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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.
Abigail Balfe is autistic and has written this honest, amusing and very useful book about some of the things she was aware of as she was growing up. Balfe knew she was different all the way through her childhood and youth – and this book is full of observations on how she navigated her younger years. It was not until she was an adult that her diagnosis of autism was delivered – which suddenly explained a great deal of confusing issues from her youth. The book is full of all the milestones of a young life from changing schools to puberty to friendships to children’s birthday parties – and how someone who feels different coped with all those stages. Written with an honesty and openness that is refreshing – and full of quirky illustrations by the author - this is an information book one can sit and read like a novel, as well as using it to dip into for information on all sorts of topics to do with neurodiversity. It is packed full of useful descriptions and definitions, has a thorough glossary which doubles as an index in a very practical way whilst also signposting websites and information sources for further investigation. A book for everyone to read (adults too), not just for people with neurodiversity issues – this book is a great explainer, full of empathy for different situations, which explodes many misconceptions about autistic people along the way! I wish I had had this available many years ago when teaching an autistic child on a one-to-one basis.
Claire Cashmore, MBE and Paralympic gold medallist, was born without a left forearm - but she never let being different stand in the way of her big dreams. Splash is based on Claire's real-life experience: this gold-medal-winning swimmer really was scared of water ... until one day, everything changed!
April 2021 Debut of the Month - A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2021 | Scooter McLay is a kid to be reckoned with who has a passion for clever inventions. As his parents own and run the very best jam factory, his inventions are to do with jam-making. And, to make sure no one can compete with them he has to keep the family’s special jam-making recipes as top-secret as possible. Working alone, Scooter is pretty good at keeping his inventions well-hidden but when Fizzbee the friendly alien arrives through the factory window it gives the audacious Daffy Dodgy the chance she has long waited for. She slips into the jam factory and steals Scooter’s secret files….How Scooter and Fizzbee see off the danger is a warm-hearted and madcap adventure. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2022 ages 3-6 | | Imagine what it would feel like to always be asked the same question, to only be seen for your disability? Well Joe is very cross about that- he just wants to play pirates and so he ignores the other children and eventually they become curious and eventually they all join in the imaginative game and great fun is had by all. In a letter to parents and careers at the end of the book the author tells us about losing his own leg and so we have no doubt that this reflects an authentic lived experience. He also gives wonderfully straightforward advice about the conversations parents can have with their own children about disability. This is the very opposite of a “worthy” issues-based book. It is a funny and very enjoyable read that will nevertheless perform an urgently needed task and generate very useful discussion at home and school. An absolute essential purchase for all schools and early years. settings. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
Zoe Antoniades’ stories of twins Cally and Jimmy are fantastically lively and lots of fun. There are four separate self-contained stories in the book, each one narrated by Cally, as she watches, exasperated, while her minutes-younger brother gets into trouble again and again. She knows Jimmy can’t help it really – he has ADHD – and always sticks by him so that things have a habit of working out well in the end. Their Greek family, especially their Yiaiyia (Granny), are another of the joys of the book and one episode describes their trip to Cyprus, where Jimmy outdoes himself causing chaos. The stories are accessible, absolutely believable, and readers will feel by the end that they have a new set of friends. Highly recommended.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2022 ages 3-6 | | Imagine what it would feel like to always be asked the same question, to only be seen for your disability? Well Joe is very cross about that- he just wants to play pirates and so he ignores the other children and eventually they become curious and eventually they all join in the imaginative game and great fun is had by all. In a letter to parents and careers at the end of the book the author tells us about losing his own leg and so we have no doubt that this reflects an authentic lived experience. He also gives wonderfully straightforward advice about the conversations parents can have with their own children about disability. This is the very opposite of a “worthy” issues-based book. It is a funny and very enjoyable read that will nevertheless perform an urgently needed task and generate very useful discussion at home and school. An absolute essential purchase for all schools and early years settings. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
The first thing that strikes you about this book is the fascinating, colourful effects on every page. This book is presented as a personal journal – one that is packed with artwork, collage and beautiful, striking full colour and line illustrations. The mix makes this a book that students will want to pick up and browse even before they get involved in the story. Asphyxia is a deaf artist, writer and public speaker and is a well-known Australian activist for deaf people, as well as writing previous junior fiction titles. Set in the near future in a Melbourne on the edge of disaster we live with Piper, a 16-year-old deaf student, who’s Mum wants her to appear normal - so Piper struggles to cope with hearing aids at school and uses ‘normal’ speech, so she fits in. She meets the son of a deaf mother, Matthew, who is a CODA – Child of a Deaf Adult – and realises that a whole world of communication is available to her in sign language. With this revelation comes a new world opening up that takes Piper into groups and friendships she has not seen before – away from the usual world of reconstituted food with created flavours into a whole way of life growing wild food and learning how to cook it. This theme of the sustainability of our world is such a hot topic – and the detail, illustration and information here is fascinating. I would recommend reading it for that alone, but what I found the most fascinating was being almost inside Piper’s thoughts as she discovered and learned Auslan (Australian Sign language). Having attended several Deaf Awareness training sessions in my working life I just wish someone had given me this book instead – it seems to place you inside a deaf person’s mind, so you can really grasp the difficulties and joys of being deaf, and the hearing world’s reaction to that. This book should be in every secondary school – it gives such a vivid picture of life for a deaf person, whilst the presentation is so beautiful it draws the reader in. Do read it! Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
