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Special Education: Books for Younger Folks

Looking for Material for Young Readers?

You're in luck! We might not do a good enough job of getting out the word, but you've got a lot of choices. From literary awards to long lists, and from scholars and creators on social media to librarians and other teachers, you have a lot of resource available to help you out. (Although there could always be more resources--so, if this is your jam, don't hesitate to create your own!)

Some Picture Books at SXU

Some Middle Grade & Elementary Books at SXU

Selected Awards

Awards can be a great place to start if you don't have any idea where to start--and they're a great place to keep tabs on high-quality kidlit. (They're also very useful for learning authors and illustrators to follow.) These awards focus entirely on facets of the disability experience. 


The Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award honors books with authentic portrayals of a wide range of developmental disabilities. 

The Schneider Family Book Award, one of the ALA Youth Media Awards (aka the Oscars of kidlit), honors books that embody the disability experience. The Schneider Family Award includes honors for teens/young adult literature, middle graders and middle grade literature, and younger readers (picture books). Prior winners and honor books live on this list

Selected Lists

Like awards, booklists are a great place to go when you're not sure where to start--and are a great way to build your list of authors and illustrators to follow. 

You'll soon find authors and artists you know and trust to create quality content. That's great! You'll start creating your own lists soon.


Children's Books: Portrayals of People with Disabilities from the Iris Center at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. 

Disability Awareness Books Spring 2021 from the Children's Book Council include books for all ages.

The Honor Roll Books at Disability in Kidlit are books that disabled reviewers enthusiastically recommend. (Many books may be older as the site is on hiatus.)

Some Organizations

There are a lot more organizations than these--you'll  find some over at Beyond the Library on this guide. 


The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education includes extensive resources for librarians and educators.

The IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College focuses on improving educational outcomes for kids, particularly kids with disabilities. 

We Need Diverse Books highlights representative books including material by and about people with disabilities. 

Some YA Books at SXU

Choosing KidLit

Looking for more resources? Check out this list.

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