Ten top books featuring disability

We've found 10 of the best children’s books about disability, brain injury or just feeling like the odd one out.

Our top literary picks feature superhero characters, animals and children with disabilities. The books all have different themes and stories with a variety of characters for children to relate to.

1 The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher (from McFly)

The Christmasaurus

This book is the perfect stocking filler. A dinosaur-obsessed 10-year-old boy, William Trundle, goes on an adventure to see Father Christmas in a unique version of the North Pole. William is a wheelchair user. On his journey he meets a rare dinosaur and together they try to fight off a dangerous hunter.

One reviewer on Amazon said: “They show that wheelchair users can be action heroes too. I wish I could be as clever and as daring as William in scary situations; he is amazing!”

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch, the sequel to The Christmasaurus, is now out. The story follows William one year later when he is swept back to the magical North Pole. Can William and his dinosaur friend save Christmas?

2 Amazing by Steve Anthony

This illustrated children’s book celebrates an unusual friendship between a little boy in a wheelchair and his pet dragon. They go everywhere together and they teach each other things along the way. Zibbo the dragon may be different but he is amazing just as he is.

3 Head’s up, Tim Tron by Ian Roy and Gary Parsons

Tim Tron

This storybook explains brain injury through the experiences of a young robot, Tim Tron. The reader sees Tim Tron before his accident then goes on a journey with him as he copes with change and going back to school.

This glossy picture book is full of practical ideas to help children, their siblings, friends and parents understand and manage brain injury.

The book is also available as an audiobook, which is free to download, narrated by Top Gear star Richard Hammond.

4 Department of Ability by Dan White

This graphic comic, The Department of Ability, features five superheroes all with different disabilities, fighting to save the world.

5 Gilley the Giraffe Who Changed by The Encephalitis Society (author Nimmi Channa)

Gilley the Giraffe Who Changed

Written for 3-9 year olds, this book is about Gilley the giraffe who becomes ill with encephalitis. After his illness he feels different. Gilley has seizures, feels tired, has a bad memory and struggles at school. His friends start to make fun of him but a trip to the Doctor helps Gilley and his friends to understand what has happened. His friends then create a motto: “Be brill to kids who are ill” to support Gilley.

6 Hattie and Friends by Lesley Berrington

There are four inclusive brightly illustrated storybooks about Hattie, her friends and family. Each book is about a different outing featuring children with different disabilities. ‘Hattie and friends’ inclusive stories and resources are used in EYFS settings around the UK.

7 Sometimes by Rebecca Elliott

Toby’s big sister Clemmie has to go to hospital sometimes and this story is about how they both have to be brave but how they also manage to have fun. They play games together, meet other children and Toby even sneaks in their pet bug! But sometimes Clemmie just wants to lie still and hold Toby’s hand. It’s a great book for anyone who has a sibling in hospital.

8 Freddie and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson 

Freddie the Fairy

This illustrated storybook is about a little boy called Freddie who rescues a fairy, Bessie-Belle, from being tangled in a tree. Bessie-Belle offers to grant his wishes and he knows just what to ask for. It’s soon clear that Freddie mumbles and Bessie-Belle can't hear very well so his wishes get very muddled! Luckily the Fairy Queen arrives and gives Freddie some helpful tips.

9 The Animal Boogie (comes with a CD) by Debbie Harter

This colourful rhyme book follows different children as they make their way through a jungle full of animals who are leaping, stomping and flapping as they boogie. The catchy song encourages children to join in with the movements as they sing or read along. Will they guess which creature is waiting to boogie on the next page?!

10 Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

Living in a busy city where everyone is the same, one colourful character stands out. The odd dog out says: “I’m not made like all the rest” and so she leaves town in search of somewhere new where she might fit in. She meets another ‘odd dog out’ along the way who makes her see that being different isn’t a bad thing. She decides to go home and the town celebrates her return.

Books on shelf


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