3 Uplifting Books To Teach Children How To Empower Disabilities

This week’s Three to Read recommends children’s books that promote disability awareness. Explore ways your child can learn more about those with disabilities.

Recommendations Three To Read Young Readers
Three Children's books on disability awareness

This week’s Three to Read celebrates July as Disability Pride month. Disability Pride Month commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th, 1990. The Act prohibits any discrimination against people with disabilities in areas including, but not limited to, jobs, transportation, and schools.  

But what is a disability, and how do we interact with those who live with them? As a parent, guardian, or caregiver, your child might have a wide range of similar questions. This selection of books will introduce your loved ones to the topic of disabilities and show them that everyone’s particular skill set should be recognized and valued.

Hot Pick

The Girl Who Figured It Out: The Inspiring True Story of Wheelchair Athlete Minda Dentler Becoming an Ironman World Champion

by Minda Dentler, Illustrated by Stephanie Dehennin

The Girl Who Figured It Out: The Inspiring True Story of Wheelchair Athlete Minda Dentler Becoming an Ironman World Champion by Minda Dentler, illustrated by Stephanie Dehennin book cover.
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SUMMARY:

In this encouraging autobiography, children will learn how Minda Dentler became the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship triathlon. She used only her arms to finish a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile marathon, but the journey to completion wasn’t easy. By overcoming each obstacle stacked against her, Dentler’s life story teaches children that determination in the face of adversity can help them achieve anything they want. 

WHY:

The Girl Who Figured It Out shows children, whether they are disabled or not, that believing in their abilities is one of the most powerful things they can do. It also offers a beautiful message of disability representation that highlights how people with disabilities should not be overlooked but that their accomplishments should be celebrated. 

Beach Read

The ABCs of Inclusion: A Disability Inclusion Book for Kids

by Beth Leipholtz, Illustrated by Anastasiya Kanavaliuk 

The ABCs of Inclusion: A Disability Inclusion Book for Kids by Beth Leipholtz, illustrated by Anastasiya Kanavaliuk book cover.
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SUMMARY:

This book offers the story of 26 children, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each character has a different disability, with diagnoses ranging from autism to hearing loss to epilepsy. “Differences can be confusing at first,” the book’s introduction reads. “But when we take the time to learn about our differences, we might find some special ways we are also the same.”

WHY:

With its easy-to-follow ABC structure, this book allows you to conveniently stop and start reading it with your child. Introducing them to one or two different characters a day can help extend the learning period of the book and make the large topic less overwhelming. It also explains a wide range of different disabilities efficiently and all in one place. 

Dark Horse

All the Ways I Speak

by Deena Muhammedali, Illustrated by TullipStudio 

All the Ways I Speak by Deena Muhammedali, illustrated by TullipStudio book cover.
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SUMMARY:

This book tells the story of Elora, a shy little girl who doesn’t speak the same way as her friends. Like everyone, she has many thoughts and ideas, but she has different ways of communicating them. While people do not always know how to speak with or approach her, the story shows Elora’s unique ways of sharing her feelings and personality with people around her. 

WHY:

All the Ways I Speak teaches young readers that not all disabilities are visible. By including sign language and other communication devices, it also teaches them that although some people convey words differently, there are always alternative ways to understand and include them in conversations. After reading this book, your children will understand that everyone deserves to have their voice heard, no matter the medium they use to express it. 

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