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Literature about Accessibility Grades 4-12

A Beautiful Mind
Author:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Wendy Mass
Intended Audience:Teachers, high school students

Stories of famously eccentric Princetonians abound – such as that of chemist Hubert Alyea, the model for The Absent-Minded Professor, or Ralph Nader, said to have had his own key to the library as an undergraduate. Or the "Phantom of Fine Hall," a figure many students had seen shuffling around the corridors of the math and physics building wearing purple sneakers and writing numerology treatises on the blackboards. The Phantom was John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of his generation, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in the 1950s. His most important work had been in game theory, which by the 1980s was underpinning a large part of economics. When the Nobel Prize committee began debating a prize for game theory, Nash's name inevitably came up – only to be dismissed, since the prize clearly could not go to a madman. But in1994 Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for work done some 45 years previously.

Year:2004 (6th edition)
Author:Phyllis Bruce Books/Francis Itani
Topic:Hearing impairment, Disability, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, high school students

Set in a small town near Belleville, Ontario, between the years 1903 and 1919, Deafening is the story of Grania, a girl who goes deaf from scarlet fever at age five. Much of the first third of the book is a view into the intimate world of the deaf, as Grania's grandmother teaches her to communicate, and her sister, Tress, helps her deal with her childhood fears. Eventually Grania goes away to a school for the deaf, returning home each summer to a family she misses terribly, at the hotel run by her father and mother. When the teenaged Grania falls in love with Jim, a man who is not deaf, this novel begins to gain momentum.

He Shoots! He Scores!
Author:Iris the Dragon/Gayle Grass
Format:Illustrated book
Topic:Mental health challenges, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, junior middle school students (grades 4-6).

‘He Shoots, He Scores’ deals with what happens when the support routine is disrupted and when Fish enters a new stage of his life, adolescence, and his new community isn’t as understanding as when he was a child due to the stereotypes and attitudes that exist in society about mental illness.

How Many Days Until Tomorrow?
Author:Goose River Press/Caroline Janover
Format:Junior novel
Topic:Dyslexia, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, junior middle school students (grades 5 to 8).

Winner of the 2001 Parents' Choice Award. Josh is a twelve-year-old with dyslexia who spends the summer on a remote island in Maine with his teasing older brother Simon and grandparents he hardly knows. His bug-eyed grandfather (alias Grumps) rarely says a kind word. Living on Seal Island is torture until Josh realizes his own ingenuity. He captures a pet mouse, learns about seals and whales and meets a cute girl. In a dramatic, life-threatening emergency, Josh learns he is just as smart as his gifted older brother. He spends the worst and the best summer of his life on Seal Island, far out to sea off the coast of Maine.

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (and sequels)
Author:Square Fish/ Jack Gantos
Format:Junior novel
Topic:Learning disability, attention deficit disorder, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, junior middle school students (grades 5 to 8).

Joey Pigza can’t sit still. He can’t pay attention. He can’t follow the rules. And he can’t help it! He just does whatever pops into his head. Even if it’s swallowing a key. If he keeps messing up, he’s going to be sent to a special-ed center for “problem” children. He knows he’s a good kid; he’s just got dud meds. But can he get anyone else to believe that? Two sequels: Joey Pigza Loses Control (juvenile novel) 2000; What Would Joey Do? (juvenile novel) 2002.

Kids of Action
Author:The Canadian Paralympic Committee
Format:Online resource (children’s e-book)
Topic:Physical disability, inclusion, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, students grades 3-6

A collection of stories about children with disabilitites from the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

King Paralympics
Author:Ability Magazine
Format:Online article
Topic:Physical disability, inclusion, difference
Intended Audience:Teachers, students, community stakeholders

An inspirational account of the athletic achievements of paralympians at the Barcelona and Atlanta olympic games.

Love and Salt Water
Author:New Canadian Library/Ethel Wilson
Topic:Difference, disability
Intended Audience:Teachers, senior high school students (grade 11/12)

Love and Salt Water is Ethel Wilson's final and darkest novel. Like Swamp Angel, her finest book, it is a deceptively simple story charged with latent symbolism. Here, however, Wilson introduces an element of emotional terror that only flashes briefly in her other works. This is the tale of Ellen Cuppy, a seemingly unremarkable young British Columbian. When Ellen is 16, her mother dies; as a sort of rest cure for grief, her father then takes her as a passenger on a freighter bound for Europe. As she grows older, Ellen moves through her life without forming terribly strong emotional ties, until a near- fatal accident involving Ellen and her sister's only child draws her out of her studied nonchalance.