Tag: characters with disabilities

HOW WE ROLL: A Novel of Identity and Friendship

HOW WE ROLL: A Novel of Identity and Friendship

Lynn: On the first day of high school in a new town, with a chance to make a new life, Quinn looks at the two wigs on her bureau. Should she be Guinevere or Sasha? It’s been 408 days since she lost all her hair to an autoimmune disorder, during which time her eighth-grade friends drifted […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
RESCUE AND JESSICA: A Picture-Book Story of Love and Courage

RESCUE AND JESSICA: A Picture-Book Story of Love and Courage

Lynn: Married only a year, runners Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes were badly injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Both lost limbs and, in the dark days that followed, Jessica endured many surgeries as doctors fought to save her remaining foot and leg. Then a black lab service dog, Rescue, came into their lives. […]

Running for his life: Michael Currinder’s RUNNING FULL TILT

Running for his life: Michael Currinder’s RUNNING FULL TILT

Lynn: In Michael Currinder’s unusual debut novel, Running Full Tilt (2017), we meet high school junior Leo Coughlin, a boy running for his life both literally and figuratively. Leo’s family moves to a new part of town when Leo’s 18-year-old brother upsets the old neighbors. Brother Caleb has autism with other cognitive disabilities, and has started […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
SOMEDAY BIRDS: A Wild Ride

SOMEDAY BIRDS: A Wild Ride

Lynn: Many of us hate change, but 12-year-old Charlie really hates it. The Someday Birds (2017) by Sally J. Pla begins with Charlie’s widowed father, who suffered a head wound in Afghanistan, being transferred from San Diego to a hospital in Virginia to undergo a new treatment. And so Charlie finds himself on a cross-country road […]

Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Cindy: Last week, we held our first middle-school book club meeting of the year. Discussing our taste in books, I told the teens my favorites are always ones that make me laugh and cry. Falling Over Sideways (2016), Jordan Sonnenblick’s latest, is a perfect example. The start of Claire’s 7th-grade year is full of the pitfalls that […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Kenneth Oppel’s The Nest and Two Atmospheric Read-Alikes

Kenneth Oppel’s The Nest and Two Atmospheric Read-Alikes

Cindy: While reading the first half of The Nest (2015), by Kenneth Oppel, I couldn’t help but remember David Almond’s Printz Honor book, Skellig (1998). Both books feature a boy who worries about his sick baby sibling. Both have strange creatures on the property. Skellig, a disheveled old man with wings, sits in a dark corner […]

Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Learning Differences in Middle Grade Books

Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Learning Differences in Middle Grade Books

Lynn: Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s new book, Fish in a Tree, introduces us to 6th-grader Ally Nickerson, who is smart, good at math, gifted at drawing, and has a behavior problem. She’s also hiding a painful secret: she can barely read. Words to her look like a “can of alphabet soup dumped on a plate.” She can’t […]

A Superhero with Rabbit Ears: El Deafo, by Cece Bell

A Superhero with Rabbit Ears: El Deafo, by Cece Bell

Lynn: If you were going to tell the story of what it is like to lose your hearing as a child, adjust to that bewildering loss, cope with friendships, school, loneliness and public ignorance, how would you tell it? Would you think to tell it through graphic storytelling using a cast of rabbits? I certainly wouldn’t […]

Blindness Visible: Recent Books with Blind Characters

Blindness Visible: Recent Books with Blind Characters

Cindy: Have we run the course of characters with Asperger’s Syndrome? The new trend just might be characters who are blind. Last fall, my first blind student, Maria, arrived at one of my middle schools and she read more books last year using our audiobook collection than most of my sighted students got through. This year, I […]

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

Lynn:  Vasily Kandinsky was a proper Russian boy.  “He studied bookfuls of math, science and history.”  The opening illustrations of The Noisy Paint Box:  the Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art (Random/Knopf Feb. 2014) are grey and square, reflecting the routines of Kandinsky’s privileged but boring childhood.  One day, Vasya’s aunt gave him a […]