Schneider Family Book Award

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The Schneider Family Book Award honors authors and illustrators whose books portray a disability as part of the human experience. The books feature positive but realistic portrayals of what it's like to live with a mental, physical, or emotional disability and are selected for 3 age groups of young readers. Read more about Dr. Katherine Schneider and why she established the award here:

Schneider Family Book Award Winners


Fish in a Tree

Lynda Mulally Hunt


Bullied and moved from different schools, sixth grader Ally creatively distracts anyone from discovering that she has problems reading. But one teacher, Mr. Daniels, helps her understand that she has dyslexia and encourages Ally to understand her feelings in a new way. 2015.

Grades 4-7, Growing Up, Commercial Audiobook

The War That Saved My Life

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


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. 2015.

Grades 4-7, Historical Fiction, War, Family, Commercial Audiobook

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Teresa Toten


Adam struggles with his OCD therapy assignments, and his relationship with his divorced parents doesn't help matters. During a session at his OCD support group, however, he falls for fellow member Robyn and decides to save them both. 2015.

Young Adult, Psychological Fiction, Commercial Audiobook


A Boy and a Jaguar

Alan Rabinowitz


Autobiography of a wildcat conservationist. Author discusses his lifelong struggle with stuttering and how his love of animals helped him learn to communicate better, propelling him into a career in wildlife advocacy. 2014.

Grades 2-4, Biography, Environment and Ecology

Rain Reign

Ann Martin


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 the limits of her comfort zone--which may mean leaving her routines in order to search for her pet. 2014.

Grades 4-7, Animal Stories

Girls like Us

Gail Giles


Graduates of their school's special-education program, Quincy and Biddy are placed together in their first independent apartment and begin new jobs. Their adult status comes with challenges, but they find common ground and discover a strong friendship. 2014.

Young Adult, Friendship


A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

Jennifer Bryant


Biography of self-taught African American folk artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946). Describes Pippin's childhood in Pennsylvania and New York, the combat injury that threatened to end his career, his struggle to learn to paint again, and the widespread fame he achieved. 2013.

Grades K-3, Biography, Arts

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Merrie Haskell


While visiting a neighboring noble to assist him with his tax records, reluctant Princess Matilda is kidnapped by her cousin in a plot to steal her lands. Matilda's crush Parz and handmaiden Judith rescue her, and the trio go on the run--and learn dragon slaying. 2013.

Grades 5-8, Fantasy

Rose under Fire

Elizabeth Wein


After a daring flight maneuver, young American pilot Rose Justice is captured by Nazis and sent to RavensbruÌck, a notorious women's concentration camp. Rose's fellow prisoners help her to keep hope alive. Companion to Code Name Verity (DB 75966). 2013.

Young Adult, Historical Fiction, War


A Dog Called Homeless

Sarah Lean


Fifth-grader Cally, who stopped talking for a day as part of a contest at school, continues her silence. But visions of her deceased mother; a new friendship with Sam, a deaf-blind boy; and the appearance of a huge dog keep her communicating. 2012.

Grades 3-6, Animal Stories

Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am

Harry Mazer


When Ben delays college to enlist in the army reserve, his family, girlfriend, and best friend are shocked. After deployment to Iraq Ben returns home with a traumatic brain injury and finds nothing is the same. 2012.

Young Adult, War


Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures

Brian Selznick


After the death of his mother, Ben, who is deaf, travels to New York City's American Museum of Natural History, where he hopes to find his father. While searching he makes an incredible discovery. 2011.

Grades 4-7, Growing Up

Close to Famous

Joan Bauer


After escaping her mother's abusive boyfriend, twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother make a new start in Culpepper, West Virginia. Her mom wants to be a lead singer, while Foster dreams of becoming a famous TV chef--and of mastering reading, despite her learning disability. 2011.

Grades 5-8, Adventure

The Running Dream

Wendelin Van Draanen


After a school-bus accident, sixteen-year-old Jessica has her right leg amputated below the knee and is convinced she will never run again. But prosthetics, a new friend with cerebral palsy, and the support of her track team help Jessica find a way forward. 2011.

Young Adult, Sports, Friendship


The Pirate of Kindergarten

George Ella Lyon


Ginny's eyes play tricks on her, making her see everything double. After vision-screening day at school, she goes to a doctor who recommends eye exercises and a patch that turns her into a kindergarten pirate. 2010.

Preschool-Grade 2

After Ever After

Jordan Sonnenblick

DB070791, BR018878

Jeffrey Alper, from Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (DB064360), makes a deal with best friend and fellow cancer survivor Tad: in return for math tutoring, Jeffrey will help Tad learn to walk again before eighth-grade graduation. Meanwhile, Jeffrey falls for new girl Lindsey. 2010.

Grades 5-8, Friendship

Five Flavors of Dumb

Antony John


Eighteen-year-old Piper who is deaf, volunteers as a manager for a rock band called Dumb. While trying to make Dumb profitable, Piper learns a few things about music and business--and about herself. For senior high readers. 2010.

Young Adult, Music and Arts

Anything but Typical

Nora Raleigh Baskin

DB068936, BR018768

Sixth-grader Jason Blake is autistic--a silent boy who has trouble fitting in with neurotypicals. He prefers to communicate on the Storyboard web site, where he meets PhoenixBird, a girl who likes his writings. What will happen when they attend the Storyboard convention and meet in person? 2009.

Grades 4-7, Friendship

Marcelo in the Real World

Francisco Stork

DB070277, BR018579

Seventeen-year-old Marcelo Sandoval, who has autism, gets a summer job working in the mail room of his father's law firm. Exposed to real-world situations, Marcelo has encounters with his boss Jasmine that bring romance and a myriad of emotions to the surface. 2009.

