Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh BaskinTold from the first-person perspective of an autistic boy, Nora Raleigh Baskin's novel is an enlightening story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in. Jason Blake is an autistic twelve-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he's terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is. By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy's struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanIn the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow's world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. "Holly Goldberg Sloan writes about belonging in a way I've never quite seen in any other book. This is a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming novel that I'll never forget."--John Corey Whaley, author of Where Things Come Back "Willow Chance subtly drew me into her head and her life, so much so that I was holding my breath for her by the end. Holly Goldberg Sloan has created distinct characters who will stay with you long after you finish the book."--Sharon Creech, Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons "In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that's a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."--Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Dog Driven by Terry Lynn JohnsonBlindness. From the author ofIce Dogs comes a riveting adventure about a musher who sets out to prove her impaired vision won't hold her back from competing in a rigorous sled race through the Canadian wilderness. Perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen. McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness--a race she doesn't know if she can even see to run. Winning would mean getting her disease--and her sister's--national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights. A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness,Dog Drivenis the story of one girl's self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.
Each Tiny Spark by Pablo CartayaFrom award-winning author Pablo Cartaya comes a deeply moving middle grade novel about a daughter and father finding their way back to each other in the face of their changing family and community. A SCHNEIDER FAMILY BOOK AWARD HONOR FOR MIDDLE GRADE Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It's hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels. Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family's auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear. But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend, Gus, at the center of the conflict. Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya is a tender story about asking big questions and being brave enough to reckon with the answers.
Everyday Hero by Cherry KathleenAlice doesn't like noise, smells or strangers. She does like rules. Lots of rules. Nobody at her new school knows she has Asperger's, so it doesn't take long for her odd behavior to get her into trouble. When she meets Megan in detention, she doesn't know what to make of her. Megan doesn't smell, she's not terribly noisy, and she's not exactly a stranger, but is she a friend? Megan seems fearless to Alice--but also angry or maybe sad. Alice isn't sure which. When Megan decides to run away, Alice resolves to help her friend, no matter how many rules she has to break or how bad it makes her feel.
Out of My Heart by Sharon M. DraperMelody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling middle grade novel Out of My Mind. Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing's out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she's going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own--the dream! By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody's about to discover how brave and strong she really is.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperOver 1.5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind and discovered the brilliant mind of Melody Brooks. Out of My Mind spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list! "If there's one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it." --The Denver Post "A gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes." --School Library Journal (starred review) "Unflinching and realistic." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Uplifting...This moving novel will makes activists of us all." --Booklist (starred review) From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes a story that will forever change how we all look at anyone with a disability, perfect for fans of RJ Palacio's Wonder. Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people--her teachers, her doctors, her classmates--dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can't tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she's determined to let everyone know it...somehow.
Planet Earth Is Blue by Nicole PanteleakosA heartrending and hopeful debut novel about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish. Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger--it's the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home. While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can't express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova's new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she's counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she'll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, "No matter what, I'll be there. I promise."
Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn ZimmerJosie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family's small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another mansion grows up behind it. She lives with her career-obsessed mom and opinionated Gran, but has never known her father. Then there's her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can't seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy--Jordan--moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. Before long, Josie finds herself reaching out for something she's never really known: a friend... and possibly more. Interlinked free verse poems tell the beautiful, heartfelt story of a girl, a family farm reduced to a garden, and a year of unforgettable growth.
Rules by Cynthia LordThis Newbery Honor Book is a heartfelt and witty story about feeling different and finding acceptance--beyond the rules.Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules-from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla; Julie McLaughlin (Illustrator)Winner of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award * Two starred reviews * A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of 2017 * A Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2017 * Wisconsin Library Association CBA Outstanding Books of the Year selection * 2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award list selection * 2018-2019 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominee * Young Hoosier Book Award nominee * The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets. Charlie's perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay. Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn't understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis. "Offering a mixture of suspense, mystery, tragedy and humor, Pla's story captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book." --Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face--who shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Read the book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie's point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness" --indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.
El Deafo by Cece Bell; David Lasky (Illustrator)El Deafo is a funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir for middle graders. It chronicles the author's hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become "El Deafo, Listener for All." And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.
Emily Included by Kathleen McDonnellEmily Eaton was born with severe cerebral palsy. Denied access to classes at her local school, she and her parents challenged the local board of education for her right to be educated with non-disabled children in a regular classroom. Her case took years and went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in the late nineties and is considered an important step in the fight for inclusive education for both physically and mentally challenged people. Emily went on to graduate from high school, proving the skeptics wrong. Emily's fight to be treated like a "normal," everyday kid in a regular classroom, at a time when children with CP were segregated, was groundbreaking. Her story makes her an amazing role model for children everywhere--whether they are living with a disability or not.
Fighting for Gold by Lorna Schultz NicholsonCanada is internationally recognized as a leader in men's and women's hockey - but in 2006 Canada had yet to conquer the world of sledge hockey, the Paralympic version of ice hockey played by athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body. The Canadian Men's Sledge Hockey team came into the 2006 games as underdogs. Yet, through determination, guts and guile, they overcame all obstacles to win gold. [Fry Reading Level - 4.7
Funny, You Don't Look Autistic by Michael McCrearyLike many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn't "look" autistic. But, as he's quick to point out in this memoir, autism "looks" different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain e into something empowering--and funny. He scored his first stand-up gig at age 14, and hasn't looked back. This unique and hilarious #OwnVoices memoir breaks down what it's like to live with autism for readers on and off the spectrum. Candid scenes from McCreary's life are broken up with funny visuals and factual asides. Funny, You Don't Look Autistic is an invaluable and compelling read for young readers with ASD looking for voices to relate to, as well as for readers hoping to broaden their understanding of ASD.
Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery; Temple GrandinWhen Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism. While Temple's doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead. Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make. This compelling biography complete with Temple's personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.