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*Children's Literature Guide

Guide for children's literature awards winners

About the Award

The Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three awards are given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-8), middle school (age 9-13) and teens (age 14-18). (Age groupings are approximations). The book must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and or adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional. The nominated novel (fiction or non-fiction), biography and/or picture book must be published during the past two (2) years. Donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider.

A listing of the Schneider Family Book Award winners housed in the Curriculum Materials/Media Center is below. These books are organized according to the Library of Congress system of classification.

Award Winners

Award Date Title/ Author and Illustrator Call Number

Young Children's Book: The Words in my hands.

PZ7.A8408 Wo 2021


Young Children's Book: Emmanuel's dream : the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah / Thompson, Laurie Ann.

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people -- but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

HV3013 .Y43 T56 2015

Middle School Book: Fish in a tree / Hunt, Lynda Mullaly.

Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read.

PZ7 .H9159 FI 2015

Teen Book: The war that saved my life / Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

PZ7 .B7247 WAR 2015


Young Children's Book: A boy and a jaguar / Rabinowitz, Alan.

The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.

QL83 .R33 2014

Middle School Book: Rain reign / Martin, Ann M.

Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

PZ7 .M3693 RAI 2014

Teen Book: Girls like us / Giles, Gail.

Graduating from their school's special education program, Quincy and Biddy are placed together in their first independent apartment and discover unexpected things they have in common in the face of past challenges and a harrowing trauma.

PZ7 .G3923 GI 2014


Young Children's Book: A splash of red : the life and art of Horace Pippin / Bryant, Jennifer.

Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.

ND237 .P65 B79 2013


Young Children's Book: Back to Front and Upside Down / written and illustrated by Claire Alexander

While the rest of the class makes birthday cards for the principal, Stanley struggles with his words and letters.

PZ7 .A37666 BAC 2012a

Middle School Book: A Dog Called Homeless / Sarah Lean

Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a disabled boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates.

PZ7 .L46333 DOG 2012

Teen Book: Somebody, Please Tell me Who I Am / Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Wounded in Iraq while his Army unit is on convoy and treated for many months for traumatic brain injury, the first person Ben remembers from his earlier life is his autistic brother.

PZ7 .M47397 SNS 2012


Young Children's Book:

The Jury chose not to award a book in the category for children ages 0 – 8 because no submissions were deemed worthy of the award.


Middle School Book: Close to famous / Bauer, Joan, 1951-

Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.

PZ7 .B32615 CL 2011

Middle School Book: Wonderstruck : a novel in words and pictures / Selznick, Brian.

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.

PZ7 .S4654 WON 2011

Teen Book: The running dream / Van Draanen, Wendelin.

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

PZ7 .V2857 RV 2011


Young Children's Book: The pirate of kindergarten / Lyon, George Ella.

Ginny's eyes play tricks on her, making her see everything double, but when she goes to vision screening at school and discovers that not everyone sees this way, she learns that her double vision can be cured.

PZ7 .L9954 PI 2010

Middle School Book: After ever after / Sonnenblick, Jordan.

Although Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa.

PZ7 .S6984 AFT 2010

Teen Book: Five flavors of Dumb / John, Antony.

Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates' popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.

PZ7 .J6216 FIV 2010


Young Children's Book: Django / Bonnie Christensen.

Born into a traveling gypsy family, young Django Reinhardt taught himself guitar at an early age. He was soon acclaimed as the "Gypsy Genius" and "Prodigy Boy," but one day his world changed completely when a fire claimed the use of his fretting hand. Folks said Django would never play again, but with passion and perseverance he was soon setting the world's concert stages ablaze.

ML3930 .R33 C57 2009

Middle School Book: Anything but typical / Nora Raleigh Baskin.

Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

PZ7 .B29233 AN 2009

Teen Book: Marcelo in the real world / Francisco X. Stork.

Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

PZ7 .S88442 MAR 2009


Young Children's Book: Piano starts here : the young Art Tatum / Robert Andrew Parker

The story of the young Art Tatum, who became one of the all-time greats of jazz piano.

ML3930 .T2 P37 2008

Middle School Book: Waiting for normal / Leslie Connor

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

PZ7 .C7644 WAI 2008

Teen Book: Jerk, California / Jonathan Friesen

Plagued by Tourette's syndrome and a stepfather who despises him, Sam meets an old man in his small Minnesota town who sends him on a road trip designed to help him discover the truth about his life.

