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Middle-Grade Books Featuring Protagonists with Physical Disabilities

Common physical disabilities like cerebral palsy are sometimes featured in children’s books, but it is even more rare to find other physical disabilities in books. So here are some middle-grade books featuring protagonists with physical disabilities:

1.“Insignificant Events In The Life of A Cactus” by Dusti Bowling

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again. Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.

2.”Monumentous Events In The Life of A Cactus” by Dusti Bowling

The sequel to the critically acclaimed “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school. Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school . . . with 2,300 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, fears, loss, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?

3.”The Chance To Fly” by Ali Stroker

Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there’s one thing she’s absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there’s not a cast album she hasn’t memorized and belted along to. She’s never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast? But when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids’ production of Wicked, one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)—especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and “Defy Gravity” in every sense of the song title?

4.”Pixie Pushes On” by Tamara Bundy

A young girl learns bittersweet life lessons on the family farm after her sister gets polio, in this poignant and funny novel set in the heartland in the 1940s. Pixie's defenses are up, and it's no wonder. She's been uprooted, the chickens seem to have it in for her, and now her beloved sister, Charlotte, has been stricken with polio and whisked away into quarantine. So it's not surprising Pixie lashes out. But her habit of making snap judgements—and giving her classmates nicknames like "Rotten Ricky" and "Big-Mouth Berta"—hasn't won her any friends. At least life on the farm is getting better with the delivery of its newest resident--a runt baby lamb. Raising Buster takes patience and understanding—and this slowing down helps Pixie put things in better perspective. So too does paying attention to her neighbors, and finding that with the war on she's not the only one missing someone. As Pixie pushes past her own pain to become a bigger person, she's finally able to make friends; and to laugh about the fact that it is in places where she least expected it.

5.”The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

6.”The Meaning of Maggie” by Megan Jean Sovern

Eleven years old. The beginning of everything! For Maggie Mayfield, turning eleven means she's one year closer to college. One year closer to voting. And one year closer to getting a tattoo. It's time for her to pull herself up by her bootstraps (the family motto) and think about more than after school snacks and why her older sisters are too hot for their own good. Because something mysterious is going on with her cool dude Dad, whose legs have permanently fallen asleep, and Maggie is going to find out exactly what the problem is and fix it. After all, nothing's impossible when you're future president of the United States of America, fifth grade science fair champion, and a shareholder in Coca-Cola, right?

7.”Braced” by Alyson Gerber

Rachel Brooks is excited for the new school year. She's finally earned a place as a forward on her soccer team. Her best friends make everything fun. And she really likes Tate, and she's pretty sure he likes her back. After one last appointment with her scoliosis doctor, this will be her best year yet. Then the doctor delivers some terrible news: The sideways curve in Rachel's spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace twenty-three hours a day. The brace wraps her in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. It changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a ball, and how everyone sees her -- even her friends and Tate. But as Rachel confronts all the challenges the brace presents, the biggest change of all may lie in how she sees herself.

8.”Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive - one of the adults with dwarfism who've joined the production's motley crew of Munchkins - and with her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia's own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn't want to fade into the background and it's a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!

9. “Freak The Mighty” by Rodman Philbrick
Two boys—a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces—forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force. A wonderful story of triumph over imperfection, shame, and loss.

📚 Happy reading!

#themightyreaders #LimbDifference #SpinalCordInjury #Polio #Paralysis #MultipleSclerosis #Clubfoot #Scoliosis #Dwarfism #MorquioSyndrome

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is Gizzy4u2. I'm here because

#MightyTogether #Scoliosis I had a total spinal fusion with Harrington rods the last time was 1978.

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A little vent about my scoliosis

I found out I had scoliosis when I was 11 years old, when my aunt pointed out my uneven shoulder.
I was stupid enough to think that it wouldn't take a toll on me, I thought I could get better. But that was obviously because I wasn't yet aware of how serious it would be had I not done any proper exercise.

Ever since we were allowed to go to school again after the pandemic, that's when I became self conscious about my body, because the curve degree had increase.
Every time I go out, I would always wear baggy shirts or wear my pants high enough so that my odd curves are more subtle. Because my right waist are curvy and the left is straight, the pants or skirt I wear are always uncomfortable and uneven because the left side would easily slide down while the other stayed intact, ugh.
Not only that, but I've also become reluctant to go on a swim, and I love swimming I really do, but that means I have to wear tight clothes and I hate it when people see me. Still, I try to ignore it and have fun, but, god, swimming doesn't feel the same anymore :(.

It's gotten worse when I entered my senior year, by that I meant both my confidence and spine curves. It's when I realized just how much people like to look at people's body, judging them. Some of my friends often do that. They also like to wrap their hands around my waist to which I secretly hate because it made me feel self-conscious, but let them do so regardless because I'm touched starved like that. Thankfully, they never judged me or look at me in disgust. Still, I hate getting hugged around the waist (even though it's actually my favourite way of getting hug), because that's a reminder that I have an abnormal curve when I could've gone my entire day forgetting it exist.
Lately, I've also noticed how people's hips move when they walk and I wish mine did that.
And the fact that I'm crushing on someone only ever worsens my self esteem because why would he, an attractive man, date someone with scoliosis?
And it's so hard to even balance my body because I try my best to stand as straight as possible so that my curved wouldn't show, and all that effort would be gone once someone or something make me lose my balance.

