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YA novels with disabled characters?

Help, please! A friend is looking for good recommendations for YA novels featuring main characters with either physical or mental disabilities. I'm drawing a blank. Any suggestions?



Re: YA novels with disabled characters?

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (autistic protagonist). Or Whale Talk - has characters with both physical and mental disabilities.
  • The Gone series by Michael Grant has one charcter with autism. He is not the main character but he is probably the most powerful character. I think most of the heroes in the Percy Jackson series have ADHD and dyslexia.
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork has a character with autism and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erksine has a character with Aspergers.
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  • This might not be what you are looking for, but the MC in Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught has schizophrenia and it is told from his POV.

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  • Wonder by RJ Palacio.  The main character was born deformed and has had many surgeries.  Fabulous book!
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  • I found a few on Amazon that I have never read. I can't vouch for them. Black-eyed Suzie by Susan Shaw (mental disability). Shooting Monarchs by John Halliday (physical disability).


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  • Not exactly a disability, but the MC in North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley has a large birthmark covering a large portion of her face.
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  • I'm a school psych, so I've been making my way through some of these lately for my students.  I just finished Anything But Typical -- told from the perspective of a boy with autism. 

    Now I'm reading Out of My Mind, about a girl with cerebral palsy who is unable to communicate verbally.  It is FANTASTIC so far!

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  • Not sure if this is in the realm of what she's looking for, but in Going Bovine by Libba Bray the main character becomes mentally ill from mad cow disease. The whole thing is kind of his whacked out, surreal descent into the disease. 
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  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John has a deaf main character. 
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