Diverse Disabled Booklist

Below are all the books I’m aware of that feature a person of color or indigenous person that also has a disability of some kind.  Not all of these books are recommended.  Some I have not yet read, or have read but not yet reviewed.  Read more about this list and comment with books you suggest I add here.



A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane.  African American, autistic.  Another family is Latin@, and another character struggles with situational depression.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  Japanese American/African American, severe allergies/mental illness.  NOT RECOMMENDED.

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork.  Latina, chronic depression.  Other mental illnesses are also represented with Latin@ characters.  One main character (not disabled) is Indian & Hindu.

Donovan’s Double Trouble by Monalisa DeGross, illustrated by Amy Bates.  African American, amputated legs.  PoV character is able-bodied but his uncle is a main character.  One minor character is an adult Chinese immigrant.

(NF) This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (Not Disability) by Aaron Philip, with Tonya Bolden.  Antiguan American immigrant, cerebral palsy.  Black father as primary caretaker.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. Mixed Dutch and Surinamese (African), autistic.  Other main characters include her transgender sister and drug addicted mother.  Minor characters include a wide variety of races, religions, orientations, and disabilities.




Gabriela by Teresa E. Harris.  African American, stutter.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Ellen Forney.  Spokane Indian (indigenous American) with hydrocephalus, stutter, poor vision, epilepsy, and situational depression.  Alcoholism, chronic depression, and an eating disorder are also present in other characters.  Warnings for homophobic, racist, and ablist slurs, not all of which are challenged.

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman – Indian, missing limb

“The Joke”. Iranian, missing arm and leg (not MC).  p. 258-266
“Skiing”. Iranian, depression.  Trigger warning for suicide.  p. 267-275
Both found in The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds. – African American, blind (not the main character but a main part of the story)

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  – Race of main character not specified, author is African American.  Cerebral palsy.

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan – unspecified race, “brown” girl who is not neurotypical.  Other major characters are Vietnamese, African American, and mixed.

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier- Latina, cystic fibrosis.  Not recommended.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner.  Indian-American, Deaf.  Recommended.

(NF) A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. – African-American, paralyzed limb.

(NF) Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by David Diaz.  – African American, polio.

Lock In by John Scalzi. – African American, “Hayden’s syndrome” (science-fiction disease causes paralysis)



(This section is basically just my notes on other books I have encountered so it is less organized that the other sections.  Once I have the book in my hands, it is easier to know specific details about the inter-sectional nature of the book.)

Tall Story – Gigantism, Fillipino
(Review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7412951-tall-story)

Kinda Like Brothers – Asthma, African American LD? fostering

King For a Day by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Christiane Kromer. – Wheelchair, Pakistani.
Buy from here:  http://kitaabworld.com/products/king-for-a-day?variant=34623218439

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.  American-born Nigerian albino

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan.  Tanzanian albino.  MG, displaced.

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake – African American, wheelchair (no legs and learning disability)  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13492511-pinned

Fire Boy and Earth Boy duology by Sami Shah. – Pakistani with asthma, Islamic.

(NF) Nujeen: One Girl’s Incredible Journey from War-Torn Syria in a Wheelchair by Nujeen Mustafa and Christina Lamb.  Syrian, cerebral palsy (uses wheelchair).

Marcelo In the Real World by Francisco X. Stork.  Latino with unspecified cognitive impairment (similar to autism).  http://disabilityinkidlit.com/2013/07/01/s-e-smith-reviews-marcelo-in-the-real-world/

Swimming With Fishes by Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm.  Jamaican, Sickle Cell Anaemia. Romance.  new release – http://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book/112493

Meet ClaraBelle Blue by Adiba Nelson, illustrated by Elvira Morando.  African-American, wheelchair.  Preschool, inspired by author’s daughter.

The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin.  African American with hearing loss.  Other MC are a refugee and homeless veteran.  Mixed reviews.

A Bitter Pill to Swallow – AA mental health, debut novel, POC author

Not Otherwise Specified – Ballerina with eating disorder

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. – African American, blind

The Thing About Luck – Japanese brother has autism

Kira-Kira – Japanese historical novel lymphoma (sister)

Blue Skies for Lupe by Linda Kurtz Kingsley.  Mexican immigrant uses wheelchair, speaks Spanish.

(NF) My Brother Charlie and Same But Different by Holly Robinson Peete -autistic, AA twins

(NF) Colors of the Wind: The Story of Blind Artist and Champion Runner George Mendoza by J. L. Powers, illustrated by George Mendoza and Hayley Morgan-Sanders.  Latino, blind.

(NF) Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson illustrated by Sean Qualls – missing limb, Ghana, West Africa

Ruby Lu (series) by Lenore Look – Chinese cousin is an American immigrant, deaf, speaks Chinese Sign Language and is learning ASL.

Alvin Ho (series) by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. – Chinese American, selective mutism.  Best friend wears an eyepatch.

Unstoppable Octabia May by Sharon G. Flake African-American heart condition.  Historical fiction, poor reviews: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20894025-unstoppable-octobia-may

The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake – African-American skin pigmentation?

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson – African American deaf (brother of MC), another character is biracial in this historical novel

Soundless by Richelle Mead – “Chinese”, deaf community, blindness.  Not recommended, problematic for both areas.

Bleeding Violet – African American, mental illness (manic-depressive?).  Fantasy/horror.  Mixed reviews, sounds too scary for me.


What books do you recommend?  Do you know of any that aren’t on my list?

I’m still debating whether to eventually add books like Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which includes a homosexual main character with clinical depression.  For now I am sticking to only PoC/indigenous disabled characters.

Last updated 4/13/2017.