Today I added a review of "Out of my Mind" by Sharon Draper to the "Books for Children Featuring Characters with Disabilities" website. I recently recommended this title to a ten year old customer with disabilities similar to that of the protagonist. I was absolutely delighted with her reaction--as well as convinced that this is an important title as well as a "good read." I would love some reviews from readers with disabilities different from mine--since my disabilities are all "invisible," it is often difficult for me to judge the accuracy of a title such as this, which discusses the experiences of a character whose disability is almost always the first thing people notice. The "emotional truth" of a novel such as "Out of my Mind" is very important.
The content on this website mostly comes from my perspective as a youth services librarian with disabilities. The further I travel along life's road, the more entwined these two parts of my identity become. Librarian: I have an MLS from Rutgers University and have working in public libraries for nearly 20 years. The focus on my career has always been youth services. Disabled: I've been disabled more than twice as long as I've been a librarian. My experience started at birth when I was immediately diagnosed with cleft palate. Also present was a non-verbal learning disability (NLD) for short. This was not formally diagnosed until I was 19, leading to years of frustration. My Tourette Syndrome was not present at birth, but surely started young as I don't ever remember living without it. The Tourette was also not diagnosed until adulthood, further compounding my frustration. Coincidentally, I was also diagnosed with IBD (more commonly known as Chron's\Ulcerative Colitis) at the age of 19. That was another easy diagnosis--as with cleft palate, they look and they see it.