Living with Disability Booklist
Here are some insights into the world of the disabled both in stories and in life.
Marvellous: Neil Baldwin – my story by Neil Baldwin with Malcolm Clarke
Neil 'Nello' Baldwin is many things: Stoke FC kit man, qualified clown, conqueror of learning difficulties, honourary Keele University graduate. But most of all, he is a living reminder that positivity, friendliness, and warmth can bring you everything, no matter what your circumstances are.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The classic tale of ten-year old Mary, who comes to live in her uncle’s lonely house on the Yorkshire moors following the death of her parents. Spoilt and sickly, her life changes for the better when she discovers the secret walled garden in the grounds of the house and befriends animal-loving Dickon and Colin, her invalid cousin.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorise it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, they flee with a dangerous secret. Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering. At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in.
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; Benjy a man with a profound learning disability; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. This has been described as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. A Harvard professor, she has a successful husband and three grown children. She soon finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of Alzheimer's Disease. Her short-term memory may be hanging on by a couple of frayed threads, but she is still Alice.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
A murder mystery like no other, this novel features Christopher Boone, a 15 year-old who has Asperger`s syndrome, a form of autism. When he finds a neighbour`s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
The Reason I Jump: one boy’s voice from the silence of autism by Naoki Higishida
Written by Naoki Higishida when he was only 13, this remarkable book explains the often baffling behaviour of autistic children and shows the way they think and feel - such as about the people around them, time and beauty, noise, and themselves. Naoki abundantly proves that autistic people do possess imagination, humour and empathy, but also makes clear, with great poignancy, how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.
Haatchi and Little B by Wendy Holden
On a bitterly cold night in January 2012, Haatchi the dog was hit over the head and abandoned on a railway line to be hit by a train. The driver saw the adorable five-month old Anatolian Shepherd moments too late. Somehow, the terrified puppy survived. A Facebook appeal brought him to the attention of a couple of kind-hearted dog lovers, Colleen Drummond and Will Howkins, who are also the dad and stepmum of Owen (known to his family as Little B for 'little buddy'). One look at Haatchi's expressive face told them all they needed to know and the lucky dog moved into the Howkins' family home just six weeks after almost being killed. Owen, now aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder and is largely confined to a wheelchair. When he awoke the morning after Haatchi arrived he immediately fell in love with the severely disabled rescue animal who would, in turn, rescue him.
What the **** is normal? By Francesca Martinez
What do you do when you're labelled abnormal in a world obsessed with normality? If you grow up in a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, cellulite is cause for a mental breakdown and women over a size ten are encouraged to shoot themselves (immediately), what the **** do you do if you're, gasp, disabled? When Francesca was two years old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Her parents were told by a consultant that she would never lead a normal life. For many girls, this would have meant hiding away and accepting some things were beyond their reach. Not this girl. This book is personal, funny and insightful, and explores just how bloody hard it is to learn to like yourself - wobbly or not - in this world.
What to Look for in Winter: a memoir in blindness by Candia McWilliam
Candia McWilliam had just joined the judging panel of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006 when she started to lose her sight. The gradual onset of blindness seemed like an assault especially tailored for someone whose life consisted of reading and writing. In `What To Look For In Winter`, we see her rifling through her many selves for that elusive thing, a sense of self, as all the time she searches the wilder shores of medicine for a cure for her blindness.
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
January, 1982. Thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor - covert stammerer and reluctant poet - anticipates a stultifying year growing up in the most boring family in the deadest village in the dullest county in the most tedious nation on earth. Charting thirteen months in the black hole between childhood and adolescence he negotiates the pitfalls of school and home and contends with bullies, girls and politics. This is a captivating novel, wry, painful and vibrant with the stuff of life.
Handle with Care by Jodie Picoult
Charlotte's daughter Willow was born with a severe form of brittle bone disease. One stumble could force her to spend months in a body cast. Willow's condition is expensive, and her family face financial ruin. Then Charlotte is offered a lifeline. She could sue her doctor for 'wrongful birth'. But her doctor is her best friend.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The childlike Lennie is lost without his guardian, George, who feels his slow-witted friend has been delivered into his keeping. Bound by their fragile dream of owning land where they will ’belong’, their paradisiacal future is soon shattered.
Page last updated: 30th November 2015