Great Books about Disabilities for Adults

by Karen Walch | Jul 14, 2022

The World's Strongest Librarian
by Josh Hanagarne

At first glance, Josh Hanagarne seems an improbable librarian. He stands 6'7", competes in strongman contests, and was diagnosed in high school with Tourette's syndrome.

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Bonus: read the eBook!

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The Story of My Life
by Helen Keller

When she was 19 months old, Helen Keller suffered a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. Not long after, she also became mute. Her tenacious struggle to overcome these handicaps — with the help of her inspired teacher, Anne Sullivan — is one of the great stories of human courage and dedication.

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Bonus: read the eBook! Also available here, and here, and here!

Bonus: listen to the eAudiobook! Also available here and here!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time        
by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

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Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
by Haben Girma

Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities.

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Laughing at My Nightmare
by Shane Burcaw

With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

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