Here are 25 children’s books about disabilities that will empower and uplift your soul.childrens-books-about-disabilities

The intention of this post is to provide you the BEST list possible of children’s books that demonstrate interactions and outcomes of disabled characters.

There will also be some stories that will portray a disability from different perspectives.

Below you will see a list (in no certain order) of the top kid’s books about disabilities to give your child the opportunity to relate, learn, or just become aware that each one of us is special in our own way with unique abilities.

#1. We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street)


We are taught by the fun and cute sesame street characters that we may all look different on the outside but its important to remember we are all very much alike on the inside. We have the same feelings, needs, wants, fears, and desires.

Our differences is what makes this world so wonderful to live in!

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#2.  Don’t Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability


Your child will be able to explore the questions and concerns about physical disabilities in a very simple and reassuring way.

They’ll be able to discover individual disabilities and special equipment that is used to help those disabled. Plus, they’ll learn how people of all ages can deal with disabilities while living a fulfilling and happy life.

The book was written by a psychotherapist and counselor, Pat Thomas. His writing aims to promote positive interaction among kids, parents, and teachers, and encourage kids to ask questions and confront social and emotional questions that sometimes present challenges.

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#3. Yes I can! A Girl and Her Wheelchair


This book is a wonderful story about a girl, Carolyn, focusing on what she can do more so than what she can’t do! Carolyn is a young energetic outgoing girl who wants to be social with others and participate.

Part of the story will teach your child that there are many inclusive options for children with disabilities where they can participate and adapt.

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#4. What Should Danny Do?


This interactive and empowering book helps kids understand that their choices will shape their days and overtime their lives, into what they want it to be.

Danny is a superhero who encounters choices kids face on a daily basis. As your child follows Danny’s story they will have the chance and realization that their choices for Danny shaped his day into what it became.

Even though the character, Danny, doesn’t have a disability the book hits a deeper level. It’s a great life lesson to condition kids to think about their choices and how it can positively or negatively impact their moments in life.

This is currently the number #1 bestseller book on Amazon.

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#5. Finding Nemo Read-Along Storybook and CD


“Finding Nemo” becomes an act of rescue, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others for all the characters.

The main character, Nemo, has a ‘lucky fin’ which is smaller than his other fin which challenges him when trying to do what his friends do in the ocean.

Marlin, Nemo’s father, learns to trust Nemo and his self-defined abilities. Even though Nemo has a visible impairment which sometimes gives him difficulties, he shows the world that he is no different from everyone else.

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#6. Ben’s Adventures: Day at the Beach


A 2019 Gold Medal Winner children’s fiction book was voted a kid’s favorite read grades kindergarten through 3rd!

The story follows a boy and the power of his imagination on his fun adventure to the beach. He uses his wheelchair and shows he is just like any other kid.

The book portrays important life elements of inclusion, empathy, and friendship. It teaches a great life lesson to embrace each others differences and accept each person for their unique abilities.

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#7. Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You


A #1 New York Times Best Seller!

The book with fill you with feelings of caring and kindness as the story talks about the differences that make each of us unique.

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be very difficult at times. But different people can make our world more vibrant and wonderful (in the same way different plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable).

The author, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was diagnosed as a child with diabetes so she took her experience and poured it into her work with this book. She celebrates the different abilities kids and adults have and writes about children with all types of challenges.

The story encourages us to Just Ask if we come across someone who is different from us but we aren’t sure why.

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#8. Special People Special Ways


In addition to the book being a winner of an iParenting Media Award and 2009 Preferred Choice Award by Creative Child Magazine, this book is sure to engage your kiddo with the water color illustrations and fun rhymes throughout.

Each page features children with various disabilities. The message portrayed illustrates that beyond our physical limitations is a world of unique gifts for each of us to share.

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#9. All My Stripes: A Story for Children With Autism


A Gold Medal Mom’s Choice Awards this popular read is a great way to relate to a child with autism.