PZ7 .F91661 JE 2008


Young Children’s Book: Kami and the yaks / Andrea Stenn Stryer ; illustrated by Bert Dodson

In the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, Kami, a deaf Sherpa boy, braves a fierce storm to lead his father and brother to their family's lost yak herd.

PZ7 .S92775 KM 2007

Middle School Book: Reaching for sun / Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse.

PZ7.5 .Z63 RE 2007

Teen Book: Hurt go happy / Ginny Rorby

When thirteen-year-old Joey Willis, deaf since the age of six, meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his chimpanzee Sukari, who use sign language, her world blooms with possibilities but that of the chimp begins to narrow.

PZ7 .R69 HU 2006


Young Children’s Book: The deaf musicians / story by Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois Jacobs; illustrations by R. Gregory Christie

Lee, a jazz pianist, has to leave his band when he begins losing his hearing, but he meets a deaf saxophone player in a sign language class and together they form a snazzy new band.

PZ7 .S45153 DEA 2006

Middle School Book: Rules / Cynthia Lord

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.

PZ7 .L87734 RUL 2006

Teen Book: Small steps / Louis Sachar

Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.

PZ7.S1185 SMA 2006


Young Children’s Book: Dad, Jackie, and me / Myron Uhlberg; illustrated by Colin Bootman

In Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, a boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers' first baseman, Jackie Robinson.

PZ7 .U3257 DAD 2005

Middle School Book: Tending to Grace / Kimberly Newton Fusco

When Cornelia's mother runs off with a boyfriend, leaving her with an eccentric aunt, Cornelia must finally confront the truth about herself and her mother.

PZ7 .F96666 TE 2004

Teen Book: Under the wolf, under the dog / Adam Rapp

Sixteen-year-old Steve struggles to make sense of his mother's terminal breast cancer and his brother's suicide.

PZ7 .R18133 UN 2004


Young Children’s Book: My pal, Victor = Mi amigo, Victor / written by / escrito por Diane Gonzales Bertrand ; illustrated by / ilustrado por Robert L. Sweetland ; translated by / traducción por Eida de la Vega

Two latino boys experience carefree camaraderie despite one boy's disability. Fun and friendship overpower physical limitations.

PZ73 .B4446 2004

Middle School Book: Becoming Naomi León / Pam Muñoz Ryan

When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father. From the Pura Belpre and Jane Addams Peace Award winning author of Esperanza Rising comes a riveting novel about family and identity, drawn from the warmth, wisdom, and love of Pam Munoz Ryan's own Mexican and Oklahoman heritages. Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life: her name for one thing. Then there are her clothes (sewn of polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status among her classmates as "nobody special." But according to Gram's self-prophecies, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. Luckily, Naomi also has her soap carving, a talent at which she excels. And life at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in Lemon Tree, California, with Gram and her little brother, Owen, is happy and peaceful. That is, until their mother reappears after seven years of being gone, stirring up all sorts of questions and challenging Naomi to discover who she really is. Library of Congress Summary. When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

PZ7.R9553 BE 2004

Teen Book: My thirteenth winter: a memoir / Samantha Abeel

The book was chosen for its honest and sensitive portrayal of the author’s youth as she struggles with dyscalculia, a learning disability in mathematics. The syndrome also affects one’s ability to perform simple tasks, such as telling time or following directions. Abeel’s diagnosis at age 13 helped her and her family make sense of why she excelled in literature but didn’t know what change to expect when buying groceries. She shares her gift of language in this compelling memoir.

RJ496.A25 A244 2003


Young Children’s Book: Looking out for Sarah / written and illustrated by Glenna Lang

Describes a day in the life of a seeing eye dog, from going with his owner to the grocery store and post office, to visiting a class of school children, and playing ball. Also describes their three-hundred mile walk from Boston to New York.

PZ7.L2525 LO 2001

Middle School Book: A mango-shaped space : a novel / by Wendy Mass

Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the death of her beloved cat, Mango.

PZ7 .M42355 MAN 2005

Teen Book: Things not seen / Andrew Clements

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

PZ7 .C59118 TGM 2004