Rudine Sims Bishop wrote, “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author.”
Include these books in your children’s library to help them learn about accepting others.
“My Mouth Is a Volcano!” by Julia Cook
This preschool-level book is about living with ADHD, but it will also teach children how to wait for their turn to speak. The author is a national award-winning children’s author and parenting expert who has a unique approach to helping children deal with their emotions, especially in social settings.
“Rules” by Cynthia Lord
In this book, 12-year-old Catherine lives in a home that revolves around her brother’s autism. She’s learned to deal with his disability by creating rules for him. When Catherine meets a new girl, she tries to hide her brother. She has to make sense of her embarrassment and insecurities. This book is part of the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning novels.
“Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
This novel for ages 10 and up focuses on living with dyslexia. Ally tries to hide her inability to read and doesn’t want to ask for help. She’s ashamed and considers herself dumb. Because her father is in the military, she’s had to move around a lot, which means Ally hasn’t been officially diagnosed. She’s found “creative” ways to avoid dealing with her inabilities. When a teacher finally recognizes her challenges, Ally is encouraged to be the person she wants to be.
“Where the Watermelon Grows” by Cindy Baldwin
Dealing with mental illness isn’t easy for adults. Think about it from a child’s perspective. This novel, for children in middle grades, focuses on Della, a 12-year-old girl who finds herself talking to people who aren’t there. Della attempts to heal her mom with magic honey, but she learns that she might have to accept her mom for who she is.
“Mama Zooms” by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
Written for preschoolers, this book deals with living in a wheelchair. The boy’s mama has to use a wheelchair, and she zooms him everywhere. It’s a nice story of normalizing disability, because it doesn’t talk about what mama can’t do. It connects readers to playtime and doesn’t hit them over the head with disabilities.
“Something to Say about Stuttering” by Eden Molineux
This book is recommended for children grades K through 6. Readers will gain information on supporting communication of stutterers. People who stutter will learn self-advocacy. Molineux is a speech-pathologist who has a collection of books about speech difficulties.
“Grady Gets Glasses” by Dede Rittman
The pain of getting glasses as a child is often overlooked by adults. In this book, written for elementary grades, Grady believes that wearing glasses makes a rabbit (or person) special. The book explains why people need glasses and how glasses help someone see. Readers should feel more empathy after seeing the world through his eyes.
“The Black Book of Colors” By Menena Cottin
Although this book was written for grades K through 5, one reviewer recommends it for junior high students. Readers will imagine living without sight through these descriptive images. The book also includes Braille letters. The pages are done in black and white, so it’s an unusual book. It’s been beautifully designed to let you and your child experience color through the other senses. “Green smells like grass that has just been cut.” “Yellow is soft, like a baby chick’s feathers.” It even describes a rainbow. This book deserves a place in every library.
If your child is living with a disability or you would like them to learn about empathy, then check out these fantastic books. These stories are sure to delight and educate in equal measure.