deaf, but is proficient in lip-reading.  Her kindness is put to the test when two Gestapo agents come by and demand to search the house.  She uses her cleverness to outwit the men and keep Tilde and her mother safe. The illustrations depict emotions beautifully.  Also included are biographical facts and photographs of Princess Alice.  The book is based on a true story from World War II Greece.  Alice is the grandmother of England’s Prince Charles and the great-grandmother of Princes William and Harry. mjw
Title: The Brave Princess And Me
Author: Kathy Kacer
Illustrator
: Juliana Kolesova
Publisher
: Second Story Press, Toronto, Canada
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-772601022
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Greece
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto. Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto. Canada
Subjects
: Athens, Holocaust, Jewish, Nazis, World War II

The Bridge Home

Eleven-year-old Viji and her younger sister Rukku who has intellectual and developmental disabilities have run away into the harsh streets of Chennai to get away from their abusive father.  The girls find shelter and friends on an abandoned bridge.  Two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, and the girls survive by scavenging the city’s garbage heaps and by selling the bead necklaces that Rukku makes.  The four bond into a family of sorts.  They are often hungry and scared, but they have each other and their dog Kutti. When the rainy season comes, Rukku and Muthi get sick and Viji and Arul have to make decisions about who they can trust to help them.  The courage and strength of the children is an inspiration. mjw
Title: The Bridge Home
Author: Padma Venkatraman
Publisher
: Nancy Paulsen Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-3811-2
Hardcover pages
: 208
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Chennai, India
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards: 2020 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
: Asia, Domestic violence, Homelessness, Lower caste children, Runaways, Sisters

The Stars At Oktober Bend

Alice is fifteen, but to everyone else, she is forever twelve.  She has acquired brain injury.  She can speak, but her words don’t come out right and her electrics don’t work.  She writes poetry – beautifully and anonymously.  Her first person narration has no capital letters and is very fragile. Manny is a boy who discovers her poetry. He was a boy soldier in Sierra Leone. He suffers from PTSD.  This is an incredible love story of two teens and their pains. mjw
Title: The Stars At October Bend
Author: Glenda Millard
Publisher
: Candlewick
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-9272-8
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects: Child soldiers, Mute persons, Orphans, People with mental disabilities, Sexual abuse, Sierra Leone, Teenage refugees, Violence, Wounds and injuries

Macy McMillan And The Rainbow Goddess

 

Sixth grader Macy McMillan, who is deaf, is facing big changes. Her house is for sale and her mother is about to remarry, adding a stepfather and six-year-old twin stepsisters. Macy’s mother has Macy go next door to help 86-year–old Iris Gillan pack, as Iris is moving into an assisted living facility. Iris doesn’t know sign language, but through notes, books, and cookies, Macy and Iris, the rainbow goddess, develop a beautiful friendship. This heartwarming story is written in free verse. There are many book references throughout, like The Tale of Despereaux, El Deafo, and Anne of Green Gables. mjw
Title: Macy McMillan And The Rainbow Goddess
Author: Shari Green
Publisher
: Pajama Press
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-017-8
Paperback pages
: 240
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Verse
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: British Columbia, Canada
Awards: 2018 Schneider Family Book Award
Subjects
: Deaf children, Intergenerational, Special needs, Step families, Stories in verse

One Half From The East

Ten-year-old Obayda’s father lost one of his legs in a bomb explosion and the family is in need of some good fortune. They move from Kabul to s small village. Obayda is dressed as a boy, a bacha posh. This is a longstanding tradition in Afghanistan. Families without a son designate a preteen daughter to fill the void with a simple physical transformation involving swapping clothes and cutting hair. Before she reaches puberty, she is changed back and resumes life as a girl, a gender that enjoys far less freedom and privilege. Obayda becomes Obayd and everything changes. She meets Rashim, another bacha posh. They become friends, explore the village, and play sports, but there is no forever as a bacha posh. This heart-stirring and enlightening coming-of-age story includes an author’s note. mjw
Title: One Half From The East
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Publisher
: Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-0-06-242190-6
Hardcover pages
: 272
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Afghan
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2017 South Asia Book Award Highly Commended
Subjects
: Bacha posh, Child marriage, Gender, Prejudice and racism, Self-esteem and self-reliance

A Dog Like Sam

a-dog-like-samNine-year-old Kix and his younger sister Emilia discover a big white sheepdog in their front yard and want to adopt him. They name him Sam. The problem is that he belongs to loony Flint, their neighbor who is in a mental hospital following the failure of his farm. All is resolved in a dramatic scene where Kix states that Sam must decide where he wants to live. Lively pen and ink illustrations add to this moving and heartwarming tale. An author’s note gives background for the story. mjw
Title: A Dog Like Sam
Author: Edward van de Vendel
Illustrator
: Philip Hopman
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young People
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Dutch
Translator
: David Colmer
Original Title
: Toen Kwam Sam
Original Publisher
: Em. Queridos Kinderboeken Uitgeverij
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5484-1
Hardcover pages
: 111
Age range
: 8-11
Genre
: Fiction, illustrated novel
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Netherlands
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Illustrator’s residence
: Netherlands
Awards
: 2011, 2012 Author was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Subjects
: Dogs, Families, Pets

The Sleeper And The Spindle

the sleeper and the spindleSnow White meets Sleeping Beauty in this dark and definitely different adaptation of several classic tales. On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out with three dwarf companions to rescue a princess. Also, there is a sleeping plague sweeping the land and the queen wants to get to the bottom of the magical curse. They encounter cobweb-covered sleepers on the way to the castle tower, where they find the sleeping princess, who has been there for 70 years, and an old woman. The queen’s kiss wakes the princess. Here, the story veers off course again to a nontraditional, but satisfying ending. Intricate ink drawings with touches of gold bring all the twists and turns in the mash-up fairy tale to life. mjw
Title: The Sleeper And The Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator
: Chris Riddell
Publisher
: Harper Collins
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-0-06-239824-6
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 13 up
Genre
: Picture book, Fairy tale, Fantasy
Author’s ethnicity
: Originally from England
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: Brighton, England
Awards
: 2016 CLIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Adaptations, Fairy tales and folklore, Myths and legends, Princesses, Queens, Quests, Science fiction, Sleep