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Let's Go! Books with Positive Images

Children & Young People with Mobility Difficulties



There are all sorts of stories here, featuring child-eating snakes, escaped hamsters and a helpful ghost. Some of the children and young people in the stories have a mobility problem which makes it more difficult for them to get about, but the focus of the story is on their character and what they do, not just on their disability. The range of non-fiction shares children's and young peoples' different experiences of living with a disability.

Picture Books

Bodsworth, Nan - A Nice Walk in the Jungle
Miss Jellaby's class goes on a nature walk in the jungle and see all kinds of exciting animals. Disaster strikes when the class, including Peter who uses a wheelchair, are swallowed by a snake. Young children will enjoy this colourful story.

Foreman, Michael - Seal Surfer
In this story for young children a young boy observes a seal through the different seasons. When he gets into trouble out at sea on his surf board, the seal comes to his rescue. Throughout the book the boy is pictured with walking aids.

Harter, Debbie - The Animal Boogie
Swing along with the creatures of the Indian jungle as they shake, swing, flap and slither to the sound of the animal boogie. A happy young wheelchair user joins in with the fun.

Naidoo, Beverley - Letang's New Friend
Letang moves to a new home and new school. This story is about how she begins to make new friends, one of which is Julie, who, although not singled out in the story, is a little girl who has to have walking aids.

Naidoo, Beverley - Trouble for Letang and Julie
Nibbles the hamster escapes in Ms Miller's classroom. Letang and her friend Julie have to help find the missing pet. Julie has difficulty walking and either uses a wheelchair or walking aids to help her. Suitable for very young children.

Waddell, Martin - My Great Grandpa
This picture book portrays the relationship between a child and her Grandpa who has to use a wheelchair. The story is about the special friendship they have, and how the little girl sees her Grandpa's disability in a positive way.

Wilkins, Verna Allette - Boots for a Bridesmaid
In this story for younger children, Nicky is going to be bridesmaid at her Aunt's wedding, and insists on wearing boots. Her mum has a wheelchair, but although it is visually present in the story, it is not mentioned in the text. At the end is a good explanation of why she has to use a wheelchair.

Willis, Jean - Susan Laughs
Susan laughs sings, rides and swings. She gets angry and sad and can be good and bad. Susan uses a wheel chair and has fun doing the thing all children enjoy. A lovely picture book for pre-school children.

Beginning to Read

Dowley, Ruth - Top Biker
A story for first readers. Steve has spina bifida and despite being bullied by Dan, he learns to ride a bike. When Dan falls from his own bike and is badly injured, it is up to Steve to come to the rescue.


Goodhart, Pippa - Happy Butterfly
Happy is a wheelchair user and cannot see well at the carnival. Her gran makes her a butterfly costume and as part of the parade she can see everything. This story portrays a positive image of a young black child who is a wheelchair user and is part of the Tadpole series of first readers.

French, Vivian- Tilly McGillies Fantastical Chair
Tillys aunts think Tilly needs to be kept warm when she goes out in her wheelchair but her gran says pots of tea need keeping warm and turns it into a magic flying chair. This book is part of the Sprinter series for beginner readers.

Rosen, Bill - Catch Me A Godzilla
In the second story of this book Jake meets Assim who uses a wheelchair because he was hurt in a road accident. The two become good friends, and deal with the local bullies together. Suitable for ages 8+.


Junior Fiction

Ahlberg, Allan - My Brother's Ghost
In this spine-tingling story, set fifty years ago, the ghost of 10-year old Tom returns to look out for his sister Frances. Frances wears a caliper because her leg has been damaged by Polio and when she falls into the canal, the weight drags her down. But can a ghost save her?

Bevan, Clare - Mightier Than The Sword
Adam becomes involved in an adventure which links the past and present, involving King Arthur and saving a plot of land. The story is fast moving and funny. Adam has Spina Bifida. Suitable for young people aged 9yrs+.

Cole, Hannah - Bring In the Spring
Bel goes to work on a community project at a school for children with special needs and meets Sarah who uses a wheelchair. This is a story of discoveries for both Bel and Sarah, with sad and positive moments.

