Because we care: 10 Books for kids with disabilities and differences

Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant | All Images Courtesy of Amazon

Image Source: The Malay Mail

There are countless children with disabilities in Malaysia living at the margins of society that are often hidden, depicted negatively and shunned from society. As parents with children living with disabilities, it can be difficult.

And, how do we further bridge the connection and build a more inclusive understanding involving our children with disabilities within society at large? While there are many routes we can take, the most immediate one is books!

Parents Avenue has delighted compiled a list of books focused on children with special needs which range from children living with physical disabilities such as deafness to developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder.

These books not only educate but shares with us the need for acceptance, tolerance, and love. And, it portrays and helps us understand the differences in which children with disabilities navigate their daily lives which can be challenging.

#1 Andy & His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson
For kids with living with: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Available at Book Depository | Price: RM 60.31


A heartwarming illustrated children’s book about Andy, a boy with autism. Like many children with autism, Andy has a fascination with objects in motion. It’s Andy’s talent for spinning his frisbee combined with a new classmate’s curiosity that sets this story in motion. Rosie, the watchful and protective sister, supplies background on Andy and autism, as well as a sibling’s perspective.

#2 El Deafo by Cece Bell
For kids with living with: Deafness
Available at Book Depository | RM 47.32

El Deafo is a funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir for middle graders. It chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

#3 Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming
For kids with living with: Down Syndrome
Available at Book Depository | RM36.73


Christy’s mother always tells her to be good to Eddie Lee, a neighborhood child with Down’s Syndrome. But Christy wants to run and play — and not worry about Eddie Lee tagging along. One hot summer day, though, Eddie Lee takes Christy to a secret place in the woods and teaches her that beautiful things can be found in unexpected places.

#4 Eukee the Jumpy Jumpy Elephant by Clifford L. Corman
For kids with living with: Attention Deficit Disorder
Available at Book Depository | RM46.25


An honest portrayal of the difficulties faced by young children with attention deficit disorder (ADD), this beautifully written and illustrated story follows Eukee, a young elephant who has trouble getting along with friends and family due to his hyperactivity and self-control. Finding the help he needs, Eukee helps youngsters, parents, teachers, and service providers learn more about themselves and the disorder in this simple and entertaining read-aloud story.


#5 Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

For kids with living with: Cerebral Palsy
Available at Book Depository | RM35.41

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom-the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

#6 What About Me?: A Book By and For An Autism Sibling by Mandy Farmer

For kids with living with: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Available at Book Depository | RM35.41

Having a sibling on the spectrum brings great joy. It also brings a flurry of emotions, challenges and questions. Written by a seven-year-old boy, “What About Me?” works through the day-to-day struggles and joys of being an autism sibling.

#7 Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

For kids with living with: Dyslexia
Available at Book Depository | RM48.52

The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age. Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.

#8 Ians Walk : A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears

For kids with living with: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Available at Book Depository | RM31.76

When her autistic little brother, Ian, wanders off while on a walk to the park, Julie must try to see the world through his eyes in order to find him.

#9 Wonder by R.J. Palacio

For kids with living with: Physical differences
Available at Book Depository | RM40.66

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

#10 We’ll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

For kids with living with: Down Syndrome
Available at Book Depository| RM65.48

As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she imagines all of the things they can do together. They’ll go to Grandpa’s farm to feed the calves, ride in the back of the mini-van making faces at the cars that go by, fly on airplanes, and someday, they’ll even go to Africa on a safari.

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