It’s about a zebra named, Zane, who feels different from the rest of his zebra classmates. He fears all his classmates notice his ‘autism stripe’ but his mother comes in to change his mindset to think positively!

His mother helps him appreciate his stripes and unique strengths that make him his wonderful self.

In the words of Stan Lee (Chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics) says, “It teaches us to embrace not only who we are, but also to embrace the surrounding people who are brilliantly different thanks to their own amazing, colorful stripes.”

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#10. My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy (Growing with Love)


The heartwarming story is about two girls who become very close friends. One girl has cerebral palsy and the other girl is very artistic and finds that through her art, she can reach her special friend Suhana.

According to Dawn Cruzan, President of Camp Craig Allen for all abilities she shares, “My Friend Suhana is a delightful read for a children’s book. Very well illustrated with respect, friendship, and advocacy all in mind at the same time.”

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#11. Anxious Ninja: A Children’s Book About Managing Anxiety and Difficult Emotions (Ninja Life Hacks)


This book about anxiety offers a fun comedic spin on learning how to cope with experiencing difficult emotions. The anxious Ninja’s friend teaches him different coping methods for his anxiety as well as tips on how to handle his emotions too.

The Ninja Life Hacks book series is geared for kiddo’s ages 3 to 11 years old. It’s a great read that teaches valuable life skills!

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#12. Meeting Mimi: A Story About Different Abilities


A great read for kids in preschool up through 1st grade, entails a wonderful story about a sweet child named Mimi who is the new girl at school! She like to tell jokes but doesn’t like beans and has a disability.

Her classmates at school make a great new friend and are interested to learn more about Mimi by asking her questions about her abilities.

The book sends a positive message showing a child that they are exposed to a variety of experiences and how to learn about navigating those experiences through discussion and asking questions.

A great additional feature of this book is you are given a starting point to discuss and guide your kiddo’s social and emotional development.

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#13. Roxy the Raccoon: A Story to Help Children Learn about Disability and Inclusion (Truth & Tails Children’s Books)


The story sends an important message about the power of inclusion and is a great read for ages 4 through 8!

Roxy the raccoon lives in the forest with three friends who enjoy doing everything together which means they also have to make change happen together too. By working with one another, the friends make the forest an inclusive place for everyone, including those with a disability.

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#14. I Am Human: A Book of Empathy


A #1 New York Times Best Seller!

The story embraces how do be empathetic by making good choices while showing compassion and having empathy for ourselves and others.

Being human means we are full of possibilities to learn, dream, and wonder about what goes on in the world around us. But we also aren’t perfect and make mistakes. When we feel anger, fearful, or sad, we need to learn to find common ground.

When we can do this, we will feel an empathetic connection to the great world around us and learn to grow into self awareness of how to be the best version of our selves.

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#15. Meet Maya Cat: A Story About Acceptance


This precious story stars Instagram influencer @meetmayacat who teaches children of all ages about accepting those who are different.

The book is truly eye-opening about sending a message that everyone deserves acceptance and love. It encourages inclusion through the heartwarming character, Maya the cat.

What’s great about the story line is it relates to younger kids who can understand the basic behaviors of Maya who doesn’t look or act like they do or to older kids who are aware about treating others with love and kindness.

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#16. Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability


This book recap gave me goosebumps when I read it, literally.

The author, Shane Burcaw, was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles’ growth. He can do the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports) but routinely relies on his family and friends to help him with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.

Shane offers his readers a raw, honest, funny, and relatable glimpse into his life.

As quoted, “Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.”

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#17.  I Will Dance


This fascinating picture book was illustrated by the #1 New York Time Bestselling illustrator’s of We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines.

The story follows a young girl, Eva, who was born with cerebral palsy as she pursue’s her lifelong dream to become a dancer in her wheelchair. Her dance instructor and fellow students are very encouraging allowing Eva to gain more confidence as her dream of dance begins to come true.

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#18. Some Kids Use Wheelchairs: Revised Edition (Understanding Differences)


A book of colorful photos and fun activities showing kids with disabilities and their peers.

