Kids’ Books Recognized For Disability Storylines
Three children’s books are being honored alongside this year’s picks for the Caldecott and Newbery Medals for focusing on the experiences of those with special needs.
The books aimed at kids and teens will receive the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Awards, the organization announced this week. The annual awards are designed to spotlight authors or illustrators for addressing the disability experience.
Winners are selected for each of three categories — one for works appealing to kids ages birth to 8, another for those ages 9 to 13 and a third category for books targeting 14 to 18-year-olds.
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This year’s pick for young children is “Six Dots” by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov, which tells the story of Louis Braille who became blind at a young age and used French military code to invent an alphabet system for those with visual impairment.
“Bryant and Kulikov combine text and art to transport readers back in time to marvel at young Braille’s genius and tenacity at inventing an alphabet system that has continued through the centuries,” said Joanna Tamplin, chair of the Schneider Family Book Awards.
In the middle grades category, the book “As Brave As You” by Jason Reynolds follows brothers Genie and Ernie who spend a summer with their grandparents and learn about true bravery by watching their grandfather live without sight.
Meanwhile, Emery Lord’s “When We Collided” won the teen category for tackling the highs and lows that come with bipolar disorder.
Winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards will each receive $5,000 and a framed plaque during the library association’s annual conference in Chicago in June.