Young Adult, Bestseller, Growing Up


Waiting for Normal

Leslie Connor

DB068286, BR018148

Upstate New York. Addie's plucky spirit makes the best of awkward situations such as moving into a tiny trailer with her difficult mother, separating from her stepdad and two half sisters, and coping with her learning difficulties in her new school's band. 2008.

Grades 5-8, Family

Jerk, California

Jonathan Friesen

DB068141, BR018379

Isolated at school and tormented by his stepdad, Minnesota high school senior Sam Carrier feels defined by his Tourette syndrome. But long-distance running, his deceased father's friend George, a girl named Naomi, and a road trip to Jerk, California, change his perspective. 2008.

Young Adult, Family


Kami and the Yaks

Andrea Stenn Stryer


With a storm approaching, Kami--a deaf Sherpa boy--finds the littlest of his family's four yaks stuck in a crevice. Kami bravely rushes home and acts out the yak's plight then leads his father and brother to the rescue. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2007.

Grades K-3, Family

Reaching for Sun

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

DB066052, BR017651

Josie, born with cerebral palsy, lives with her mother and grandmother, who both love gardening. When a lonely boy, Jordan, moves in nearby, he and Josie relate through their interest in nature, and Josie makes her first friend. 2007.

Grades 4-7, Friendship

Hurt Go Happy

Ginny Rorby

DB064465, BR017668

Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis, deaf since age seven, has an overprotective mother who refuses to let her daughter learn sign language. When Joey meets neighbor Dr. Mansell and his sign-user chimpanzee Sukari, her world blooms with possibilities. But a crisis involving Sukari brings Joey some heavy responsibilities. 2006.

Grades 6-9, Friendship, Family, Download Only


The Deaf Musicians

Pete Seeger

DB064140, BR017245

Jazz pianist Lee is asked to leave his band when he loses his hearing. At sign language class, Lee meets Max who plays the sax. Riding the subway together, they form a new band with a big audience. 2006.

Grades K-3, Friendship, Music, Download Only


Cynthia Lord

DB062696, BR017108

Sometimes twelve-year-old Catherine resents her autistic brother, David, who breaks rules and gets all her parents' attention. She meets Jason, a teenage nonverbal paraplegic, at David's therapy center. As the two become friends, Catherine realizes that accepting differences matters more than any rules. 2006.

Grades 5-8, Friendship, Download Only

Small Steps

Louis Sachar

DB061629, BR016501

Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit, from Holes (DB047444), is turning his life around in Austin, Texas, with the encouragement of his ten-year-old neighbor, Ginny, who has cerebral palsy. Then he meets a celebrity teen singer. 2006.

Grades 5-8, Adventure, Download Only


Dad, Jackie, and Me

Myron Uhlberg


Brooklyn, New York; 1947. A boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers' first African American player, Jackie Robinson. Schneider Family Book Award. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2005.

Grades 2-4, Sports

Tending to Grace

Kimberly Newton Fusco

DB061921, BR015890

Cornelia is shy and withdrawn because of her stutter. She feels even lonelier when her mother drops her off to live with an eccentric great-aunt in a rundown farmhouse. But slowly and warily Cornelia and her aunt learn to share their strengths with each other. 2004.

Grades 6-9, Family, Download Only

Under the Wolf, Under the Dog

Adam Rapp


Teenager Steve Nugent's journal describes his experiences in an institution for emotionally disturbed youth. While discussing his interactions with fellow patients, Steve recalls his mother's and brother's deaths, his father's aloofness, and his own self-destructive behavior. 2004

Young Adult, Family, Download Only


My Pal, Victor/Mi Amigo, Victor

Diane Gonzales Bertrand


Dominic talks about the activities he enjoys with his best friend Victor: jokes and stories, sleepovers, rides at the amusement park, swimming. Only the ending reveals that Victor uses a wheelchair. Bilingual book in English and Spanish. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2004.

Grades K-3, Friendship

Becoming Naomi Leon

Pam Munoz Ryan

DB060266, BR016277

For seven years Naomi and brother Owen lived happily with Gram in her trailer. Gram arranged Owen's surgeries for his physical disabilities and helped Naomi begin to speak again. When their mother reappears, Gram takes the children to Mexico to find their father and their heritage. 2004.

Grades 4-7, Family, Download Only

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

Samantha Abeel


Abeel, both gifted and learning disabled, describes being different at school. Discusses her diagnosis of dyscalculia, which compromises sequential processing required for spelling, telling time, remembering locker combinations, and understanding math and grammar. Relates learning coping skills in a prescribed special ed math class. 2003.

Young Adult, Biography, Download Only


Looking Out for Sarah

Glenna Lang


Describes a day in the life of Perry, a seeing-eye dog. He guides his owner, Sarah, to the grocery store and the post office and on a school visit. He dreams about the month that he and Sarah walked from Boston to New York. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2001.

Grades K-3, Animal Stories

A Mango-Shaped Space

Wendy Mass


Eighth-grader Mia has been keeping a secret--even from her best friend, Jenna--ever since third grade, when she realized that not everyone sees a color for each name, number, and sound. Problems at school and her cat's death lead Mia to discoveries about herself and synesthesia. 2003.

Grades 5-8, Friendship, Download Only

Things Not Seen

Andrew Clements

DB054713, BR017135

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and can't see his body, his relationship with the physical world and with his parents changes. He confides his invisibility situation to a new friend, Alicia, blinded two years before, and they try to figure out what happened to him. 2002.

Grades 6-9, Science Fiction, Series, Download Only