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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PJ Library families will be familiar with Polacco's books like Tikvah Means Hope, The Blessing Cup, and Someone For Mr. Sussman. This book follows a young girl, Trisha, as she struggles in school. Through the coaching of a wonderful teacher, Trisha is able to start reading on her own.
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!
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.
The children in this book sign words for things people do on Shabbat, such as eat challah, drink wine or grape juice, sing Shabbat songs, and (of course!) read books. Shabbat Shalom!
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 email@example.com. We welcome the child's enrollment in any age group deemed appropriate.
February 3, 2017