The books in this collection are all brilliant reads and feature, as a main protagonist, a character with a disability. 

According to Scope, 8% of children in the UK have a disability; this may be an obvious physical disability or one that is hidden - and 10% of children in the UK live in a family with at least one disabled child.

Every child and teenager should be able to fulfil their potential and have the confidence to succeed as they grow up. But disabled children and their families face daily challenges that make life harder.

It isn't always easy to find books that reflect this reality but we can guarantee the books in this collection are positive stories, with credible characters that tackle issues of inclusivity.

In Giraffe and a Half by Nicola Kent, Giraffe is different to look at. She has six legs and 3 ears. Both are useful and she is happy having extra legs for crunching through leaves and extra ears for listening to birdsong. But she is not happy that when she is out playing with other animals they make her feel an outsider.

Everything changes when the seeker in a game of hide-and-seek played by an exuberant flock of beautifully multi-coloured birds discovers her hiding behind a tree. Just as Giraffe is a giraffe and a half so the bird is a bird and a half. She has three wings and three legs.

When Giraffe explains that no one wants to play with her because she is different, the bird offers excellent advice: ‘Just show yourself off to the world./ Be Proud and Strong and Brave and Bold’. It’s a powerful message for Giraffe and also for all readers.

Aoife Dooley is an Irish autistic author and illustrator who writes with authority, empathy and humour about the world as viewed by Frankie. Frankie believes she is an alien; she is the smallest person in her class – and she is accused of talking too much! But really all she is different – neurodivergent, though it is not until nearly the end of the book that Frankie gets an insight into why she views things differently. Drawn in a very simple two-colour cartoon style it is easily accessible across a range of readers. Frankie's World is highly recommended for all readers offering perspective on autism whilst maintaining care and affection for the protagonists.

Billy Plimpton is an eleven-year-old boy with a big dream. He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up, a tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer. The idea for The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh came from Helen Rutter's son, who has a stammer: she wanted to write the book that he would love to read, starring a child like him. Both touching and funny this is a brilliant story about being brave, being different and learning that being you is what really matters. 

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange is a touching and beautifully observed story about friendship and overcoming family difficulties. An unlikely friendship between A-grade student and violent bully Dane Washington and Billy D, a new and younger kid on the block who has Down’s syndrome, turns out to be vital for both of them. Dane is able to show the better side of himself through his care of Billy D. and Billy D has a special job – finding his father – that he needs Dane to help him with. The two boys set off on a road trip in search of one father that leads both to a better understanding of both of their relationships with their fathers – and of taking personal responsibility.

We have also included a few non-fiction titles that explore disability, and prompt discussion and empathy.

Navigate the perils of growing up in Moving On Up, a hilarious and confidence-building guide to friendship, beating the bullies and overcoming cringe-worthy moments - by comedian and bestselling children's writer, Rosie Jones. Rosie has Cerebral palsy and in this book she shares her own experiences of navigating a school setting with the disability. As warm and funny as the author herself, this is a brilliantly accessible guide to growing up.

I Am Not A Label by Cerrie Burnell is an eye-opening, stylish and empowering collection of biographies profiling over 30 disabled creators, thinkers, activists and athletes. As she says in her introduction when she was growing up as a child born with just one hand  “there just weren’t enough books with a disabled protagonist” and “Everyone deserves to see someone like them in a story and achieving something great”.

We have a separate collection of Children's Books that Feature Autism.

And 20 Brilliant Books Featuring Deaf or Hard of Hearing Characters.