In Reading Color

BIPOC Books to Read for Disability Pride Month

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

If you love a good magical girl tale, Emily Martin has a great rec for you. Meanwhile, Jamie Canavés has a couple of great suggestions for mystery/thrillers to read this summer, and Rachel Brittain has some Bridgerton-like romances for you.

historical romance collage

The books I’ve rounded up below celebrate Disability Pride Month — which marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act — and offer a varied look at disability. There’s a collection of nonfiction essays that explore disabled intimacy (both romantic and platonic), a disabled amateur sleuth who works on a whodunnit in 1930s Singapore, and an autistic girl who gets some revenge in contemporary YA.

BIPOC Books to Read for Disability Pride Month — and Beyond

a graphic of the cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire by Alice Wong

Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire, edited by Alice Wong

Wong, an acclaimed disability activist, constructs a collection of essays, poetry, photo-essays, and more centered around the idea of intimacy within the disabled community. While intimacy does entail romantic love — which is explored here — Wong also interprets it as the ways we show up for others, be they friends or those in our larger community.

cover of Grant Me Vision by Sabrina Greenlee

Grant Me Vision by Sabrina Greenlee

Sabrina Greenlee is the mother of NFL star DeAndre Hopkins. She’s also a woman who grew up Black, poor, and suffering from different kinds of abuse in South Carolina. Here, she recounts all that she endured and overcame — including an abusive relationship in adulthood, and an attack in 2002 that made her blind — to become the parent she wished she’d had as a child.

cover of The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

In this YA novel, an autistic teen with selective mutism, Ariana Ruiz, hopes to be noticed by her classmates in a positive way for her fire fashion choices. Instead, she gets noticed by the popular Luis Ortega, who takes advantage of her at a party. As she’s still reeling from what happened, the gossipmongers among her classmates get hold of the “hookup” and the story spreads. Then a mysterious little note turns up in her locker that leads her to meeting other students who’ve had similar experiences with Luis. It’s through this group that Ari finds friendship, romance, and a chance for the takedown of raggedy-ass Luis.

The Frangipani Tree Mystery cover image

The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu

SuLin, a teen girl who was orphaned as a child and has a limp from a bout with Polio, is our amateur sleuth in this cozy mystery set in 1930s Singapore. While British abdication and the Japanese are background issues, SuLin steps into the role of governess to the daughter of Sir Harry Palin, the acting governor of Singapore, after her Irish nanny dies. But then there’s another death at the governor’s house, and it’ll take all of SuLin’s skills and cunning to figure out what’s happening. And to survive herself.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert book cover

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Let me just start off by saying that if Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sister series has no fans, it means I’ve left this earthly plane. Get a Life, Chloe Brown starts the series off with the oldest Brown sister, Chloe, who is a chronically ill computer geek who has decided she needs to “get a life.” This life Chloe envisions involves stepping out of her comfort zone by doing things like having fun, carefree sex, traveling, and just being overall more spontaneous. She starts by moving out of her family’s bougie mansion and continues by enlisting the help of Red, a tattooed motorcycle-riding artist (yes, girl). And help her he does — into things, and out of other things, if you know what I mean.

After this one, you have to read the other books in the series, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Act Your Age, Eve Brown, which both feature disability in different ways.

New BIPOC Releases

cover of All This & More by Peng Shepherd

All This & More by Peng Shepherd

Shepard (The Cartographers and The Book of M) is giving us a sci-fi What-If? exploration that has elements of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories we loved back in the day.

Marsh is 45 and feels like an abject failure. Her daughter is distant, her love life is nonexistent, and she feels she missed her chance at a dream job. But then she wins a chance to change everything: she’s been chosen to star in a popular reality show that uses quantum technology to allow contestants to change their pasts, and their futures by extension. But as she works on becoming a famous lawyer, getting back with her high school boo thing, and travels, she starts to feel like something ain’t right. This gets bonus fun points since readers get to choose what happens to Marsh throughout.

unbecoming book cover

Unbecoming by Seema Yasmin

I’m bummed to say it, but Unbecoming low-key feels like a how-to guide for the near future. In it, Muslim teens Laylah and Noor are high school students who are working on a guide to getting abortions in Texas, since they’ve been made illegal. We’re treated to little jokey-jokes here and there as we follow Noor and Laylah’s fight for the right to choose, even when things like mosque politics and the complications of underground abortion clinic networks muddy things.

a tan-skinned abstract femme figure in a wheelchair, which sits in a bed of flowers
Image courtesy of kenzistudioco on Etsy

Get this gorgeous artwork of a wheelchair goddess for $12+!

More New BIPOC Releases:

This Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour

The Coin by Yasmin Zaher

Toward Eternity by Anton Hur

*The List Continues Below for All-Access Members*

The comments section is moderated according to our community guidelines. Please check them out so we can maintain a safe and supportive community of readers.

Leave a comment

Become an All Access subscriber to add comments.