30/04/2021

5 Books To Read By Disabled Authors #3

It's now been over 7 months since I first wrote my '5 Books To Read By Disabled Authors' post in attempt to not only diversify my bookshelf, but yours too. I realised last year that despite being disabled myself, my book collection was severely lacking in representation of disabled people, including Deaf and neurodivergent authors, and ever since then I've been working to search out the best fiction and non-fiction books out there written by disabled people. My last post was a little heavy on the non-fiction side of things but I'm so happy to share more fiction reads with you this time around. So, here's 5 more recommendations of books by disabled authors!

A stack of 4 books are in front of a white background. From top to bottom they are: Harriet versus the galaxy by Samantha Baines, Get a life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, A kind of spark by Elle McNicoll and University and chronic illness a survival guide by Pippa Stacey.

Being Heumann by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner

Now, you'll spot that this book isn't in the photos for this post, and that's because I listened to it as an audiobook, and I'm so glad I did! The audiobook version is narrated by Ali Stroker, an incredible disabled actress who was the first disabled person to win a Tony award. Being Heumann is the memoir of the iconic US disability rights activist, Judy Heumann. Ashamedly I only became aware of her and her campaigning history when the documentary Crip Camp came out on Netflix, if you haven't watched it I strongly suggest you do. This book gave me an insight into how her life led her to the moment of the 504 sit-in in 1977, where she and countless other disabled people protested for their rights, kickstarting a movement that has led to the rights we have today. This truly was the most interesting read, as a disabled woman myself I finished the book with a renewed fire and energy within me to keep on fighting.

Harriet Versus The Galaxy by Samantha Baines

Whenever I find children's book by disabled authors, with disabled characters in, I just absolutely beam. Educating people on disability starts in childhood, and I find children are much better than understanding disability than adulthoods. I came across Samantha Baines through the theatre industry, as she was hosting Magic Mike Live in London at the time, and I've been wanting to pick up her children's book ever since. Samantha wears hearing aids and the book follows Harriet, also a hearing aid wearer, as she goes on an intergalactic adventure! Not only does this book show empowering representation for Deaf children, there is also a character who is non-binary. The recommended reading age is 7+ so if you have any small humans in your life around that age, I can't recommend this book enough! 

A stack of 4 books are in front of a white background. From top to bottom they are: Harriet versus the galaxy by Samantha Baines, Get a life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, A kind of spark by Elle McNicoll and University and chronic illness a survival guide by Pippa Stacey.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert has been on my radar ever since I started this series, her name pops up again and again when discussing great representation of disabled characters by disabled authors. I'm usually not a romance reader but I was absolutely captured by this love story! The book follows Chloe Brown as she attempts to work her way through a list of things to 'get a life', whilst living with chronic illness. Disability is so rarely represented, and within that I don't think I've ever seen any good representation of chronic illness so to finally find it in the form of this book was just wonderful. I lit up when I read that Chloe takes the same obscure pain medication as me, it's the little things sometimes. Thankfully Talia has written a whole series of books following these characters, and I can't wait to make my way through them!

A Kind Of Spark by Elle McNicoll

Another book that has been sat on my TBR list for a while is a young adult novel by Elle McNicoll, this is another one that has been recommended to me time and time again. Whilst I'm not neurodivergent myself, and so can't comment on how good a representation this is, I've seen countless tweets and reviews from neurodivergent people who felt seen by this book. It delves into what it means to be different in such a clever way, it felt really quite powerful. The story celebrates being neurodivergent, and we absolutely need more representation like that in the world!

University and Chronic Illness: A Survival Guide by Pippa Stacey

With the end of the school year approaching fast there will once again be a new set of eager young people heading to university, and some of them will have chronic illnesses. Pippa's survival guide provides advice and guidance in a detail that I've never seen before, this might seem like a niche topic but tackling university when you're chronically ill or disabled can be like climbing a mountain due to a lack of support out there. Pippa tackles everything from choosing a degree and university, to freshers week and social events and day to day living and studying. If I was heading off to university, this is one book I'd be packing in my suitcase.

As always, I really recommend you add at least one of these books to your wishlist or TBR list. Not only will you be supporting disabled authors, but I guarantee you will grow in your understanding of disability as well. If possible as well, always try and shop with independent bookshops too! 

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