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The books in this section cover a range of PSHE topics including bullying, disability, family issues and autism. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and cover age ranges from Toddler to Older Teen.
Jessica Moxham thought that she had thoroughly prepared for the birth of her baby, with antenatal classes, books on parenting and advice from family and friends. But when Ben was born fighting to stay alive, Jessica knew that she was facing a very different reality from that which she had expected. Subtitled What I Learned from my Disabled Son, Moxham documents each and every stage of what it means, and what is required, to be the parent of a child who will never be able to communicate or move without assistance. From feeding Ben when he can’t eat, to dealing with the labyrinthine red tape and administration required to access the services and support she needs, her deeply moving account faces down the issues of discrimination and Ben’s rights with candour and open-hearted understanding of the world that she is bringing Ben up in. In essence Jessica Moxham has written an extended love letter her son and a rousing call for tolerance and understanding in our views of disability and difference; what it means and how our reactions to it speaks of us as people and as a nation. In her unflinching and hugely uplifting account, Moxham reminds us all of the strength and commitment that parenting requires, the power of family and undying love, and offers solace and hope to all who face obstacles in bringing up a child. It is at once heart-achingly beautiful and heart-warmingly hopeful. ~ Paul Blezard The LoveReading LitFest invited Jessica to the festival to tell her story. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.
Alternating between the engaging narratives of two teenage boys, Malcolm Duffy’s Read Between the Lies is a riveting, read-in-one-sitting page-turner, sharing insights into dyslexia as it also explores family frictions and how to support the people around you. Soon-to-be-stepbrothers Ryan and Tommy are as different as ice-cream and cabbage. Tommy has recently been released from a young offenders’ prison, while Ryan is a piano-playing good lad who’s moved down south with his dad following his parents’ divorce. In Ryan’s words, “Don’t do cooking but hear it’s all about the blend of ingredients. Same with families. Ours is all wrong. Like ice-cream and cabbage”. Despite their marked differences, the teenagers do have something in common — they’re both dyslexic, but have very different ways of dealing with it. Tommy’s journey through handling prejudice against his criminal past (“a single bad decision doesn’t make you bad”) and learning to read is gripping, moving and - ultimately - uplifting, as is Ryan’s dedication to teaching Tommy to read. As Ryan’s mum announces her plan for them to move, and Tommy discovers long-buried family secrets, the perfectly-paced plot ramps up the stakes, with plenty of humour and touching moments shining through the boys’ troubles.
Nobody captures young children’s body language and expressions better than Roald Dahl Funny Prizewinning author, Rebecca Patterson, who is inspired in this latest book by her own lived experience of growing up with a disabled sister. The delightful Connie is our narrator and uses a wheelchair, which is never mentioned until it is commandeered by bossy playmate Ada as her ‘Throne of Rolling Power’. Ada and Colin, the Beswicks from next door, interrupt the magnificent game of unicorn farmers that Connie and big sister Frankie had been enjoying. The glum expressions of the three children, including Ada’s long suffering little brother Colin, trying to follow Queen Ada’s instructions for how to play her games, are simply hilarious. But when they rebel and leave her behind, Ada burst into tears and Colin shares a few home truths with his sister before Connie the peacemaker suggests they all be good unicorns together and a whole day of unicorn play follows. Not only a lovely relatable message about how to play together so that everyone is happy, but a really positive depiction of sibling love and, most importantly, portraying a disabled central character full of agency and fun.
Join SPUD, the Super Perceptive Undercover Detectives, on their first fast-paced detective adventure. Getting your first hearing aids can be nerve-wracking; especially when you have to wear them to school. When Callie realises her new hearing aids - 'the Slugs' - give her the unique ability to communicate with Bo the Mynah bird, some of her worries are lifted. In fact, having a pair of eyes in the sky might come in handy. The duo team up with Callie's best friend, Grace, as they set out to catch a local thief who has been causing trouble all over town. Includes high-speed chases, a very peckish bird and purple POO! A new mystery series, illustrated by Louise Forshaw and perfect for reluctant readers.
The first in a duology from Elle McNicoll, multi-award-winning author of A Kind of Spark, Like a Charm is ablaze with magic, mythical beings, and the indomitable derring-do of its inspirational neuro-divergent heroine. Also underpinned by powerful messages around self-discovery and community, and the power of books and booksellers, it delivers all the thrills and twists of a classic adventure with contemporary verve. Ramya’s adventure begins with words of warning from her grandfather: “Beware the Sirens.” After she and her family relocate to Edinburgh, Ramya is initially thrown by the magic that’s presented to her when she inherits a mysterious book from her beloved grandfather: “Learning difficulties and magic seem equally mysterious to me. To know that I might have both in me is too much to think about at this moment”. But it’s not long before she’s drawn into a secret world of magical beings - and family secrets - and realises that “Magic is a talent. Something that relies on natural ability”. Teaming up with her cousin Marley (“He is quiet where I am loud, he is polite where I am brash), Ramya harnesses her magic in all its forms, and throws herself into a perilous battle to save the city. Providing positive inspiration for neurodivergent readers (“I’m dyspraxic and fantastic”. “I am resilience. I have a brain and a pair of hands and two eyes that do things differently to the rest of the herd”), Like a Charm also offers an allegory for our times, with the toxic Sirens of the story linked to the kind of politicians who turn “neighbour against neighbour”, resulting in “people getting meaner”. Unforgettable Ramya will have a huge range of young readers under her spell, and stirred to empowering self-belief.
