February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Here are several books we love that feature strong characters with disabilities, as well as storylines about acceptance, inclusion, and learning from everyone.
Cake and Miracles by Barbara Diamond Goldin
Hershel’s blindness doesn’t keep him from living life. He helps his mother by doing chores, but wishes he could do even more for her. When an angel appears in Hershel’s dream and encourages him to make what he sees when he closes his eyes, the boy sneaks into the kitchen, transforming his mother's cookie dough into beautiful hamantaschen for Purim.
Jordan and the Dreadful Golem by Karen Goldman
This story follows a group of children who are all defined by their own special and unique abilities. Jordan and his friends must use their talents to defend their home against a monster--while Jordan must also learn to accept himself.
Jenny loves to jump, but when her energetic jumping gets her into trouble, she decides to retire her pogo stick. Then her school decides to hold a fundraising fair, and she discovers that her skill can be used for a good cause.
Long before Einstein was a household name, he was just a boy -- a boy with a powerful imagination. This story of a Jewish hero underscores the potential each person’s creative mind holds. You can also check out the PJ Our Way story, Who Was Albert Einstein by Jess Brallier.
Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles by Tami Lehman-Wilzig with Nicole Katzman
Jacob loves his brother Nathan, who has autism. When Hanukkah comes, Jacob worries that Nathan might embarrass him in front of his new friend. The story helps introduce young children and families to autism and other developmental disorders.
The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff
As the only Jewish child in her class, a young girl not only learns that each person is unique but is able to share this understanding with her classmates.
Ruthie loves to knit -- and to help people. When her family gives shelter to a deaf woman and her baby, Ruthie realizes there’s a way for her to do both at once!
The Seeing Stick by Jane Yolen
Hwei Min, the emperor's daughter has been blind since birth and neither the wise men who advise him, nor the best magician's in his service, can restore her sight. A stranger arrives with a special stick and helps Hwei Min learn to see in a new way.
Looking for more book ideas and suggestions? You can find all of the PJ Library books that deal with storylines about inclusion here.
SPECIAL NEEDS ENROLLMENT
If you have or know of a child with any special learning needs who is older than the oldest age group of their PJ Library community, but who may nevertheless benefit from the PJ Library materials offered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome the child's enrollment in any age group deemed appropriate.
February 3, 2017