Alexandra Strick Consultancy

Looking for inclusive and accessible books?

One of the best places to find examples of books featuring disabled characters in their images and storylines is the dedicated site I have developed with Booktrust:  The Bookmark site includes a book of the month, articles, news, useful organisations and access to the full searchable Booktrust database of children's books.  

You can also contact me for an extensive (if not quite exhaustive) list of the many children's books featuring disability which I have come across over the years.

However, here on my own website, I give a sneak preview of my pile of review titles, highlighting the books I am currently reading and any particular gems I've found in the pile.


Max the Champion

Ok, I admit that I am biased, but no one could deny that my new picture book with Sean Stockdale and Ros Asquith is about as inclusive as they get.  I'm not going to review my own book (instead read more about it here on the Max website or here on the brilliant  Essentially it's just the story of a sports-mad little boy, but it's set against a beautifully diverse backdrop.  If you fancy playing a disability-related 'Where's Wally' game, I challenge you to see just how many title subtle positive images of disabled and non-disabled children and adults and references to inclusion you can find.   


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

by Sherman Alexie 

Andersen Press 

A bit like my last choice, this is another intriguing, disturbing and highly controversial number.  It's authentic and the protagonist so engaging that I couldn't help but love it, despite my nagging concerns about some of the language and the decidedly homophobic behaviour of Junior's so-called best friend.  Read my review here on the Bookmark site.


Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner 

Hot Key Books 

Set against the backdrop of a harsh, dystopian society, this is a highly original story of self-sacrifice, love and courage against the odds. Gardner crafts a terrifying ‘what if’ version of the1950s, in which the oppressive ‘Motherland’ is staging a fake moon landing - and showing no mercy for anyone who might threaten its success.  This despotic regime also shows little tolerance for difference.  As such, 15 year old Standish Treadwell – with eyes of two different colours and severe dyslexia - would do well to keep his head well below the parapet.  However as friends and family disappear (including his parents and beloved soul mate Hector), Standish finds himself compelled to take on the tentative role of rebel.  

Short, snappy chapters make this book quick to read and difficult to put down.  However in other ways it is definitely no easy read. It is a hard-hitting and often harrowing novel with some challenging ideas, non-linear narrative and deeply disturbing scenes.  It’s a hugely powerful book that will stay with you long, long after you close the cover.  The messages about using one’s own unique talents, and finding inner strength (to stand up to bullies and to stand by those you love) will surely resonate with adults and young adults alike. Read more about Maggot Moon (plus an interview with Sally Gardner) on the Bookmark site.  There is also a highly interactive iBook version available which offers all sorts of dyslexia-related resources and experiences - see a clip here on Youtube. 



by Chrissie Keighery
Templar Books
The overwhelmingly powerful story of a teenager trying to find her place in the world, having recently become profoundly deaf.  It's rare to find a book which is both readable and well-written but also genuinely thought-provoking, well-rounded and well-researched in terms of its depiction of deafness or disability.  Read my full review on the Bookmark site here or view the very effective book trailer created by students of Bath Spa working with deaf actors here.

Reading now: 

Rules by Cynthia Lord (autistic spectrum)

In the review pile: 

Being Ben by Jacqueline Roy

And lots, lots, LOTS of others (*guilty face*)

Recently read: 

The Reinvention of Thomas Edison - Jacqueline Houtman (non-specified but assume ASD)

My Brother Simple - Marie-Aude Murail (learning disability)

Foul Play - by Tom Palmer (visually impaired parent)

Someone Else's Life - Katie Dale (bereavement, Huntington's Disease)