We hope these selections serve to educate, entertain, amplify disabled voices, and encourage a dialogue on topics of disability and neurodiversity.

Can I Play, Too? by Mo Willems

Gerald and Piggie meet a new snake friend meet a new snake friend who wants to join in a game of catch. Gerald and Piggie aren’t sure in their new friend can join in their game of catch since snake doesn’t have any arms. A gentle look at the differences that make us unique.

Available formats: Book

This Beach is Loud! by Samantha Cotterill

A sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach, but his dad has a trick to help his son face these unexpected obstacles. Author Samantha Cotterill has Asperger’s.

Available formats: Book

A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz

Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad.  Alan has a stutter and does not know if he has the courage to become the voice for the animals in the Zoo.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Hoopla), eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Audiobook (Hoopla)

Hello Goodbye Dog Maria Gianferrari

For Zara’s dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with her favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed at school and Moose has to go back home. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.

Available formats: Book

When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb

When Charley goes to the playground and sees Emma, a girl with limb differences who gets around in a wheelchair, he doesn’t know how to react at first. After he and Emma start talking, he learns that different isn’t bad, sad, or strange–different is just different, and different is great!

Available formats: Book

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Available formats: Book

Thank You Mr. Falkner by Patricia Polacco

Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)

Back to Front and Upside Down by Claire Alexander

While the rest of the class makes birthday cards for the principal, Stanley struggles with his words and letters.

Available formats: Book

I Will Dance by Nancy Bo Flood

Eva’s cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to do many things, but she longs to dance and, finally, her dream is realized. Includes author’s note and information about Young Dance Company.

Available formats: Book

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor

In this beautiful picture book, author Sonia Sotomayor reminds readers that when we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is “Just Ask”. Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

Available formats: Book

Sarabella’s Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner

Sarabella is always thinking—conjuring, daydreaming, and creating new worlds from her imagination. There is so much going on in her head that it can barely be contained.  Luckily, Sarabella has an understanding teacher and with his encouragement she comes up with her own idea to show everyone who she is.

Available formats: Book

Captain Starfish by Davina Bell

Alfie wants to participate in the best parts of being a kid, from his friend Antoinette’s birthday party to the relay races at school. But his shyness keeps him from joining in. When Alfie wakes up with That Feeling on the morning of yet another big event, the underwater costume parade, his mom takes him to the aquarium. At the aquarium, Alfie learns there can be a happy medium between hiding away and being a star.

Available formats: Book

Boy by Phil Cummings

The king’s battles with the dragon were always mighty and loud. Boy lived in silence and couldn’t hear the fighting. Boy could see the fear around his and how everyone would be much happier without it.

Available formats: Book

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott

When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he’d like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father’s ability to reconnect a child with the world around him

Available formats: Book

The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

When young Trisha finds out her class at the new school is known as “The Junkyard,” she is devastated. She moved from her old town so she wouldn’t be in a special class anymore! But then she meets her teacher, the quirky and invincible Mrs. Peterson, and her classmates, an oddly brilliant group of students each with his or her own unique talent. And it is here in The Junkyard that Trisha learns the true meaning of genius, and that this group of misfits are, in fact, wonders, all of them.

Available formats: Book

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend.  With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship

Available formats: Book

King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan

Basant is here, with feasts and parties to celebrate the arrival of spring.  Malik is looking forward to most is doing battle from his rooftop with Falcon, the special kite he has built for speed. Today is Malik’s chance to be the best kite fighter, the king of Basant.

Available formats: Book

We’ll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen and Pam Devito

Emma and her father discuss what they will do when the new baby arrives, but they adjust their expectations when he is born with Down syndrome.

Available formats: Book

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph

This is the story of Zane, a zebra with autism, who worries that his differences make him stand out from his peers. With careful guidance from his mother, Zane learns that autism is only one of many qualities that make him special.

Available formats: Book

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin

This picture book invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers

Available formats: Book


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