10 books about people with a disability or sickness
Normally I post on Thursdays, but I wanted to post this one on the 14th. Why? Because today is international Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) day. And since I’m a person with a CHD – or heart condition-, I thought I would give some attention to this day by listing books about disability or sickness.
I won’t bore you with some sad, boring details about my CHD. I already did that two years ago. Instead, I thought I would give books that focus on disability or sickness some love. Personally I love reading those kind of books. Even if the disability is not at all something I can relate to, there are usually thought patterns that are so similar to mine. And hey, it’s important every kind of body and kind of person gets the spotlight.
Looking at this list, I realized that there is still a long way to go. With most of the characters either having cancer or being in an accident and losing function of a body part, I think it’s safe to say we miss some disability or sickness rep. What about disabilities or sickness that a person is born with?
And also, there are a lot of things wrong with books about disabilities or sickness. I read a nice thread on Twitter about this. You find it here.
Please note: all these books are books I’ve read. There are (hopefully) many books out there that also have characters with a disability. If you know one, please share! I would love to read it 🙂
Disability or sickness rep in books
1. The Running Dream – Wendelin van Draanen
In this book, the main character Jessica loses her leg in a car accident. What follows is an inspiring journey where she has to learn to walk again and accept her new body.
2. Finding Balance – Kati Gardner
The two main character in Finding Balance are cancer survivors. Even though Jace doesn’t remember, Mari gets a daily reminder because she lost her leg. What I love about this book is that it doesn’t really focus on being ill, but more on the story between Mari and Jace. Read the full review here
3. Three Amazing Things About You – Jill Mansell
In this novel by Jill Mansell, one of the main character – Hallie – has cystic fibrosis. At the beginning of the book, you’ll learn there is a donor to give her new lungs. In the rest of the book you’ll meet more characters, get involved in their story and eventually are heartbroken when you find out who the donor is. Read my full review here.
4. How to Walk Away – Katherine Center
Margaret, the main character, was in an airplane accident. She wakes up in the hospital, not being able to use her legs. The story that follows is amazing, emotional and funny at times. Read my full review here.
5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple
I felt conflicted to add this book in here. Bee, the daughter of Bernadette, has a heart condition. Just like me! But in this book, it wasn’t very present. I think it was brought up two or three times. (and I also felt conflicted about the way it was talked about, but that’s a whole other story) Read my full review here.
6. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark is the main character, but Will is the one with the disability. Because of an accident, he’s paralyzed from the neck down. A very tragic story follows, where I cried my eyes out (with the book and again when I watched the movie).
7. Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
Maddie has a rare autoimmune disease, and because of that she cannot leave the house. The story follows her as she falls in love with the new neighbor and in which she tries to do her own thing.
8. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
I’m not sure if I even have to explain this one, since it is such a well-known book and movie. It follows two teenagers with cancer who fall in love and go on an adventure in Amsterdam (extra points, cause they come to my home country!).
9. What I Didn’t Say – Keary Taylor
The main character Jake loses his voice after a car accident. In the book he tries to figure out life being mute, and regretting not saying to Samantha that he’s in love with her.
10. A Thousand Boy Kisses – Tillie Cole
This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. It starts with a perfect love story between two neighbors Rune and Poppy. But when Rune moves away, their relationship is on the line. When he returns, he finds out why Poppy hasn’t been in touch; she’s so sick that she might be dying. Read my full review here.
Do you have any books to add to this list? Which one is your favorite? Do you like reading about characters with disabilities or sickness?