What a stirring sunbeam of a story, with characters you’ll care about, be moved by and take enormous inspiration from. Mapping the transformational bond between a girl incapacitated by chronic illness and a young artist, The World Between Us is shot-through with a resonant reminder to appreciate being able to do what seem like life’s little things - leaving the house, being by the sea, going to a friend’s party - all of which are beyond Alice’s desperate reach. It’s also an ode to the power of friendship, opening up, and following your heart, delivered with 100% charm, 0% cheese. From her bed, Alice’s only experience of the outside world comes through watching Stream Casts. Though this means “I don’t have to be trapped inside by body. I can be strapped to the chest of brilliant people and I can watch them live lives that could perhaps be my own,” Alice remains a silent spectator - until she connects with Rowan, that is. But though their friendship forms fast, she initially keeps her illness from him, and it turns out that he’s struggling with secret troubles of his own. The juxtaposition of Alice’s bed-bound incapacitation and her best friend Cecelia’s effervescence is deeply poignant, especially when Alice feels she has to downplay her condition when Cecelia visits (Alice’s other friends have long since dropped by the wayside in the wake of her illness). The same goes for the price Alice pays each time she does a little of what she wants (and needs) to do - doing anything costs her dearly. Then there’s the guilt she feels about her parents who “gave up everything” for her. But through their connection, Alice and Rowan both learn to assuage their guilt, and to live, as affirmed by the unexpected, breath-taking ending, which is really only the beginning. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2021 | Fitting in is hard for most teenagers because it is a time when being the same and therefore accepted seems the most important thing. And Sander has a particular problem because he has Silver-Russell syndrome, a condition which affects one in a hundred thousand, which means he will always be shorter than everyone else. Sander has to work through all the familiar feelings of being an outsider while also dealing with feelings that relate especially to knowing that he will always be so short. But gradually Sander discovers that much about conforming is unimportant and that what matters most to him, friendship in particular, is not affected by his size. Beautifully observed, this captures so much about adolescence from many angles and, in doing so, celebrates the importance of accepting difference. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
Meet Lizzie and Lucky: a sparky young detective and her loyal Dalmatian sidekick! The first title in a brand new illustrated series from beloved animal author Megan Rix. Lizzie is desperate for a dog. In order to convince her parents to get one, she has to come up with 101 reasons why she needs one. Lizzie is a master at making lists, so thinking of 101 reasons is going to be easy! Especially as she is deaf and could train one to be her hearing dog. But as Lizzie begins compiling her list, she witnesses an adorable puppy being snatched away and put into a van by a mysterious-looking man. Can Lizzie solve the case - and maybe find herself a loyal friend at the same time...?
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second book of this high-stakes series about twelve-year-old Mace Blazer, who pilots state-of-the-art vehicles that transform seamlessly to race on the road, in the air, and even underwater. Mace Blazer is the world's hottest TURBOnaut. Compared to the other 'nauts, he drives faster, dares harder, and pulls the craziest stunts. Since he won the Gauntlet Prix and revealed that he's only twelve, the world has been screaming Mace's name. Now nothing-not even his friends and family-can hold Mace back from becoming the greatest racer of all time. But when Mace suffers a nearly fatal accident while behind the wheel, he loses the nerve that made him the best. He's done with driving fast. He's done with TURBO. Until he finds out that his two best friends have mysteriously disappeared as part of a sinister plot that could destroy not just TURBO, but the world. Mace has no choice but to buckle back in, swallow his fears, and race to save the day. In the thrilling sequel to TURBO Racers: Trailblazer, Mace will have to decide if he's willing to risk everything to save the sport, and the people, that he loves. Every morph matters in this heart-pounding, exhilarating adventure series by acclaimed author Austin Aslan.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2022 | Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2021 | Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Awards 2022 Best Story | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2021 | February 2021 Debut of the Month | Both touching and funny this is a brilliant story about being brave, being different and learning that being you is what really matters. Billy likes nothing more than making and performing jokes and dreams that one day he will be a famous stand-up comedian. But Billy has a stammer and it can be hard for him even to get a joke out quickly enough. Just now, Billy has a problem which will strike a chord with many: he is about to start secondary school and knows that it will be all too easy for him to become a target for bullies. Especially because of his stammer. Billy thinks of all kinds of schemes to avoiding speaking while also knowing that staying silent goes right against who he really is. How can Billy show his tremendous inner strength and especially his great sense of humour if he never dares to speak? Luckily Billy makes some good friends, meets a great teacher and, drawing on the support of his family and the work of his speech and language therapist, manages not only to survive but also to succeed! Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.