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Children's Corner
in association with Barnes and Noble
Last updated February 3, 2000 3:54 p.m. EST
This page has books with characters who have cerebral palsy, spina bifida or another physical impairment. If you would like more information on any of these books, or to order, click on the book title. To suggest a book that would fit into this category  email me.  Happy reading!

Callaway, Charles R.,  Holdaway, Richard (Illustrator) and  Wride, Gloy(Illustrator). Benjamin's Gift by  For all ages. From the Publisher "Benjamin was born with no legs. His parents had died years before while on a trip to Jericho. Lancus, his brother, was left to rear him as best as he could. Adult as well as peers ridiculed him for the way he looked. Yet deep within his heart, Benjamin knew that his only hope in dealing with people was through love. He knew he was not able to lift great physical burdens for others, but he could lift the heavy burdens of the heart. Benjamin found through his experiences that giving and continuing to give is where true happiness in life begins. Benjamin shows his love for the Christ Child by giving his most precious gift."

Carlson, Nancy L. Arnie and the New Kid  For ages 5 to 8. From Booklist: "Top cat Arnie teases Philip because he is confined to a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective."

Dwight, Laura. We Can Do It . For ages 5 to 8. From Booklist: "In a series of individual photo-essays a number of children around five years old with various disabilities--cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, blindness--are shown with families and friends, teachers and therapists, at school and at play. The bright, informal color photographs are full of action and vitality, and the brief, first-person narratives are upbeat. "I can do lots of things," say these smiling, beautiful kids of various races--and they can. They are shown doing what makes them special ("The kids want to know about my wheelchair." "Last year I had an operation to help me  walk." "This is my chair; my name is on it in Braille") and also what makes them like kids everywhere (having a pillow fight, playing with a computer, helping a younger sibling). This is a book for disabled  kids and their families and also for all classrooms where kids worry and wonder about being different."

Dyer, T.A. A. A Way of His Own .For Young Adults. From School Library Journal: "A lame boy from a very primitive nomadic tribe is abandoned by his family and, together with a girl stolen from another tribe, tries to survive a cruel winter. "A thoughtful, uncondescending examination of prejudice and superstition, strengthened by well-developed characters and relationships."

Fassler, Joan, Lasker, Joe (Illustrator).  Howie Helps Himself . For ages 6 to 8. Though he enjoys life with his family and attends school, Howie, a child with cerebral palsy, wants more than anything else to be able to move his wheelchair by himself.

Helfman, Elizabeth, Saffioti, Lino (Illustrator). On Being Sarah . For Young Adults. From Booklist: " Sarah is 12 years old. She has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair, and communicates through Blissymbols, a tool for those unable to vocalize. Based on the life of a real person, Helfman's novel explores the tremendous difficulties and small triumphs of Sarah's everyday life--getting to school on her own, adjusting to being mainstreamed, meeting her first "friend who  happens to be boy." Faithful to Sarah's point of view, the book focuses on her physical challenges  and shows that when those around her are helpful and sensitive, her difficulties need not be restrictive. Sarah and her family and friends are neither well-rounded nor clearly delineated characters. They exist to further the book's message, which points out clearly and often that there is a complex human soul inside Sarah's body. An afterword explains the origin of Blissymbols."

Mayer, Mercer, Mayer, Gina.  A Very Special Critter . For ages 5 to 8. Little Critter discovers that the new boy in class is really not so different from anyone else, even though he is in a wheelchair.

Robinet, Harriette Gillem. Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule . For ages 9 to 11. From School Library Journal: "Once again, Robinet has humanized a little-known piece of American history. In the spring of 1865, the Freedmen's Bureau approved a plan to give 40 acres of abandoned land to former slave families. Forty thousand freed people took advantage of that offer, only to lose their farms when it was withdrawn in September. The author focuses on Pascal, 12, a slave on a plantation in South Carolina. His older brother Gideon, who ran away during the war, returns to collect him and they head for Georgia, determined to become landowners. Teaming up with Pascal's friend Nelly and the elderly Mr. Freedman and his granddaughter, they form a family, claim land, and begin to farm. The Bibbs, white neighbors from Tennessee, are helpful in protecting them from the night  riders who are determined to destroy black-owned farms. Despite their hard work, Pascal and the others are evicted at the end of the summer. Luckily, Gideon had found a treasure buried under a tree, and they set out to buy land on the Georgia Sea Islands. Pascal is a likable boy whose withered hand and leg limit his body but not his mind and whose dreadful jokes entertain everyone. The dialect may deter some readers at first, but sympathy for the characters will keep children going until they reach the satisfying ending."

Springer, Nancy. Colt . For ages 10 to 12. Colt Vittorio has never run a race, or even walked down the street on his own. Colt has spina bifida, and sees the world from a wheelchair. Then his mother signs him up for a special riding program. "An excellent portrayal of a young person struggling with the emotional and social  ramifications of a serious disease."--Booklist. An IRA Young Adult's Choice; Winner of the Joan Fassler Memorial Book Award.

Thomasma, Kenneth, Brouwer, Jack (Illustrator). Amee-Nah: Zuni Boy Runs the Race of His Life . For ages 7 to 11. From Children's Literature: "Ten-year-old Amee-nah is dreading the upcoming summer vacation because his clubfoot and resulting limp will once again keep him from joining other boys his age at sheep camp. Zuni Pueblo of northeastern New Mexico, in 1939, is the setting for this addition to the "Amazing Indian Children's" series. Besides missing out on sheep camp, Amee-nah also wishes he could participate in trditional stick races and other sports and even regrets his nickname, "Amee-nah." which means lazy. This simple, straightforward novel describes how, with strength and determination, and some help from his friend, Mawee, and his caring mother, coach and doctor, Amee-nah succeeds in recovering from an operation to correct his foot and fulfills his dream of attending sheep camp and running in the stick races."

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