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Books for Kids Featuring Wheelchairs

Over 125,000 children under age 21 use wheelchairs in the U.S. and over 10 million children use wheelchairs worldwide. Wheelchair representation in film, television, and books continues to grow as the people behind them work for more inclusive environments. This book list goes beyond representation—it offers stories to empower and entertain. While some of the books featured tell stories of difficulties faced, others tell stories that don’t focus on—or even mention—wheelchair use. This set of children’s literature positively shapes the perspectives of readers of all ages and abilities. For more reading, don’t miss our other Rare Parenting Book Lists!

Mighty Mara

Book Image: Mighty Mara

In Mighty Mara, Mara lives in Sametown where everyone and everything is the same. Mara plans to dance for the school talent show, but no one in Sametown believes she can do it because she is a bit different from everyone else in Sametown. Mara refuses to be discouraged and is determined to show her town that being different is beautiful! It isn’t until Mara comes on stage that it’s revealed that Mara uses a wheelchair.

Recommended for ages 4-8

Roll With It

Book Image_Roll With It

Roll With It is a middle-grade chapter book featuring Ellie, a determined and outspoken young girl in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. When Ellie and her mom move to a new town, Ellie feels overwhelmed by the changes and transition to a new school. She is anxious to be the new kid in a wheelchair. When she arrives at her new school, Ellie begins to make her first friends, and soon becomes convinced that her move is the best thing to ever happen to her.

Recommended for ages 9-12

Logan’s Greenhouse

Book Image: Logan's Greenhouse

Logan’s Greenhouse revolves around Logan finding the carrots in his wheelchair-accessible greenhouse. Logan wheels around, comparing and contrasting different root vegetables as he searches for the elusive carrots. In the end, he uses all of the vegetables he uncovered to make a special feast for his friends.

Recommended for ages 3-7

Gary’s Gigantic Dream

Book Image: Gary's Gigantic Dream

In Gary’s Gigantic Dream, Gary is a young giraffe who gets measured for his first wheelchair. When Gary receives his chair, he is excited to play, bake, dance, and travel with his new independence! Gary dreams of speaking on stage to share the stories of children embracing and overcoming challenges. He wants to prove that everyone is able. The back of the book includes photographs of children in wheelchairs sharing their dreams and a page for kids to place their own photo, write a mini bio, and share their dreams.

Recommended for ages 3-5

King for a Day

Book Image: King for a Day

In King for a Day, Malik participates in a traditional Pakistani festival’s kite-flying battle. In just two battles, he defeats a bully’s kites, and one-by-one draws in all the other kites until he is officially crowned the King of the Festival. When Malik witnesses the same bully steal a girl’s kite, he lets one of his prized kites fall from the sky to land at the girl’s feet. The illustrations depict Malik maneuvering in his wheelchair without it being directly addressed.

Recommended for ages 4-7

Hello Goodbye Dog

Book Image: Hello Goodbye Dog

Hello Goodbye Dog features two inseparable friends—Zara and her dog, Moose. The story centers around Moose’s many failed attempts to visit Zara during the school day. Zara has the brilliant idea to train Moose to become a therapy dog, so that she can see him every day. Soon after his training, he joins Zara in her classroom as the class reading dog. Though Zara uses a wheelchair, it is not directly mentioned in the story.

Recommended for ages 4-8

I Will Dance

Book Image: I Will Dance

I Will Dance is about Eva, a young girl in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. She dreams of dancing, but she doesn’t know how someone who can only move her head, arms, and fingers could ever be a dancer. She refuses to give up and decides to join a class for dancers of all abilities. At first, Eva is hesitant, but soon, the children come together to move and dance to their own rhythms. On performance day, Eva’s dream of becoming a dancer comes true.

Recommended for ages 4-8

Susan Laughs

Book Image: Susan Laughs

In Susan Laughs, the illustrations show Susan engaging in activities that don’t require her wheelchair, so it isn’t readily apparent that she uses one. Susan dances, laughs, has fears, and enjoys her life, like other children. The story eventually reveals Susan using her wheelchair, concluding that despite her physical differences, Susan is just like any other child.

