The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities teamed up with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to compile a great selection of book recommendations for DD Awareness Month this March.
Read below for summaries and age ranges. And for more info on award-winning books that inform and educate about developmental disabilities, check out the Schneider Family Book Award winners from the American Library Association:
My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron (young children)
A young girl, who is visually impaired, finds much to celebrate as she explores the city she loves.
Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd (middle grades)
Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease) so she’s thrilled when she finally convinces her parents to let her attend Macklemore Elementary. Olive can’t wait to go to a traditional school and make the friends she’s always longed for, until a disastrous first day dashes her hopes of ever fitting in. Then Olive hears whispers about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore. It’ll be the solution to all her problems! If she can find the bird and prove herself worthy, the creature will make her most desperate, secret wish come true.
The Words in my Hands by Asphyxia (teen)
Set in an ominously prescient near future, The Words in My Hands is the story of Piper: sixteen, smart, artistic, and rebellious, she’s struggling to conform to what her mom wants—for her to be ‘normal,’ to pass as hearing, and get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind—like survival. Deaf since the age of three, Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate in a world that puts those who can hear above everyone else. But when she meets Marley, a whole new world opens up—one where Deafness is something to celebrate rather than hide, and where resilience and hope are created by taking action, building a community, and believing in something better.
The Hard Parts by Oksana Masters (adult)
Oksana Masters was born in Ukraine—in the shadow of Chernobyl—seemingly with the world against her. She was born with one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers, no right bicep, and no thumbs. Her left leg was six inches shorter than her right, and she was missing both tibias. Determined to prove herself and fueled by a drive to succeed that still smoldered from childhood, Oksana triumphed in not just one sport but four—winning against the world’s best in elite rowing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, and road cycling competitions. Now considered one of the world’s top athletes, she is the recipient of seventeen Paralympic medals, the most of any US athlete of the Winter Games, Paralympic or Olympic.