Read Harder

7 Books to Read for Disability Pride Month

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Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

July is Disability Pride Month! It celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Roughly one in four U.S. Americans have a disability, “representing all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, religions and socio-economic backgrounds.” Despite how common disability is, disabled people are still underrepresented in all kinds of media, including books. This is especially true when we look at intersectional representations of disability, like queer and trans disabled people as well as disabled people of color.

Today, I’ve put together a list of books by and about disabled people to read during Disability Pride Month and all year long. Each of these completes a 2024 Read Harder Challenge task. Task #12: Read a genre book (SFF, horror, mystery, romance) by a disabled author already lines up with this, so check out that list of recommendations for more. If the book isn’t about the author’s own disability, I’ve linked their name to an interview or profile where they identify as disabled.

cover of Continuum by Chella Man

Continuum by Chella Man, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

I’ve been contemplating what to read for task #15, Read a YA nonfiction book, for a while now — until I realized that the Pocket Change Collective series is all YA nonfiction! As the title suggests, these are “small books with big ideas” on topics like borders, queerness, gender, race, art, environmentalism, the internet, and more. In this volume, Chella Man discusses their life as a Deaf, non-binary, Jewish person of color and how all identities are on a continuum. We’re always discovering new things about ourselves.

A graphic of the cover of Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc

Disability has often been depicted in popular media as being associated with villains. Just think of the characters you’ve seen on screen with scars or limb differences, or using eye patches or canes: how many were the heroes of their stories? This trend goes all the way back to fairy tales, as LeDuc discusses in this literary criticism book — how do those depictions influence how disabled people are perceived and treated today? It’s also partly a memoir about LeDuc’s own experience with her disability. This is a great choice for task #20, Read a book about books (fiction or nonfiction).

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Those are just a few options of books to read for Disability Pride Month that also work for the 2024 Read Harder Challenge. What are you reading for Disability Pride Month? Let’s chat in the comments!

You can see all the previous 2024 Read Harder posts here.

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