It’s a great read spreading awareness to the younger generation about understanding and having compassion towards other children who have health differences.

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#19. Who Do You See When You Look At Me?


The story follows a sweet girl, Grace Anna, who may appear different. She is a happy girl that has so much to give and big dreams she wants to live out.

This is a wonderful book showing each of us may be different but we all have dreams of our own. It inspires us to let go of first impressions and see ourselves and others for who they really are.

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#20. A Little SPOT of Anger: A Story About Managing BIG Emotions


Anger is a difficult emotion to handle sometimes! Your child may experience this because of a hurtful word another peer says to them or maybe their toy is taken away. No matter what, frustrating situations happen.

This book will help them redirect their anger by showing them there are FUN ways to stay calm.

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#21. Insignificant Events In The Life Of A Cactus


This cheerful story is about a humorous girl, Aven Green.

She tells the people she meets that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match or from a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. When Aven has to move across the country with her family she knows she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she meets another companion who feels isolated because of his own disability.

In the words of the School Library Journal, “Aven is a perky, hilarious, and inspiring protagonist whose attitude and humor will linger even after the last page has turned.”

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#22. El Deafo


A New York Times Bestseller!

The courageous story is about Cece who needs The Phonic Ear to hear which is a very powerful and slightly awkward hearing aid that’s strapped to her chest. Since the hearing aid makes Cece appear ‘different’ it isolates her from her classmates and all she truly wants is a best friend. Someone who appreciates her for who she is.

Cece harnesses the power of her Phonic Ear which helps her find her true self and the best friend she’s been searching for.

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#23. Who Was Helen Keller


Hellen Keller is a true inspiration for all! One of the most memorable women in history.

She became blind and deaf at the age of 2 and struggled in a world of silence and darkness for many years. It was her teacher, Ann Sullivan, who changed her world. She learned to read, write, and do many incredible things because of Ann.

The inspiring black and white illustration’s is the perfect read for young middle-aged readers. The teaching of Helen is a great life lesson that by helping others through faith and determination it will allow you to accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible.

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#24. Rescue & Jessica


This inspiring story is based on a real-life partnership which is about a girl and her service dog working together as a team. Rescue begins to help Jessica live her life in ways she never imagined.

The authors do an incredible job portraying the training and amazing abilities of service dogs, focusing on the real-life best friend and black lab rescue pup.

In the end, the story is sure to make your heart melt!

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#25. Ivy The Very Determined Dog


An incredible story about overcoming challenges and finding your inner strengths!

Ivy is a spunky and fearful French Bulldog who suddenly becomes paralyzed in her back legs due to a rare genetic spinal disease. However, this does not stop Ivy from living her life to the fullest.

Ivy sends a powerful message showing us to never give up on life and to embrace our individuality.

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Final Takeaway


Children’s books about disabilities may seem like they are difficult to find.

Disabled representation in books about kids in which children can relate to or become aware of are starting to gain traction. I do believe times are changing because of our virtual friend ‘Mr. Google’ as well as social media!  It allows us to find incredible books that suit our needs.

My hope is that a story spoke to you for your kiddo with the collection of books listed throughout this post!

These stories are an excellent resource if you’re a parent, counselor, or teacher.  Even f you’re searching for the perfect gift idea for a family member or friend, hopefully a book stood out to you.

The authors who have taken the time to spread their beautiful messages throughout the world are incredible human beings. Together, we can spread these authors powerful messages and most importantly, positively expand our children’s minds in knowing that each of us are special with our own unique abilities. 🙂

childrens-books-about-disabilities

Final Thoughts


If there are additional children’s books about disabilities you would recommend, questions you may have, or anything you’d like to add that I did not cover, please comment below.

If you found value in this post, please share the love by clicking the sidebar link to help another child know their abilities are special and appreciated. 🙂

I really do strive to make the content I create as helpful as possible for you…as a fellow parent looking out for their most precious gift.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for stopping by today!


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