Diverse Abilities Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See : a Novel by Anthony Doerr

Call# Fiction Doerr

"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Call# Fiction Haddon

Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Call# Fiction Lee

"A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters."--Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You. A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak Two sisters--Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again--but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans--but what does it take to break them? Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman's quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it's also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone--and when loyalty to one's self must prevail over all"--

Get a Life, Chloe Brown : a Novel by Talia Hibbert

Call# Fiction Hibbert

Hibbert delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who's tired of being "boring" and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her get a life--perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang!

Handle With Care : a Novel by Jodi Picoult

Call# Fiction Picoult

After her daughter contracts a fatal disease, Charlotte O'Keefe must confront some serious questions that ultimately lead to one final epiphany: what constitutes a valuable life.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Call# Fiction Center

From the author of Happiness for Beginners comes an unforgettable love story about finding joy even in the darkest of circumstances. Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she's worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment. In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there's her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there's Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won't let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect. How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best, a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Call# Fiction Hoang

"A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick. Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position... Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he's making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.."--

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Call# Fiction Moyes

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose. Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy--but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common--a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? "--Provided by publisher.

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Call# Fiction Simon

"A novel about a woman who can't speak, a man who is deaf, and a widow who finds herself suddenly caring for a newborn baby"--Provided by publisher.

When We Were Vikings : a Novel by Andrew (Andrew David) MacDonald

Call# Fiction Macdonald

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules: 1. A smile means "thank you for doing something small that I liked." 2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect. 3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home. 4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet. 5. Sometimes the most important things don't fit on lists. But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable--and dangerous--methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn't long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

Diverse Abilities Nonfiction

Be Different : Adventures of a Free-range Aspergian With Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families, & Teachers by John Elder Robison

Call# 616.858 Rob

With his usual honesty, dry wit, and unapologetic eccentricity, John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not just disability. He offers stories from his own life and the lives of other Aspergians to give the reader a window into the Aspergian mind. Equally important, he offers practical advice - to Aspergians, their parents, and educators - on how Aspergians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognising, their often remarkable gifts.

The Center Cannot Hold : My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks

Call# 616.898 Sak

Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School, yet she has suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness.

The Center Cannot Hold is the eloquent, moving story of Elyn’s life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others), as well as the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Call# 921 Bauby

In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young childen, a 44-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brainstem.

After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail: dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able eventually to compose this extraordinary book.

Enabling Acts : the Hidden Story of How the Americans With Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights by Lennard J. Davis

Call# 342.73 Dav

"The first significant book on the history and impact of the ADA--the "eyes on the prize" moment for disability rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the widest-ranging piece of civil rights legislation ever passed in the history of the United States, and it has become the model for most civil rights laws around the world. The untold story behind the act is anything but a dry account of bills and speeches, however. Rather, it's a fascinating story of how a group of leftist Berkeley hippies managed to make an alliance with upper-crust, conservative Republicans to bring about a truly bipartisan bill. In this riveting account, acclaimed disability scholar Lennard J. Davis tells the behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground story of a too-often ignored or forgotten civil rights fight, while illustrating the successes and shortcomings of the ADA in areas ranging from employment, education, and transportation to shifting social attitudes. Published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, this book promises to powerfully ignite readers in a discussion of disability rights in America"--

Haben : the Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma

Call# 921 Girma

Haben grew up spending summers with her family in the enchanting Eritrean city of Asmara. There, she discovered courage as she faced off against a bull she couldn't see, and found in herself an abiding strength as she absorbed her parents' harrowing experiences during Eritrea's thirty-year war with Ethiopia. Their refugee story inspired her to embark on a quest for knowledge, traveling the world in search of the secret to belonging. She explored numerous fascinating places, including Mali, where she helped build a school under the scorching Saharan sun. Her many adventures over the years range from the hair-raising to the hilarious. Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities. HABEN takes readers through a thrilling game of blind hide-and-seek in Louisiana, a treacherous climb up an iceberg in Alaska, and a magical moment with President Obama at The White House. Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman's determination to find the keys to connection.

My Left Foot by Christy Brown

Call# 921 Brown

Christy Brown was born a victim of cerebral palsy. But the hapless, lolling baby concealed the brilliantly imaginative and sensitive mind of a writer who would take his place among the giants of Irish literature. This is Christy Brown’s own story. He recounts his childhood struggle to learn to read, write, paint and finally type, with the toe of his left foot.

Neurotribes : the Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Call# 616.858 Sil

"A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently. What is autism: a devastating developmental disorder, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more--and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives. Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger's syndrome, whose "little professors" were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of "neurodiversity" activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences"--
"A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently"--

The Reason I Jump : the Inner Voice of a Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism by Naoki Higashida

Call# 616.858 Hig

Written by a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, this is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights--into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory--are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again. In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki's words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they'd be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond.--From publisher description.

Shouting Won't Help : Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--can't Hear You by Katherine Bouton

Call# 617.809 Bou

A memoir from the New York editor and writer in which she explores the invisible disability of deafness from personal, psychological, and physiological perspectives.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Call# CD 921 Keller

The extraordinary personal account of Helen Keller's struggle to overcome the challenges of being deaf and blind---a masterpiece of modern biography.

