The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library's new location will open Sept 22, the first day of Banned Books Week.
A plain sheet of paper may not be much to the average Joe/Jane, but it could mean the world to an enthused booklover who desperately needs something to mark their place in a really good book.
You already know about the YouTube hit that is CinemaSins, the channel that critiques movies and points out all on-screen offenses under the sun. Superhero movies are obviously not excluded, and CinemaSins co-creator Jeremy Scott decided to write his debut novel about the kinds of disabled superheroes “that superhero culture would marginalize,” according to an interview with Publishers Weekly.
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With The Ables, Scott has inspired younger generations with a tale about kids with disabilities who become the superheroes they weren’t sure they could be. He’s proven the importance of telling these stories, especially when told appropriately, and even has a sequel, Strings, arriving shortly in September.
Here are five other YA novels about characters who struggle with their disabilities, find their strengths, and hopefully find a happy ending or peace with their circumstances.
5-Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan taught English and history for fifteen years before his Percy Jackson series stardom. Between his teaching background and telling inspiring bedtime stories to his son who has ADHD and dyslexia, Riordan was uniquely qualified to bring us a protagonist who struggled with his perceived (pun intended) weaknesses before finding his Olympian-level strengths.
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Percy Jackson has struggled in school because of his dyslexia and ADHD, but after he enters the world of mythical Gods and monster he learns from his friend Annabeth, child of Athena, that:
You’re impulsive, can’t sit still in the classroom…That’s your battlefield reflexes. In a real fight, they’d keep you alive.
Here, Percy learns that his disabilities are not a result of him being less, but simply the trade-offs of being a powerful demigod and part of the Ancient Olympian family tree. Then, as the books go on, Percy and his friends rely on his ADHD mind to save the world time and time again from various ancient threats, ultimately embracing his strengths as well as the new family that he is now a part of.
4-The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
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Having gained recognition by posting her work on Wattpad in 2011, Alison Gervais took time out of her busy schedule of rereading Harry Potter, watching Supernatural and Law and Order: SVU, and enjoying life with her husband and their two cats, Jane and Smoke, to bring us this August release.
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Moving halfway across the country to Colorado right before senior year means Maya will be leaving Pratt School for the Deaf. Now she’s attending Engelmann High, a public school, where everyone except for her can hear and be heard.
When Engelmann’s student body president, Beau Watson, starts using ASL in order to talk to her, Maya is suspicious he has a hidden agenda. Then, when Maya passes up a chance to receive a cochlear implant, Beau doesn’t understand why Maya wouldn’t want to hear again. Maya would rather simply remain true to herself.
Publisher’s Weekly writes that “…Gervais adroitly pulls readers into her world—conveying ASL through all caps and spelled-out words—as well as her work navigating the deaf and hearing worlds and her awareness of who she is,” and we here at Bookstr hope that Gervais will bring us another book sooner rather than later—although we too are busy rereading the Harry Potter series.
3-How We Roll by Natasha Friend
Image via Natasha Friend
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After developing alopecia, Quinn lost her friends along with her hair. In addition to her autistic brother, she also has to deal with sexual harassment from fellow students.
Quinn catches a break when her family moves. A new start in a new town at a new school. At school she meets Jake, a former football player who lost his legs after an accident caused by his brother. The two feel a connection, but first, they have to learn to trust others once more…
Publisher’s Weekly writes that “[s]mall acts of kindness balance the cruelty Quinn has suffered, and the message that single characteristics don’t define who people are, invites contemplation” and we here at Bookstr say this that, since this book was released last year in 2018, then you should definitely have it on your bookshelf.
2-Remember Dippy by Shirley Reva Vernick
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Author of the Sydney Taylor Honor–winning The Blood Lie, Shirley Reva Vernick brought us something for anyone with a heart to enjoy with this 2013 release.
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Summer looks like it’s going to be a drag for Johnny. When his mother gets a job in upstate New York, far away from Vermont, Johnny is sent to live with his aunt and cousin for the summer. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for his cousin, Remember Dippy.
Yep, you read that right, his cousin’s name is Remember Dippy. And, for Johnny, that isn’t the worst of it. Remember Dippy likes his days to follow a certain order, and any disorder or excitement is a recipe for disaster. This is because Remember Dippy is autistic.
Things go awry when a pet ferret goes missing, a close friend suffers a fall, and a new love interest might change Remember’s life in ways he doesn’t even suspect.
Kirkus Reviews calls this “[a]n enjoyable and provocative exploration of the clash between ‘normal’ and ‘different’ and how similar the two really are,” and we couldn’t agree more!
1-Stuck In Neutral by Terry Trueman
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Terry Trueman brought us the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award in 2001, and we’ve all been talking about it since.
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Shawn McDaniel has cerebral palsy and his entire body is affected; he has absolutely no control over any of his bodily functions, but his memory is pitch-perfect. Sadly, his family thinks he’s a fool.
The novel follows Shawn as he tries to find what we all strive for – a connection – especially since his father Sydney McDaniel talks constantly about euthanasia.
Kirkus Reviews once wrote that “…Shawn will stay with readers, not for what he does, but for what he is and has made of himself,” but we have to say that is an understatement. Throughout the novel, Shawn himself introduces the reader to his life—his family, his school life, and his condition. It’s a meditative read that can be morose, even violent, and will shake you to your very core.
Featured Image via Turner Publishing
Pre-game tonight's viewing of the harvest moon by scrolling through some of our picks for this week's uplifting tweets.
'Property Brothers' Jonathan and Drew Scott have written a second book, 'Better Together,' for their children's series 'Builder Brothers.'