Part of the power of books is that they can be windows and mirrors. They can be windows in allowing you an insight into the experiences of others. They can be a mirror in reflecting your experiences back at you.  

Seeing yourself and your experiences represented in the books you read is incredibly important. It is something that many people take for granted, but for children and young people growing up with chronic conditions seeing themselves represented is the exception not the norm. For World Book Day 2024 we asked our Young Voices what they wanted to see represented in the books they read and they shared... 

  • A book about a character has to have regular infusion treatments 

  • A book about two or more friends are disabled but have met somewhere that is not a hospital! 

  • A book which has representation of disability sport, like a main character being part of a wheelchair tennis team 

  • A book about someone who had epilepsy and seizures often and it wasn’t a big drama it was just treated normally by their friends as a normal part of their life 

  • A book about a character who swaps between using crutches and a wheelchair depending how they are doing 

  • A book about a character has art therapy to help them living with a chronic illness and you see how it helps 

Some of Our Favourite Books

There is an ever-growing number of books for children and young people that tell stories, working as windows and mirrors in allowing those without chronic illness an insight, and those with chronic illness a chance to see themselves. You might want to get some books for yourself or for children and young people in your life. Here is a list of some of our Young Voices favourite books to get you started:  

Picture books  

  • Can Bears Ski? - Raymond Antrobus  

  • What Happened to You?- James Catchpole  

  • You’re SO amazing – Lucy and James Catchpole  

  • Just Ask! - Sonia Sotomayor 

  • Amazing – Steve Anthony  

Books for primary school aged children 
  • The Amazing Edie Eckhart - Rosie Jones  

  • A Kind of Spark - Elle McNicoll (also adapted by BBC into a series, available on iplayer) 

  • The Secret of Haven Point - Lisette Auton  

  • Cosima Unfortunate Steals A Star - Laura Noakes  

Young Adult Fiction 
  • One For All - Lillie Lainoff   

  • True Biz - Sara Noviċ  

  • Sing If You Can’t Dance - Alexia Casale  

Young Adult Non Fiction 
  • See Me Rolling - Lottie Jackson  

  • Being Heumann - Judith Heumann 

  • Some of Us Just Fall – Polly Aitkin  

  • All tangled Up in Autism and Chronic Illness - Charli Clement 

  • University and Chronic Illness A Survival Guide - Pippa Stacey  

A huge thank you to the Young Voices volunteers who shared what they wanted to see in books and their favourite books. What are your favourite books with good disability representation? We would love to know!