Diverse Abilities Young Adult

Funny, You Don't Look Autistic : a Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary

Call# Y 616.85 Mcc

"Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn't "look" autistic. But, as he's quick to point out in this memoir, autism "looks" different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain into something empowering and funny. He scored his first stand-up gig at age 14, and hasn't looked back. This unique and hilarious #OwnVoices memoir breaks down what it's like to live with autism for readers on and off the spectrum. Candid scenes from McCreary's life are broken up with funny visuals and factual asides. Funny, You Don't Look Autistic is an invaluable and compelling read for young readers with ASD looking for voices to relate to, as well as for readers hoping to broaden their understanding of ASD."--

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Call# Y Lowry

Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.

Sitting Pretty : the View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

Call# 921 Taussig

"From disability advocate with a PhD in disability studies and creative nonfiction, and creator of the Instagram account @ sitting pretty, an essay collection based on a lifetime of experiences in a paralyzed body, tackling themes of identity, accessibility, bodies, and representation"--

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Call# Y Green

Aza Holmes, a high school student with obsessive-compulsive disorder, becomes focused on searching for a fugitive billionaire.

Unbroken : 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

Call# Y Unbroken

An anthology of stories in various genres, featuring disabled characters and written by disabled creators, ranging from established best selling authors to debut authors.

Diverse Abilities DVD Recommendations

Debt of Honor : Disabled Veteran's in American History

Call# DVD 355.115 Deb

A moving tribute to the history of disabled veterans, An unflinching look at the reality of warfare and disability, featuring interviews with some of the country2s most prominent disabled veterans.

The Greatest Bond

Call# DVD 362.4 Gre

An inspirational documentary, highlighting the journey of disabled veterans whose lives are changed through the unconditional love of service dogs that have been trained by female prison inmates. Join three veterans as they meet their service dog and work with the inmates in a Texas women's prison. Witness these men's transformation, as each dog expands the veteran's world and heals their hearts.

Itzhak

Call# DVD 787.209 Itz

Itzhak Perlman's violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life. Alison Chernick's film looks beyond the sublime musician, to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, it is a portrait of musical virtuosity enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.

Me Before You

Call# DVD Romance Me

Louisa 'Lou' Clark lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year old goes from one job to the next in order to make ends meet. Taking a job at the local 'castle' she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor, a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for.

Music by Prudence

Call# DVD Performance Prudence

Prudence Mabhena and the members of the Liyana band live and work at King George the VI School for Children with Disabilities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, disability is often considered a result of witchcraft. Many disabled children are neglected, abandoned, and even killed. KGVI is a school for physically disabled students from all over the country, focused on empowering students with the ability to live as independent a life as they possibly can. Liyana is an afro-fusion band formed at KGVI. They play marimba, traditional drums, keyboard, and piano, compose their own music, and write their own songs. In 2006, they won an inter-regional music festival in Mozambique and as a prize toured Sweden, Netherlands, and Belgium for 5 weeks. Prudence and Liyana are all about talent, family, sharing, and friendship.

The Secret Life of Words

Call# DVD Drama Sec

Hannah, a recluse who wears a hearing aid, is forced by her employer to take a vacation. On holiday she finds a job on an oil rig caring for Josef, a burn victim who has temporarily lost his sight. Hannah's job is to care for Josef until he is stable enough to be transferred. There is almost no one on the rig, except a cook, an oceanographer and a few others out at sea. Hannah tends to Josef and he slowly breaks her shell of silence.

The Upside

Call# DVD Comedy Ups

A recently paroled ex-convict, Dell, strikes up an unusual and unlikely friendship with a quadriplegic billionaire, Philip Lacasse, in this funny and warm-hearted buddy comedy. From worlds apart, Dell and Philip form an unlikely bond, bridging their differences and gaining invaluable wisdom in the process, giving each man a renewed sense of passion for all of life's possibilities.

Wonder

Call# DVD Drama Won~~

Based on the New York best seller, this tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

More Diverse Abilities Recommendations

Resources

  • Diversity and Ability (D&A) is an award-winning disabled-led social enterprise supporting neurodiverse and disabled learners in education and the workplace. They provide a range of services and resources for the education sector and workforce.

  • Michigan Disability Resources have services and programs for people with disabilities offered by the State of Michigan, as well as other sites of interest.

  • Disability Network/Michigan represents the collective voice of Michigan’s 15 Centers for Independent Living (CILs). Their focus is on leadership development, relationship building, effective communication and mobilizing around issues that will have the greatest impact on delivering high-quality independent living services to people with disabilities.

  • Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) is the independent, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan protection and advocacy organization authorized by Federal and State law to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan.

Podcasts

  • The Accessible Stall — A disability podcast hosted by Kyle Khachadurian and Emily Ladau that keeps it real about issues within the disability community.

  • Disability Visibility — A podcast hosted by San Francisco night owl Alice Wong featuring conversations on politics, culture, and media with disabled people. Disability Visibility is a production of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.

  • Diverse-Abilities Matter Podcast — Join Nathalie Callender and Devon Bruce for some candid conversations and interviews about what matters to people with diverse-abilities and what successful community inclusion can really look like.

  • Neurodiverging — Hosted by Danielle Sullivan, an autistic parent with autistic and ADHD children, Neurodiverging episodes include stories and lessons from her life, deep dives into the traits and histories of ADHD and autism, and reports about issues pertinent to ADHD and autistic folks in society. 

  • Tips and Tricks on How to Be Sick — Advice and suggestions for people with recent onset disabilities or chronic illnesses on how to handle life and all the little things that no one thinks to tell you about beforehand.