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NAMED Advocates

5 Fictional Books With Disability Representation

By October 16, 2023No Comments

Disability representation is vital and so we’ve compiled a list of books that have a variety of disability representation. From survival stories to tales of overcoming adversity, these books will leave you uplifted and enlightened. Whether you’re looking for a lighthearted read or a more in-depth exploration of disability, this list has something for everyone! Happy reading!

A book cover for The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes. It depicts a group of friends grouped together in a school hallway. The friend in the front has short-bobbed black hair and is wearing a red tank top and red lipstick.  The friend on the right has short black, curly hair and is wearing a pink top, gold hoop earrings, and glasses. The friend in the back has long black hair and is wearing a pink beanie hat and a yellow top. The friend on the left has teal-colored, long hair and is wearing a blue top, pink jeans, and dark lipstick. Blue lockers are shown behind them.

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

Representation: Autism, Selective Mutism, BIPOC, LGBTQ+

Genre: YA Contemporary, Revenge, Romance, Fiction

Published: May 23, 2023

Page Count: 320 pages

Summary: Meet Ariana Ruiz, a girl with autism who has the courage to express herself through her bold fashion choices, but is otherwise ignored by her peers- due to her selective mutism. When popular (and very cute) Luis starts to pay attention to her, Ari finally feels seen, until a night at a party leaves her feeling violated and confused. She didn’t say no to Luis’s advances at the party but definitely didn’t say yes. To make matters worse, Luis’s ex-girlfriend Shawni began spreading rumors and now boys see Ari as an easy target- someone who won’t say no.

One day, Ari finally starts to find her voice after finding a mysterious note in her locker and discovers that she’s not alone in her fight against Luis, and that a group of brave students are determined to expose him for the predator that he is. But as Ari grows closer to them, she also starts to grow feelings for the very last girl she expected to fall for.

She’s determined to get justice for what happened. But it won’t be easy… she’ll have to face the truth of what Luis did and put it all on the line. Will she have the courage to do it?

Buy it here!

A book cover for The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth. The overall graphic has the style of an old newspaper article column. It depicts silhouettes of four people. One of the silhouettes appears more faded and scribbled compared to the others. Behind them, is a largegly-drawn purple pentagram. A small purple bug seems to be crawling on the cover. The subtext is shown under the silhouettes and says "Be gay. Solve Crimes. Take Naps."

The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth

Representation: Fibromyalgia, BIPOC, LGBTQ+

Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary, Adult, Murder Mystery, Paranormal

Published: September 26, 2023

Page Count: 416 pages

Summary: Welcome to the eerie Occult town of Wrackton, where a mysterious serial killer known as the Whistler stalks the streets. Legend has it that their hypnotic whistling forces victims to chew their own tongues off!

Step into the supernatural world of the Undetectables- a detective agency run by three witches and a ghost in a cat costume. They’ve been hired to investigate the series of mysterious murders – will they be able to crack the case and uncover the truth?

Mallory, the forensic science expert, is struggling to manage her fibromyalgia-related pain & fatigue as she discovers new feelings for Cornelia. Meanwhile, Diana is on a mission to track down info from her ex-girlfriends. And not forgetting the ghostly Theodore: dramatic, deceased, and also the agency’s first unsolved murder case.

Follow the Undetectables as they unravel a dark conspiracy and discover secrets hidden in the shadows of magical society. Can they find the Whistler before they become the killer’s next victims? An exciting journey of mystery and suspense awaits!

Buy it here!

A book cover for Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. The background is a bright, striking yellow. Brightly colored letters for the book title are bolded and almost seem to be glicthed with red and blue; almost as if the text is 3D. A few multi-colored dots are depicted over the letters. The author's name is shown at the bottom in lowercase, blue letters.

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Representation: Blindness/Visual Impairment 

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Published: December 1, 2015

Page Count: 310 pages

Summary: Parker Grant is a force to be reckoned with and doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. Blind or not, she’s not afraid to lay down the law. Scott Kilpatrick learned that the hard way when he broke her heart. Don’t take advantage of her, and respect the rules she’s set – because if you break them, there’ll be no second chances. 

After years of being apart, Scott comes back into Parker’s life. But Parker knows she has to keep her distance. She’s got a lot on her plate – trying out for the track team, giving her naive classmates tough love, and rewarding herself gold stars for every day she’s gone without tears since her dad’s passing.

Parker thought that avoiding her past would be easy, but the truth proved to be more complicated. As she dug deeper, she realized that maybe some rules are meant to be broken. What secrets will she uncover?

Buy it here!

A book cover for The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. The title is in green letters with yellow outlines and appears over a portrait of a young British man with short, curly blonde hair. His eyebrows are furrowed and he has a serious tone about him. He is dressed in formal 18th century attire. There are yellow doodles on the cover: a muscial note, a ship, a deck of cards, a violin, and a top hat.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Representation: Epilepsy, Hearing Impairment, Disfigurement, BIPOC, LGBTQ+

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction

Published: June 27, 2017

Page Count: 528 pages

Summary: Henry “Monty” Montague is on a mission to live life to the fullest, no matter how ‘unsuitable’ his passions may be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his hedonistic pursuits for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Monty may have thought his grand journey would be carefree, but his return home brings with it a weight of expectations he never could have anticipated. Not only will he be tasked with running the family estate, but he’ll have to face his impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Percy may seem like an open book, but he’s actually hiding a lot of secrets. He’s in the midst of a battle with epilepsy that could shape his future in ways he’s not ready to share.

Monty vows to set off on a year-long adventure of a lifetime, determined to make the most of every moment and indulge in one last hedonistic hurrah! From Paris to Rome, Monty’s mission: to make new memories and flirt with Percy along the way. But when Monty’s carefree escapade quickly turns into a harrowing manhunt, he must confront secrets that have been kept hidden… and choices that could change his life forever.

Buy it here!

A book cover for Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. The background is light and gradient blue. A goldfish is shown jumping out of a fish bowl.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Representation: Cerebral Palsy

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction, School, Family

Published: March 9, 2010

Page Count: 295 pages

Summary: Melody isn’t like other people. Despite being unable to walk or talk, her photographic memory is extraordinary. Every detail of her life is forever imprinted in her memory. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her, and even smarter than the classmates in her integrated classroom who dismiss her disability that she can’t tell them about. With determination in her heart and a smile on her face, she’s determined to show everyone that she’s more than just her disability.

Buy it here!

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