5 Young Adult Books that Feature Characters with Physical Disabilities

Young adult books with well-rounded characters show their readers all sides of an individual, instead of just those physical traits they may notice first. When students are given the opportunity to see the world from the perspective of a character with a physical disability, it can help them better understand individuals in their lives who have similar disabilities. People also enjoy reading about characters to whom they can relate, and these books by research paper writing service offer that experience to students with cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities.

1. "Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible" by by Suzanne Kamata
"Gadget Girl" is about Aiko, a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy (CP) who has spent most of her life posing for her mother's sculptures. Now she wants to pursue her own dreams of becoming a manga artist. She also wants to go to Japan and meet her father for the first time, but instead she ends up going to Paris for an exhibition with her mother. While there, she meets a waiter who shares her love of manga and becomes an unlikely influence.

2. "The Running Dream" by Wendelin Van Draanen
Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award, "The Running Dream" is about Jessica, a track star who loses her leg in a car accident. She's told a prosthetic leg will help her walk again, but she wants to run. As Jessica struggles with her own challenges, she's also confronted with the way she once ignored Rosa, a classmate with CP.

3. "The View from Saturday" by E.L. Konigsburg
"The View from Saturday" is about four students brought together to compete in the sixth grade academic bowl. Their teacher, Mrs. Olinski has just returned to teaching after a car accident paralyzed her 10 years ago. The students are the focus of the story, and this book does not emphasize Mrs. Olinski's disability. Instead, it shows a character who just happens to have a disability.

4. "Out of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper
Melody is 11 years old and the smartest kid in her school. She remembers everything she sees, but she can't tell anyone. Unable to walk, speak, or write, Melody is held to the confines of her mind and she feels like she's going crazy. Finally, she discovers something that will give her a voice for the first time, but will those around her be ready to hear it?

5. "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin
"The Westing Game" is another book that shows a character with a disability without making that disability the focus of the story or the character. When 16 people are brought together for a reading of Sam W. Westing's will, they learn that one of them is the murderer. They join together in teams of two to solve Westing's murder, and the winners will inherit a fortune. Chris, one of those competing for the fortune, uses a wheelchair. "The Westing Game" has won a Newbery Medal and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award.

Whether you assign one of these books for your class or just make them available to your students, they can help provide a valuable insight into and understanding of the lives of people living with physical disabilities. These characters demonstrate that a person's physical challenges are only one aspect of who he is and show individuals as whole people.