Often children with disabilities don’t feel the same type of inclusion as other kids and parents struggle with this fact. Thankfully ‘the times they are a-changing’ as some would say. Given more young people being diagnosed with mental issues like autism, a type of physical, or other limitation is finally receiving the same type of spotlight and recognition in today’s media as those who are not challenged in some way.
Firstly, let’s take a look at these award-winning children’s books featuring differently-abled youngsters starring in title roles inside these novellas. In January 2020, the American Library Association named three winners and three honorees of its Schneider Family Book Awards. These honorees have been recognized recently for their contributory roles as authors and illustrators. They portray the youth disability experience. There are three age-related categories given annually:
Young Children in Children’s Books
The winner in this group goes to a title written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in, “Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You,” encouraging children to communicate with their fellows to embrace and accept their unique differences which makes them stronger. Also, “A Friend For Henry“, written by Jenn Bailey, is about friendship as told from a boy with autism.
Elementary and Middle School Grades in Children’s Books
“A Song for a Whale” by Lynne Kelly won the award for her tale about a twelve-year-old deaf child. They go on a quest to help a whale who can’t communicate with other whales. In the honorary category, “Each Tiny Spark” won. It follows a daughter whose father returns home from military deployment a changed man as the result of PTSD.
High Schoolers and Teens in Children’s Books
Karol Ruth Silverstein won in the teenage category for her portrayal of a young girl with juvenile arthritis in “Cursed“. Meanwhile, Alison Gervais received the honorary status for her story of a deaf student adjusting to a high school. Everyone else can hear in “The Silence Between Us“.
The winners in each of these categories will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque in a presentation. These occur during the library association’s annual conference held every June in Chicago.
A Night to Remember
Attending prom is a high school ritual. It is a rite of passage for many teenagers. However, it’s more than just a dance or a reason to get all dressed up and hang out with adolescent friends. It’s an evening where all students, no matter where they sit during lunchtime, what clubs or cliques they belong to, instead, it’s a time to come together for a party one last time before graduation.
Many kids who are disabled either from socially-related mental disorders or have mobility issues, often don’t feel really comfortable in these type of party settings. This shouldn’t stop these students from attending one of these functions and thanks to former NFL superstar Tim Tebow’s namesake foundation and hundreds of churches across the country and all around the world, today’s ‘Prom’ is now for everyone.
A Night to Shine
Held prior to Valentine’s Day annually, A Night to Shine puts all of these unique teens in Prom’s premium spotlight regardless of their limitations. Indeed, every year these unique venues feature a red carpet entrance complete with friendly paparazzi.
Prior to arrival at Prom, there are limos provided (or other specially-equipped types of transportation available) and typically feature shoe-shining services along with hair and makeup stations. These spectacular events include a traditional Prom with a delicious dinner, live music, and a brightly-lit dance floor.
Learn More About These Children’s Books
Our hearts go out to The Tim Tebow Foundation along with churches all over the world who sponsor these events. Further, we’d like to salute Six Flags for providing a one-day, safer place to play for those youngsters with Autism.