Recommended for ages 4-7

This Little Dinosaur

Book Image: This Little Dinosaur

This Little Dinosaur is a playful book based on the popular nursery rhyme, This Little Piggy. It features children, including one in a wheelchair, dressed up as dinosaurs. Each child in the story is numbered from one to ten. Readers count to ten with the preschoolers as they explore their classroom.

Recommended for ages 2-5

Yes I Can

Book Image: Yes I Can!- A Girl and Her Wheelchair

Yes I Can empowers children to pursue any activity by teaching them anything is possible with a little adaptation. Carolyn navigates a bowling alley, a trampoline park, her school classroom and lunchroom, and more. Carolyn uses a wheelchair but she doesn’t let that stop her from joining her friends in social activities. The back of the book includes information for adults on how to discuss disabilities with children.

Recommended for ages 4-8

Outside Amelia’s Window

Book Image: Outside Amelia's Window

In Outside Amelia’s Window, Amelia adjusts to life in her new wheelchair after an injury. She finds solace through reading and loves imagining herself in fairy tales about faraway lands and magical creatures. She longs to connect with peers in real life again, and with the help of a little bird outside her window, she finds the courage to venture outdoors to make new friends.

Recommended for ages 5-8

I Get Around In My Own Special Way

Book Image: I Get Around In My Own Special Way

In I Get Around In My Own Special Way, a friendly and active young girl embraces the excitement of life from her wheelchair. Sometimes people stare, or pretend not to see her, making her feel uncomfortable and sad. Written as a sweet poem, this book shares the girl’s wish to be included, and offers helpful advice on how to be more respectful and empathetic. 

Recommended for ages 3-8

Carden: The Wheelchair Warrior

Book Image: Carden: The Wheelchair Warrior

Carden: The Wheelchair Warrior, inspired by disability advocate, Carden Wyckoff, is a book about a young Carden and her experience navigating a new school while using her wheelchair. At first, Carden is worried and fearful about her first day of school, but then she uses her imagination to boost her confidence, which helps her throughout the day.

Recommended for ages 3-8

The Push

Book Image: The Push

The Push is a sweet story of friendship inspired by two differently-abled best friends. When Marcus moved next door to John, they become instant, inseparable friends. They do everything together—Marcus pushes John’s wheelchair while John entertains the duo with jokes and stories. Together, the two boys realize their unique differences strengthen their friendship.

Recommended for ages 5-10

Amazing

Book Image: Amazing

Amazing features a young boy and his pet dragon. Vibrant illustrations portray their fun together as they sing, dance, laugh, and even snooze. This everyday story of a child who uses a wheelchair, and his shenanigans with his best friend dragon, celebrates friendship and individuality.

Recommended for ages 2-5

Out of My Mind

Book Image: Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind is a middle-grade chapter book narrated by eleven-year-old Melody. Melody has cerebral palsy and can’t walk, write, or talk, but she has a photographic memory and is probably the smartest kid in school. Melody refuses to let others define her by her disability. When she receives an AAC communication device she can finally communicate with her family and peers and share her voice.

Recommended for ages 9+

Best Day Ever

Book Image: Best Day Ever!

Best Day Ever is a story about a playful puppy and her best friend, a young boy. The day begins playing outside with her boy in the sunshine. When the puppy gets dirty and has to take a bath, her day quickly takes a turn for the worse. Tensions rise further as she makes a mess indoors. Once she’s all clean, she and her boy return outside to play fetch, making it the best day ever, all over again. The story was inspired by the illustrator’s experience using a wheelchair and playing with her own puppy.

Recommended for ages 9+


References

BioMed Research International, Slavins, B., Schnorenberg, A., et al., Feb 2015, Evaluation of Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Mobility Using Advanced Biomechanical Methods, Evaluation of Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Mobility Using Advanced Biomechanical Methods

Disclosure: Occasionally, we include links to recommended products. When you purchase a product through a link, we may earn a small percentage of the sale, at no cost to you. These sales contribute to the operation of our site, and help to keep content free to read.

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