Dalton, Annie - Ferris Fleet the Wheelchair Wizard
Oscars mum has to find a baby-sitter while she works for the Cosmic Peace Police. Who better than Ferris Fleet and Wonderwheels his magic wheelchair?


Teenage Fiction

Belbin, David - Shooting at the Stars
Layla is an up and coming pop star who is in a wheelchair. A heckler shows up at her first gig and she writes a song about him, which becomes one of her most popular songs. His re-appearance at other concerts prompts Mick, her boyfriend, to offer to sort the heckler out. Does the heckler exist, or is he in Laylas mind? A book suitable for teens that leaves the reader to make up their mind as to what the ending really is!

Blume, Judy - Deenie
Deenie has to wear a back brace to straighten her spine. This story for teenagers looks at how she comes to terms with giving up her dream of being a cheerleader, and her mum's dream of her becoming a model, as well as coping with the usual difficulties of becoming a young adult.

Hill, David - See, Ya Simon
Simon is a teenage boy with Muscular Dystrophy who is in a wheelchair, and does not have long to live. This book is about him and his friend Nathan and all the usual teenage things they get up to, playing pranks, forgetting to do homework and more.

Laird, Elizabeth (editor) - Me and My Electric
This book for teenagers brings together a collection of short stories. They were inspired by 8 children who worked with a group of authors, and include their experiences of various special needs, including disabilities which have affected movement.

Tricker, Andy - Accidents Will Happen
In this teenage novel, Andy, the author of the book, is left paralysed following a motorbike accident. He writes about the difficulties he has encountered while trying to overcome his disability.

Voigt, Cynthia - Izzy, Willy-Nilly
In this book for young adults Izzy has to have her right leg amputated following a car accident. The story looks at how she copes with life and relationships and comes to terms with her change in circumstances.


Non-fiction

Althea - I Use A Wheelchair
This easy to read book is about a young girl who uses a wheelchair. She talks about how other people treat her, what she does at school and the activities she likes to take part in out of school.

Church, Diane - Going Shopping
This real-life story is about Sara, who uses a wheelchair, her best friend Moya and their day out shopping. At the end of the story are facts about physical disabilities and how able-bodied people can help children like Sara. The simple text would be good for younger children.

Condon, Judith - When It's Hard to Move
This book for older children first talks about movement and how movement impairment can happen. It then features different kinds of people with disabilities, and their lives and interests. At the back is a good glossary and further information resources.

Powell, Jillian - Sam Uses a Wheelchair
A book aimed at primary age children showing a day in the life of Sam who has spina bifida. It shows her using her a standard wheelchair, a racing wheelchair and a standing frame as she has fun at home and at a youth club.

Powell, Jillian - What Do We Think About Disability?
A variety of disabilities are talked about in this book for younger children, including disabilities that affect movement. Photographs and simple text are used to explain to children about special needs. Notes for parents are given at the end of the book.

Royston, Angela - Using a Wheelchair (Whats It Like series)
A book for 5 to 7 year olds that explains why some people use a wheelchair and what life is like for them. Includes photos of wheelchair users of all ages and has a section on sport.

Sanders, Pete - Lets Talk About Disabled People
For older children, this book looks at the questions often asked regarding disabilities. There are real life pictures to accompany the text and an explanation of unusual words at the end of the book.

Your Body - Inside and Out
A series of six science books for pupils aged 7-9 years about the human body. The series contains photographs of children with disabilities along side non-disabled child models and art work to show how the body works inside and out. Bones and Muscles by Angela Royston
Food and Digestion by Andrew Solway
Heart and Lungs by Andrew Solway
Senses by Angela Royston
Teeth and Hair by Angela Royston
Growing by Andrew Solway Finding the books

You can reserve books online through the Birmingham Libraries Catalogue.

Useful Websites

Listening Books:www.listening-books.org.uk
A charity which provides a postal audio book service to anyone who has an illness or disability that makes it impossible or difficult to hold a book, turn its pages or read in the usual way.

Children in the Picture:http://childreninthepicture.org.uk
Part of Scope's Time to Get Equal campaign, this website aims to encourage publishers, illustrators and writers to include disabled children alongside others in picture books for young readers.


When a Book Might Help
Children and Young People with Special Needs
Libraries Catalogue
Access to Libraries for People with a Mobility Difficulty
Some useful disability web sites