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Books with positive images of disability in 2017

Ava’s Spectacular Spectacles

Here are 12 books that we think show positive images of disability, as well as titles that may prove useful in discussing disability and diversity.

They are all brilliant reads that were our Bookmark Books of the Month throughout 2017.

  • The Goldfish Boy

    Lisa Thompson

    Matthew has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Can he help an investigation into the abduction of a child, perhaps without even leaving his house? A captivating read, combining a compelling whodunit with an engaging protagonist.

  • Quiet!

    Kate Alizadeh
    Child’s Play

    A small child takes us on an auditory tour of her home in this delightful picture of family life, ingeniously interpreted through its sounds. It's a book that radiates comfort, security, warmth and love.

  • The Barefoot Book of Children

    Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma and David Dean
    Barefoot Books

    This is a beautifully comprehensive and thought-provoking picture of the many different ways in which people live around the world. A book to dip into time and time again; a treasure trove of discussion topics, but also an aesthetic delight.

  • The State of Grace

    Rachael Lucas
    Pan Macmillan

    Grace is nearly 16, and like many girls her age, has a lot on her mind - but they're heightened by the fact that Grace has Asperger's syndrome. An absorbing story of first love, friendship and family tension; any young reader can relate to Grace.

  • Short

    Holly Goldberg Sloan

    Julia has always been very short for her height. It only started to feel like a problem when she overheard her parents discussing it. Could it be that being unusually short is something to worry about? A gentle story, told with tenderness and humour.

  • S.C.R.E.A.M.: The Mummy’s Revenge

    Andrew Beasley

    This terrifically exciting book has it all – mystery, creepy paranormal baddies and lashings of sharp humour. You’ll be right there with Charley and Billy as they outwit the grown-ups and use their wits in their battle to beat the baddies.

  • Zeki Can Swim

    Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Ruth Hearson
    Alanna Books

    It is an exciting day. Zeki loves the water and today Dad’s taking him to his baby swimming class. Bright and colourful, this picture book for the very young is an utter delight, with a naturally diverse and subtly inclusive cast of characters.

  • A Storm of Strawberries

    Jo Cotterill
    Piccadilly Press

    12 year old Darby is excited – it is the weekend of the family's chocolate hunt. However, beloved sister Kaydee has suddenly brought home a friend for the weekend. Plus her parents (who run the family's strawberry farm) seem distracted, increasingly preoccupied with news that a major storm is brewing. Does no one realise how important the event is to Darby?

  • Ava’s Spectacular Spectacles

    Alice Rex and Angela Perrini
    New Frontier

    When Ava doesn’t want to wear her glasses at school one day, her quick-witted teacher offers some wise words of advice about their importance. The reimagined fairy tales are told with plenty of humour and zest.

  • Optimists Die First

    Susin Nielsen
    Andersen Press

    This is another five star read from Susin Nielsen, one of the most talented teen writers working today. There are sexual references, but most 12 year olds will be comfortable with them or can easily skip past if they need to.

  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

    Dusti Bowling
    Sterling Children’s Books

    Aven’s dad has just been offered a new job, managing a rundown theme park. And it turns out the theme park conceals some surprising secrets… With likeable characters and quirky humour, readers are likely to find this an inspiring and charming read. 

  • You Choose In Space

    Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Nick Sharratt

    You choose how this story unfolds, so a new adventure can be enjoyed each time of reading. A spectacular book to stimulate creative storytelling and language development, full of vibrant illustration. Not to be missed!