I never really expressed this insecurity of mine to anyone, and even if I did it was always subtle. But I wish they knew how much I hate it when they mentioned my body, even as a joke. It's only okay when I started it first.
Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I try to accept how I look, but it's so hard. I wish I could get a surgery already, and finally feel like a normal person, but it's so expensive and risky. I can't even go to the gym or workout because of this.

I don't feel good about myself, I never did. It was all just fake and I'm sick of pretending it doesn't affect me at all.

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New Hashtags to Add to My Collection and a Question

I had MRI’s this week and found out I have yet more issues to add to my ever growing collection. Some I already knew I had, so this was just confirmation. Others are new. Are you ready? Here we go! 😂 These are all related to my cervical and lumbar spine. #Scoliosis , #Arthritis , #SpinalCanalNarrowing , #BoneInflamation , #SpinalStenosis , #bulgingdiscs , #PinchedNerve , one disc almost completely gone. Lots of fun stuff lol.

I’m being referred to a Neurosurgeon, most likely for #SpinalSurgery . I’ve had that before for an emergency spinal fusion, so I expect to be out of commission for awhile. Not sure how I’m going to make that happen. Being out of work for weeks or months, and no one to help me while I’m down. It’s a bit concerning, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it! (Trying to stay positive!)

Question for my Mighties! Have any of you ever heard of bone inflammation/infection? They said it’s not cancer, but what the heck is it? Medical term is #BoneMarrowEdema . Anyone know how that’s treated or what I can expect? Thanks in advance for any Mighty wisdom you may be able to offer!

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Years ago I came across this powerful phrase: Don't let the world make you bitter, be better ✨️

At that point in time I was bitter at how much I had lost. My teenage years were wasted in a hospital post surgeries and I was in a wheelchair and in so much pain, a LOT more than I had ever experienced. I was 15 and after school when my friends got to have fun, I had to go to physical therapy. I did love exercising so that wasn't what I was disenchanted with.
I saw these adults struggling and wincing in pain. They are weak! I thought in anger.

And then I saw this old lady who couldn't walk she hurt so bad she sobbed and they brought out a wheelchair for her since it was too painful. In that moment I saw myself. I had been there too. My mom had said "suck it up Tierra" "sometimes you just got to fake it til you make it"
Those phrases cost me so much. When she finally had bad pain, I told her the exact same thing, suddenly her attitude changed and she was much more charitable when it came to my pain. But that is a story for another day.

After watching that old lady hurt so bad, it hit me how awful I had been -even if it was only in my head. Later that day I came across that quote: Don't let the world make you bitter, be better!
I felt like it changed my DNA it was so perfectly timed! God helping change me for good ❤️

Don't let the world teach you to be cruel, because YOU are better than that. Dare to be optimistic and positive and spreading kindness around!

Have The Audacity To Hope 💕✨️✨️💖

#AmplifiedMusculoskeletalPainSyndrome #Arthritis #Asthma #Anxiety #bedbound #BoneSplints #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #CheckInWithMe #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome #Depression #Disability #DistractMe #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #Endometriosis #Fibromyalgia #GastroesophagealRefluxDisease #HypothyroidismUnderactiveThyroidDisease #Insomnia #Lupus #Lymphedema #JuvenileRheumatoidArthritis #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #Psoriasis #PTSD #plantarfasciitis #PsoriaticArthritis #PanicAttack #PanicAttacks #Psychosis #MentalHealth #MemoryLoss #MightyTogether #Migraine #Grief #Headache #RareDisease #RheumatoidArthritis #SuicidalThoughts #Scoliosis #ShinSplints #sciatica #CheerMeOn #Upallnight #IfYouFeelHopeless #musclespasms

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This is something I still tell myself to help me get through the low and deep dark times in my life.

I don't have flares because my pain is CONSTANTLY level 10. It has been for many many years.
BUT no matter how small my good times are, they are worth waiting for.
The good and bad change. Different opportunities come. But we never know what life will bring! That is why we must fight on.

As a fellow Mighty advised me many years ago: If a cure comes tomorrow, won't you wish you had hung on one more day? 💕💕💕

#AmplifiedMusculoskeletalPainSyndrome #Arthritis #Asthma #Anxiety #bedbound #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #CheckInWithMe #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome #Depression #Disability #DistractMe #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #Endometriosis #Fibromyalgia #GastroesophagealRefluxDisease #Grief #HypothyroidismUnderactiveThyroidDisease #Insomnia #JuvenileRheumatoidArthritis #Lupus #Lymphedema #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #Psoriasis #PTSD #plantarfasciitis #PanicAttack #PanicAttacks #MentalHealth #MemoryLoss #MightyTogether #Migraine #RareDisease #RheumatoidArthritis #SuicidalThoughts #Scoliosis #ShinSplints #Psychosis #PsoriaticArthritis #BoneSplints

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is GigglyTriceratops78. I'm here because I'm trying to learn how to get my drs to understand what I mean about the pain from the Scoliosis. I have back pain but this is different pain. It causes my anxiety and depression to really take over. That's all for now

#MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #Migraine #Fibromyalgia #MultipleSclerosis

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