One of the wonderful things about books is that they can take you out of your life and let you look through someone else’s eyes, to see the world in a whole new way. This can be particularly moving when the character has difficulties that may not affect you personally, but could allow you to see that new kid at school or the neighbor who lives one street over with more empathy and understanding.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper features 11-year-old Melody. Melody remembers everything perfectly, but no one at school can see past the girl in the wheelchair, the girl with cerebral palsy. With the help of her neighbor and getting the chance to integrate with a regular classroom, she just might be able to reach out without saying a word.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is about Auggie, who was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from attending school because of the number of surgeries he has had. Now he is in middle school and attending school for the very first time. His big sister, Via, gets a chance to give her point of view as she starts a new high school. The different voices really add to the story!
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine introduces Caitlin, who has Aspberger’s and relies on her brother, Devon, to help her make sense of other people’s reactions to her. But when Devon unexpectedly dies, Caitlin is left to figure out things on her own, including how to help her father.
If you have read another great youth book that fits this category, leave a comment below!
Posted by: Beth