7 Children's Books Featuring a Character with a Disability

As a wheelchair user since the age of four, I always wanted to read books that had characters like me in them. They seemed so few and far between in the small town that I grew up in. This was back in the days of dial-up internet, so there wasn't much access to find such books.

As I grew older and the World Wide Web became much easier to access, I began my search for all the books focusing on characters with a disability that I could get my hands on. In fact, I even wrote one myself, so that no other kid in a wheelchair would ever have to grow up not seeing themselves represented in a storybook character. Here is a list of seven children's books that have a main character with a disability.

Let's Explore with Cor Cor

Let's Explore with Cor Cor

My book, "Let's Explore with Cor Cor," written by myself, Cory Lee, and Sandy Gilbreath, has a main character who uses a power wheelchair and travels all over the world. Cor Cor doesn't let his wheelchair slow him down from seeing kangaroos in Australia, riding in a hot air balloon, going on an African safari in an accessible safari truck, and more. This picture book is geared toward kids 3-8 years old and includes 36 pages. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and this book will show any kid that anything is possible with a can-do attitude.

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

"Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion," written by Sharon Stocker, is a story that will inspire readers both young and old. It is written to attract 4–8-year-old readers and includes 40 pages. This picture book has beautiful illustrations that will immerse the reader into the story and help them to feel the story as it evolves. The main character, Evelyn Glennie, was told that she could never be a musician because she was deaf. But as the story unfolds, Evelyn proves to the world that she could listen in a new way. This book will change how you see people with hearing impairments.

This Beach Is Loud!

This Beach Is Loud!

"This Beach Is Loud!," written by Samantha Cotterill, is the perfect book for any child and focuses on sensory sensitivities. This picture book is great for kids aged 3-7 years, and is 32 pages long. The main character of this story is a child on the autism spectrum. Spending the day at the beach turns into sensory overload, but with the help of his dad's patience & understanding and a soothing exercise, the beach day is saved. The photos are adorable and will keep the reader turning pages.

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

"My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay," written by Cari Best, is a must-read for kids 4-8 years old, and is 40 pages in length. This is a story of a girl named Zulay who also happens to be blind. She has three best friends who share her first-grade classroom. As the teacher discusses upcoming Field Day events, Zulay surprises everyone when she says that she wants to run in a race. And of course, with the help of her friends and others, her dream comes true as she crosses the finish line.

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability

"Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability" by Shane Burcaw is hilarious, as are all of Shane's stories. He does such a great job in discussing his own struggles as someone with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but does it in such a funny, relatable, and refreshing way. This book is for kids 6-9 years old, and is 40 pages in length.

Rolling Through Life with Mommy

Rolling Through Life with Mommy

"Rolling Through Life with Mommy," written by TaLisha Grzyb, is a heartwarming story of love, family, and overcoming disability. The main character, Mommy, uses a wheelchair to get around and shares many adventures with her children. Told from the perspective of the children, this book shows that adventure is not about where you go, but who you go with. This story is 28 pages in length and perfect for children 3-6 years old.

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

"All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism," written by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Hoyer, is such an encouraging story. This book includes 40 pages and has bright, fun illustrations that 4–7-year-old kids will thoroughly enjoy. The main character, Zane the Zebra, is shown by his mom that being different from his peers is only one of the great qualities that makes him special. Kids will want to read this story again and again as it gives such an uplifting feeling throughout the book.

I can never get enough inspiration, but these books come close. They are all fun, colorful, and will enhance the reader's and listener's feelings toward living life with a disability. They will learn throughout these stories that everyone is really all the same.

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie Q700 M.

Most of the stories here on LiveQuickie.com were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.


Date: 8/15/2023 12:00:00 AM


Jan Kerr
We already have 5 copies for our accessible self catering lodes…another one would be fabulous.
8/24/2023 10:51:39 PM
 
John A, LeBlanc
I teach PE at an elementary school. I would love this book for my gym library!!
8/24/2023 12:27:28 PM
 
Nancy LeBlanc
My daughter (wheelchair user) works at a children’s museum and these would be a wonderful addition to their library
8/24/2023 9:57:52 AM
 
Mary Hemby
I am a polio survivor and have been using a power wheelchair for over 20 years now with post polio syndrome. I was a Montessori teacher and love to share disability stories with kids.
8/24/2023 9:36:16 AM
 
Heather Hooper
My son is a full time wheelchair due to Friedreich's Ataxia. I'd love for him to read some encouraging books.
8/24/2023 8:56:26 AM
 
Priscilla Toner
My grandson lives in a wheelchair, due to cerbal palsy . He really wish i can bungee jump and and tell my brothers I can't help how I am when my muscle spams and why I have to ride in my wheelchair. Thats been his goal in life for several years. He's only 6 but very smart. Any ideas I can help explain to the family.
8/24/2023 8:20:24 AM
 
Elaina hornung
My son has duchenne muscular dystrophy he’s 9 I these books would be awesome!
8/24/2023 8:18:37 AM
 
Karen
Awesome book and awesome adventures!
8/24/2023 8:15:41 AM
 
Denise Householder
Awesome books. My son lives with challenges with being in a wheelchair.
8/24/2023 8:03:04 AM
 

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