Four fantastic new stories about everyone's favourite twins. There's always double trouble when these two are about, so get ready for more mayhem as they look after the school hamster for half term, have a competition to build the best snowman, raise money with a yard sale, and have a rollercoaster of a time at the local theme park!
March 2022 Debut of the Month | Lisette Auton’s The Secret of Haven Point is an accomplished, inclusive, captivating debut that will chime with fans of lyrical adventures and disabled readers longing for literary representation. All Alpha Lux has known is Haven Point. Washed up here as a baby, she was raised by a mermaid, and is now one of 42 Wrecklings who reside in this special home: “You see, everyone who finds this place and becomes a Wreckling is disabled. If you’re not, you’re an Outsider, and no Outsider has ever made it past the Boundaries”. Alpha, her best friend Badger (so named for her “pitch-black Afro with one white streak”), and the other Wrecklings spend their days looting ships like “seafaring Robin Hoods”. Their routine is “ruled by the moon and water” under the watchful eyes of the Cap’n and a clutch of mermaids, away from the feared Outsiders. The sense of having found a loving family is wonderfully evoked, with plenty of wit and mischief alongside the warm sense of community. Then, when Alpha suspects their safe world is about to be infiltrated by Outsiders, the Wrecklings face big questions around who they are, what they want, and what they might have to do to protect themselves. Through well-plotted adventure and rich symbolism, this speaks to readers on many levels, and is sure to charm fans of Katherine Rundell. “We’re proud to be Wrecklings”, Alpha pronounces, which pretty much sums up this novel’s heart-warming message of inclusion and finding a place to call home.
The debut children's book from Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus that tracks a father-and-son journey into the discovery and management of deafness. This new paperback edition includes an illustrated BSL alphabet. Boy Bear cannot hear Dad Bear coming to wake him up in the morning but he can feel the floor vibrate with his heavy footsteps. He can only grasp little bits of what his teacher says to him at school. He cannot catch what his friends are laughing at. And, all the time, Boy Bear keeps hearing the question, Can Bears ski? What does it mean? With the support of Dad Bear, Boy Bear visits an audiologist and, eventually, he gets hearing aids. Suddenly, he understands the question everyone has been asking him: CAN YOU HEAR ME? Raymond Antrobus, the award-winning poet of The Perseverance, draws on his own experience to show how isolating it can be for a deaf child in a hearing world. But through his lyrical and moving words, matched with Polly's stunning imagery, he also shows how many ways there are to communicate love. With a solid network, Boy Bear will find his place in the world.
Dooley is an Irish autistic author and illustrator who writes with authority, empathy and humour about the world as viewed by Frankie. Frankie believes she is an alien; she is the smallest person in her class – and she is accused of talking too much! But really all she is different – neurodivergent, though it is not until nearly the end of the book that Frankie gets an insight into why she views things differently. Frankie’s Dad left when she was a baby and she, with friend Sam, decide to track him down. I found it refreshing that Sam is wheelchair bound but that no reference is made to this. This book so easy to relate to – the world from a child’s point of view is such a confusing place – but this helps us all see how it may be even more confusing if one’s reactions are different from other people. Plus, if we all give time and some empathy, we may be in a better position to befriend and understand. This sounds as if the book is preaching to us – it is most definitely not – it is a delight to read - funny, sympathetic, and ultimately uplifting. Drawn in a very simple two-colour cartoon style it should be easily accessible across a range of readers. Highly recommended for all readers offering perspective on autism whilst maintaining care and affection for the protagonists.
Marcus is so good at football that there's a very real chance he'll be signed by Manchester United. But when he discovers he may be losing his hearing, his whole world falls to pieces and he finds himself having to put them back together on his own. But is this feeling of isolation real or just a consequence of his own behavior? While dealing with parents, friends and first girlfriends, Marcus gradually understands that accepting the help of others is ultimately an acceptance of self. A novel about friendship and family, The Silent Striker explores the issue of disability, identity and deafness, and the different ways in which we can choose to handle it.
Book Band: Dark Blue (Ideal for ages 9+) | A heart-warming adventure story by award-winning comedian, actress, broadcaster, hearing-aid wearer and author of Harriet Versus the Galaxy, Samantha Baines. Aneira is a hearing-aid wearer and she is super scared of the dark. When the moon suddenly goes out one night, Aneira is on a mission to turn it back on! With the help of her owl friend, she sets off on a journey to fix the moon and overcome her fear. This powerful story features beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Lucy Rogers.
A sparky middle-grade series from TV comedian Rosie Jones. Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson and Dork Diaries. Hello! My name is Edie Eckhart and I'm eleven years old. I'm a little bit different. I have a disability called cerebral palsy, so I talk slowly and fall over a lot. It's never really bothered me because I've never known anything else. Edie Eckhart is Excited with a capital E to start secondary school with her best friend Oscar - the fish to her chips, the bananas to her custard. But when she and Oscar are put into different tutor groups on their first day, Edie is devastated. Who will play secret hangman with her in class? Who will she eat sausage rolls with? But while she's plotting her reunion with Oscar, she accidentally gets cast as the lead in the school play. As Edie discovers a passion for performance, she also finds new friendships, talents, and dreams. After all, it's easy to shine on and off the stage when you're Amazing with a capital A.