An Online Book Club That Features Disability in Literature
Posted on March 7th, 2017 by Erin
In my youth, especially my teen years, I struggled to find books by disabled authors, or books featuring disability at all.
When I managed to read such novels, the authors often portrayed disability as negative — something not worth living for, a burden on society, or a character flaw. Discussing these tropes in a public forum is so important for the disability community, as we can dismantle the stereotypes by sharing our authentic experiences and opinions. We must also support authors with disabilities whenever possible, because we should be the ones telling our stories.
And that’s where Easterseals Thrive’s new book club comes in. Thrive is an online community that empowers young women with disabilities through support and pride. Our book club highlights reads that feature disability; we create a space for discussion, offer author Q&As, host live chats, and more. We even have our own bookmark you can print out and use! Some previous works we highlighted were:
- On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis,
- Borderline by Mishell Baker,
- Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern.
Our next book is Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue, a YA novel following the journey of Kira, a young woman with a physical disability living in a community that shuns those with “imperfections.” When she’s called to the Council of Guardians, Kira is surprised to find they have an important job for her to undertake. This novel, set in a future both scary and relatable, brings forth topics of self-worth, determination, and the necessity of fighting for what is right.
The discussion starts now and lasts through the end of April. If you want to join in, visit the Thrive Book Club Hub for more info, and follow the #ThriveBooks hashtag on Twitter! We’d love for you to read along with us.
If you use the hashtag and tell us about your favorite book, we’ll even send you a fancy bookmark in the mail while supplies last.