Disability Stories

Disability stories for children taken from the halls of classic literature. Here kids can meet heros who overcome their disabilities.

The Trumpet of the Swan

By E.B. White

Talking Animals
Reading Level: 4th - 6th Grade A swan does not have his voice, but instead learns to play a trumpet. A story about overcoming disabilities.

The Door In the Wall

Marguerite de Angeli

Historical Fiction
Middle Ages
Bubonic Plague
Reading Level: 5th - 8th Grade
A young knight is left by his parents and faces a crippling illness and danger from an attacking army.

From Anna

Jean Little

Historical Fiction
Family moves from Germany to Canada
Reading Level: 4th - 8th Grade
Anna has a vision problem, can't learn to read, stumbles into things, and is nicknamed "Awkward Anna." She is unhappy to learn she will be moving from her native country to Canada, where she is sure she will never be able to fit in. But help and a new start are waiting for her there.

Mine For Keeps

Jean Little

Reading Level: 4th - 8th Grade
A heart touching story of a nine year old girl with cerebral palsy. Sally lives in a school for children with disability but dreams of living with her family. When a rehab center opens in her town, a new life begins for her.

The Blind Colt

Glen Rounds

Reading Level: 3rd - 5th Grade
On the Western frontier a blind colt learns to use his ears to survive. Based on a true story.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life

Helen Keller

United States
Reading Level: 5th - 8th Grade
The is the autobiography of an incredible woman who learned to communicate in speech and writing, even though she was blind, deaf, and mute from an illness in infancy. Numerous books about her for different age levels are in print.

Johnny Tremain

Esther Forbes

Colonial Boston
Reading Level: 4th - 8th Grade
Usually listed with books on the American Revolution, Johnny Tremain also tells the story of a young craftsman whose promising career is ended by an accident that disforms his hand. At first he despairs, but then finds that he does have an important role to play in an epic era.
Historical Fiction


By R.J. Palacio

Modern NYC
Reading Level: 4th to 7th Grade
August Pullman was born with a severe facial deformity. Due to numerous surgeries and medical problems he was homeschooled through fourth grade. Now he is going to school for the first time as enters the fifth grade class at Beecher Prep. This new story (2012) is written with changing viewpoints as we see the school year through the eyes of August and his schoolmates; he wants to be a normal student, most of his classmates are not able to get past his deformity. The end of the school year reveals changes in all of them. An excellent story for kids to see the world through the eyes of someone who does not easily fit in.

Puppies for Sale and other Inspiration Tales

By Dan Clark

Not a classic, but written by the author of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. The first story, "Puppies for Sale" is also an illustrated picture book great for younger children. A boy insists on buying the puppy who cannot walk right because he also has a disability. In the second story, we learn how the dog helps the boy overcome his disability and the boy helps the dog.

Learning Disabilities

If you have a child with a learning or reading disability, here is an on-line resource. Rene is a reading specialist with more than 20 years experience and will show you how to help children become successful readers at www.Learning-Disabilities-Reading-Tutor.com. She also offers online LIVE one-on-one educational therapy/tutoring for the child and parent.

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