11 Books That Celebrate Kids with Disabilities

Books that center and celebrate children with disabilities are not only for kids with disabilities. These stories are important for all children to understand that everyone is different, and that our differences make us unique and wonderful! Books can give children a window into other kids’ lives—and build empathy and tolerance—or make them feel seen if they are similar to the heroes, which helps kids develop self-efficacy.

Here are 11 books about kids who have disabilities or learning differences, to pass on to your child to or to read together.


Dream To Go Far (By FACT Oregon): This book is a FACT Oregon original! It encourages children and adults to see that disability is a natural part of human life, and that everyone deserves to live a whole full life. Those children with disabilities need the right support group, so they can reach for the sky. This book encourages and inspires parents and caregivers to become their child’s biggest advocates and cheerleaders. 

  • Age Range: All ages
  • Languages: English/Spanish, English/Vietnamese, English/Russian
  • Location book is available: FACT Oregon


The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (By Christy Scattarella): This story is based on a true story told by the founder of The Shadow Project! Alex was having a hard time in school. One day Alex set a goal for himself, and when he reached it, he earned a reward. Because Alex could see and feel his progress, his pride and motivation soared. That’s when his mom founded The Shadow Project to help kids with learning challenges succeed in school! 

  • Age Range: 3-8 years old 
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Amazon


This Beach is Loud (By Samantha Cotterill): Kids on the autism spectrum can feel sensory overload in places that are busy and loud. This kiddo in the book gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sensations, and sounds at the beach. But his dad has a trick to help his son face those unexpected obstacles. This book offers practical advice for coping with new experiences to children on the autism spectrum and/or with sensory sensitivity needs. 

  • Age Range: 3-7 years old 
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café 


It was Supposed to be Sunny (By Samantha Cotterill): Laila had a perfectly planned birthday party for outside in the sunshine. Unfortunately, a storm swoops in and ruins everything that was planned. She feels okay with moving her party indoors, but there was in incident with her cake that makes Laila want to end her party. But with a little help from her mom and her service dog, so she knows she can handle it. Kids on the autism spectrum can have a hard time changing a routine. This book gives a little guidance to help those kids navigate schedule changes and overwhelming social situations. 

  • Age Range: 3-7 years old
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café


Can I Play Too? (By Samantha Cotterill): This book is about paying attention to other people’s feelings. When two boys playing with a train track have a disagreement, a disaster happens for the train and their friendship. A teacher step in and explains how to tell when a friend is feeling certain emotions. Compromising and paying attention to how other people are feeling can be hard for kids, but especially for kids on the autism spectrum. This book provides gentle guidance to help kids navigate the ups and downs of working together. 

  • Age Range: 3-7 years old 
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café


When Oliver Speaks (By Kimberly Garvin): Oliver has a stutter when he speaks, which lead him to being quiet for a while. Oliver learns to overcome those fears and finds the courage to accept his stutter and rise above it! 

  • Age Range: 5-8 years old
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café


Katie Can (By Erin Palmer): This book is an adventure! Katie has Down Syndrome, but throughout the book there are hints and clues to find out what makes her so unique (I won’t give any spoilers). This book is more than just engaging, it also includes a vocabulary list, reading tips and activities, as well as comprehension questions. If your kiddo loves books that have a lot of vibrant illustrations and are easy to read, this is a perfect option. 

  • Age Range: 5-8 years old 
  • Languages: English
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café 


Moses Goes to a Concert (By Issac Millman): Moses is a child who is deaf and also has friends in school who are deaf. The way that Moses and his friends communicate is through American Sign Language, as well as enjoying many activities with their other senses. As a fieldtrip for the day, Moses and his class are going to a concert. Their teacher has two surprises in store for them to make the concert a particularly special event. What makes this book special is that at the end of the book, there are two conversations in sign language and as well a page showing the hand alphabet. Your child can learn the alphabet in sign language as well! 

  • Age Range: 5-8 years old
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café


Thank you Mr. Falker (By Patricia Polacco): Trisha is a little girl who loves to paint and draw, beautifully. But when it came to Trisha looking at words on a page, all she saw was a jumble. It took a very special teacher, to notice that Trisha has dyslexia. The teacher, recognized her reading disability and helped her become a confident student. This book is great if your child needs that push of encouragement! 

  • Age Range: 6-10 years
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Roundabout Books & Café and Dudley’s Bookshop Café


As Brave As You (By Jason Reynolds): This book is about two brothers who spend their summer with their blind grandfather. When it’s Ernie’s 14th birthday and his grandfather tells him that to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Ernie isn’t interested. Ernie’s younger brother, Genie, is left wondering if bravery and becoming a man is only about proving something, or if it’s just as important to own up to what you won’t do? 

  • Age Range: 10 years old and up 
  • Languages: English 
  • Location book is available: Dudley’s Bookshop Café


Same but Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express (By Holly Peete, RJ Peete & Elizabeth Peete): Being a teen is hard. But when a teen has autism, or if your sibling has autism, life can be more challenging. Having autism as a child is different than as a teen, when you have to navigate peer relationships, dating, school, and body changes. This book is based on a true story told by Ryan Elizabeth and her twin brother Rodney. This very powerful book explores the funny, painful, and unexpected aspects of teen autism. 

  • Age Range: 12 years and up 
  • Languages: English
  • Location book is available: Dudley’s Bookshop Café

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