Thursday, May 05, 2011

Characters with Disabilities

Newbery Books Lack Characters with Disabilities, Study Says, by Debra Lau Whelan, is a School Library Journal article that caught my attention. In addition to the representation (or lack thereof) of characters with disabilities from different races, there is also this concern:

"Characters with disabilities often were eliminated through death, were sent away, or recovered by some miraculous cure. In most cases, the disabled character wasn't the protagonist and was often used in supporting roles that facilitated the emotional growth of other characters." [Italics mine]

Two books I enjoyed last year with protagonists who have Asperger's Syndrome were The Half-Life of Planets, by Emily Franklin and Harmonic Feedback, by Tara Kelly, both Teen/Young Adult. A number of people recommended Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine, but overall, it didn't resonate with me, as it tried to pack too much into one storyline. I believe I've mentioned Virginia Euwer Wolf's Probably Nick Swansen, (another YA book), about a 16 year old boy with learning disabilities who deals with the loss of his sister and his feelings of responsibility over her death.

On my wishlist is a book with a main character who has Asperger's syndrome where the story is a comedy, or at least has really funny elements. Oh, and I'd like it to be science-fiction, too. (Maybe I need to write it?)

3 comments:

tanita davis said...

Yep. Sometimes you have to write it yourself, much like the diverse character science fiction novel I wanted to read...

Lone Star Ma said...

I want to read it - please do.

Melangell said...

A new Kage Baker. Yes!