Written By: Cerrie Burnell
Illustrated by: Lauren Baldo
For Ages: 8-12 years
Topics Covered: Disability, Own Voices, Historical Figures, Mental Health, Global Community, STEM, Art, Sports.
This book is awesome! I’m so glad we have an #ownvoices book about disability throughout history that covers the globe instead of centering a specific country. For so long (and still today) disabled people are an afterthought in terms of accessibility, rights, and social services.
Reading the book the reader is treated to short biographies of different public figures like Victor Pineda, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Lady Gaga, and Eliza Suggs. Seeing the achievements of these individuals throughout history is impressive, but not because they’re disabled. The narrative is not one of pity or inspiration porn, like we often see glorified in the mainstream media. I attribute this to the author herself, who takes care in the way she describes the person. Often, the person is described for several paragraphs before their disability is mentioned. The feeling reading is we get a holistic view of the person themselves (or at least as detailed as a page can be). I think it’s a good length for the age group, and I love that it included mental health conditions as well. There is an introduction from the author herself, discussing the language used in the book, a glossary in the back, and a list of resources. I love the artistic stylings with the individuals, and they’re all differently tailored to the person featured. Overall, I highly enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it finding a place onto your bookshelf as well!
This book was kindly sent to us by Quarto, but all opinions are my own.
Cerrie Burnell is a presenter, actress, and writer, best known for her work in British children’s TV. She was featured in the Guardian’s 2011 list of the one hundred most inspirational women. She divides her time between London and Manchester, England.