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Book Roundup: Cerebral Palsy Rep

In honor of #CerebralPalsyDay, what follows is a short roundup of relatively new books that were group-curated by readers and writers with cerebral palsy and/or firsthand disability experience. These are books that celebrate, that portray strong characters, and that bust disability stigmas! We love stigma-busting!

If you have suggestions of other new books to add to this list, please do so in the comments!

book cover of a super happy boy clutching a rocket-shaped piece of metal. He's in a cool wheelchair with an alien image on the wheel. Behind him are shadowy aliens and kids, all smiling
Capstone, Aug 2023...MiddleGrade...Series.

On his twelfth birthday, Drew Daniels receives a chunk of alien spacecraft. It's the coolest present ever. But then a Martian secretly comes to take the piece back and gives Drew an even more amazing gift in exchange: the power to absorb information through touch! Will Drew keep this brain boost ability to himself, or will he take up the path of a superhero and help a classmate who loses something precious? Find out in this exciting Fantastic Freewheeler graphic novel, featuring a spunky hero who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, as well as action full of humor and heart.

Sam loves herself, learning, and making her family and friends laugh. She also loves comfortable seats, including a graceful couch named after Misty Copeland and Laney, the sassy backseat of Mom's car. After a busy morning of rest, Sam and her friends try on cute outfits at the mall and imagine what the new school year might bring. It's not until Sam feels tired, and the new seat she meets isn't so super, that she discovers what might be her best idea all day.

The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.

What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off? A boy named Joe is trying to play pirates at the playground, but he keeps being asked what happened to his leg. Bombarded with questions and silly suggestions, Joe becomes more and more fed up...until the kids finally understand they don't need to know what happened. And that they're wasting valuable playtime! Based on the author's real childhood experiences, this honest, funny, and authentic picture book is an empowering read for anyone with a disability, and for young readers learning how best to address differences.

Andrea Williams has got this. The Best Summer Ever. Last summer, she spent all her time in bed, recovering from the latest surgery for her cerebral palsy. She's waited too long for adventure and thrills to enter her life. Together with her crew of ride-or-die friends, and the best parents anyone could ask for (just don't tell them that), she's going to live it up.

There's just one thing that could ruin it: Her best friend, Hailee, finding out Andrea's true feelings. So Andrea WILL fall out of love with Hailee - even if it means dating the cute boy George who keeps showing up everywhere with a smile.


If you have suggestions of other new books to add to this list, please do so in the comments!


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