Know any Good Books?

I know I have more readers than comment, so here’s a question for everyone:

Can you give me any titles of books where a character has a disability of some kind, but the book is not about that disability?

Just now I can only think of two:

  • Jip: His Story
    • Has a “madman” caged at the poor farm the title character lives on.
  • The Westing Game
    • One of the 16 major characters, Chris, has a musculoskeletal something that confines him to a wheelchair and limits his ability to communicate. I really liked how the author let us into his (very perceptive) mind.
    • Another of the 16 was the mother of a girl described as “mongoloid” because of the time it was written. I don’t think anyone would get away with publishing that now.

    The interaction of everyone with Chris was very revealing of character, but wasn’t the point of he story. That was bigger than just one person.

These are the types of stories I’m looking for: Disability is a part of who they are, but it doesn’t drive the whole story (like, say, What’s Wrong With Timmy?)

If you have any ideas, please leave a comment and point me in that direction.


This entry was posted in Reading.

11 thoughts on “Know any Good Books?

  1. “Freckles” by Gene Stratton Porter
    My all time favorite book followed by many of her other books. They all feature someone with an inborn struggle to conquer. Freckles has a withered arm. This was written in the early 1900’s during the explosion of interest in nature. Great book for supporting nature study’s. Although, this book is not particularly a “Christian” novel. The writing is cleaner than many contemporary Christian novels.
    I had the opportunity to visit one of her homes 6 years ago in Geneva, Illinois. It was an opportunity of wonderment. I felt as if I touched the cushions on the chair I would find the still warm from the “Bird Woman’s” presence.
    Gene is one of my favorite novelist. I have enjoyed reading your blog for about a month now. Sorry this post is so long.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Tricia, I’ll look into this.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, and don’t worry, that wasn’t too long. ;)

    Anyone else?

  3. Ok, these aren’t kid’s books, and they’re sci fi, but the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, along with her Curse of Chalion (the first of another series). Both have disabled main characters who you really get to know. And I love(!) the Vorkosigan series.

  4. Good question. Hmm. Everything I can think of (I’m thinking of 2 different books with blindness) have the disability as a major plot point. There must be more out there, but I can’t think of any at the moment. I’ll sure pop back over if I do!

  5. Plot-point, okay, reason for writing the book, not my goal.

    Hmmm, this is hard to define.

    I have (in my story) a Downs child whose sweetness is part of what takes place, and ultimately I want the story to be an encouragement to those who are closer to that disability than me, but…

    I guess the difference is that it’s a showing, not a telling, book, and the action doesn’t revolve around the disability.

    But then, some of this comparison reading is to see how other people do it…

  6. “Goodnight Mister Tom” Geoff isn’t a main character, but he does have an amputated leg and a few other deformaties through WWII, but hardly anything is made of it. It’s his relationship with the main character and the impact he has on him which is the focal piont.

  7. Wow that’s an excellent question. I can’t think of a single one. If you get some more good examples and suggestions – pass them along!

  8. In response to this and your email….I’ve been thinking about it and am fascinated with how little I’m coming up with. The best I can think of is Lois Lowry. Her book “The Silent Boy” has a character (the silent boy) who has a disability – it is never named, and not described at length. He’s not the main character, but his disability does end up playing a key part. Its a fantastic book, so I”d recommened it even if it doesn’t fit the bill.

    In her books “Gathering Blue” and “The Messenger” there are multiple disabilites, but they are just normal people – not the focus of the story.

    I can’t wait to read YOUR book! :)

  9. So B, It by Sarah Weeks might be of interest. Also, for preschoolers Lucy’s Picture by Nicola Moon. I just saw your comment at Preschoolers and Peace. I too am homeschooling a preschooler.

  10. I have to second the vote for the Vorkosigan books by Bujold. Miles is one of the best characters you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing. I just finished rereading those books for about the tenth time. :)

    peace of Christ to you,
    Jessica Snell

  11. Thanks everyone.

    Two more my Librarian mentioned (since I told her I was particularly interested in Downs):
    –My Sister Annie by Bill Dodds
    –The Man who loved Clowns by June Rae Wood

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