I Am Not My Disability: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities
Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about young people with disabilities the 2017 list was announced earlier this month. You can read about it here, and download the pdf.
This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level. Outstanding titles, including the one below, become part of The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities. This one-of-a-kind collection is located in Canada at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system.
Children’s librarian Debora Pearson works at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system, where The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities is located. She works closely with lead librarian Leigh Turina. Part of her role involves promoting the collection through social media; and she also conducts IBBY collection visits for school classes and youth groups, provides reference support, and assists with the compilation of the biennial list of outstanding titles.
For the past year, Debora has shared a review of one of the books from the 2015 selection with MWD readers each month; and we are delighted to welcome her back now with the first of a new sereis of reviews focusing on the 2017 list.
Reviewed by Debora Pearson*
Sticks and Ranga are two almost-teen boys who live on the same street, go to the same school and love the same things, including skateboarding and video games. When new kid James arrives in his wheelchair, Sticks is not sure he and Ranga can be friends with him; after all, what will they have in common? But Sticks quickly discovers there is more to the newcomer than he and Ranga assumed.
Cerebral palsy keeps James from doing some things, but it has not dulled his sense of humour and he is pretty brainy, too. It seems that the only thing James cannot do is join Sticks and Ranga when they go skateboarding. That means he cannot experience motion and speed as they do – or can he?
Readers, especially those who are looking for a fast-paced book, will enjoy this tale of three close friends. The satisfying ending, involving a giant skateboard that Sticks and Ranga create out of a beat-up old couch and the heart-stopping ride James has with it, will stay with readers after they have reached the last page of this well-told story.
*Debora Pearson is a children’s librarian at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system, where The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities is located. Debora works with Leigh Turina, the lead librarian for this collection, and helps promote the collection through social media. She also conducts IBBY collection visits for school classes and youth groups, provides reference support, and assists with the compilation of the collection’s biennial list of outstanding titles.
This review is © Toronto Public Library, 2017.
Read An Introduction to the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities by lead librarian Leigh Turina.
Read MWD’s monthly reviews of books from the Collection.