#BookBingoNW2018: Author (or character) with a disability

Something special is happening in Seattle July 1 through the 6th: The USA Special Olympic Games! “More than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 state Programs and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports.” –from Special Olympics USA.

Image of the Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Olympic Stadium in the background
Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver

It’s also in it’s 50th year! Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.7 million athletes and Unified partners in 172 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.  In the United States, over 700 thousand athletes and Unified partners from 52 state Programs participate in sports offered at the national, regional, state, local and area levels. From Traditional (athletes with intellectual disabilities) to Unified Sports (athletes with and without disabilities competing together), Special Olympics offers activities every day of every year for people to get involved locally to globally. –from Special Olympics USA

In honor of that event Book Bingo this year features a square for an author or character that has a disability. Here are a few title suggestions to complete that bingo square:

 

 

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
In this enthralling love story, Lynnie, a young white developmentally disabled woman with limited speech, and Homan, a deaf African-American man, meet at the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded in the late 1960s. Despite strict rules, poor conditions, an abusive staff, and the couple’s lack of language, Lynnie and Homan share tender moments. After their escape, a few days of freedom not only enables the secretly pregnant Lynnie to give birth outside the walls of the corrupt institution, it also secures the couple’s admiration for one another. Fears of discovery force them to leave the baby in the hands of a nurturing widow, Martha Zimmer. Although their stories diverge and unfold independently of one another, memories of their short time together sustain them for more than 40 years as they develop the confidence to eventually parent, learn to sign and speak, and finally, reunite. (Publishers Weekly)

The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Berry
New York Times columnist Barry weaves a moving tale of how a group of 32 mentally disabled men from Texas were rescued in 2009 after decades of servitude. Through a state program, the men were first put to work in the 1960s at a turkey processing plant in Texas. Then, in 1974, they were moved to another plant in Atalissa, Iowa. There, they lived in an abandoned schoolhouse and eviscerated turkeys in return for room, board, and (low) wages. Over the years, the outside world changed, but theirs did not. They became more isolated from the local community, worked ceaselessly, and were neglected and abused. Only through the efforts of dedicated people, including Iowa state social worker Natalie Neel-McGlaughlin, Des Moines investigative journalist Clark Kauffman, and Texas labor lawyer Robert Canino, were the men eventually able to leave. (Publishers Weekly)

Spellwright by Blake Charlton
Debut novelist Charlton creates a complex world in which magical abilities depend on the ability to handle words. Apprentice wizard Nicodemus Weal was once thought to be the prophesied Halcyon, but his inability to control spells sends him to the bottom of the pecking order. When murders and strange activities coincide with the Convocation at Starhaven, visiting wizards and druids begin to wonder whether Nicodemus might in fact be the anti-Halcyon. While the magic system is intriguing and carefully described, the setting is never fully realized, and Nicodemus’s interactions with other teachers and students seem to take place in a world bereft of supporting characters. Charlton’s baroque prose perfectly mirrors the central role of language and the byzantine politics surrounding the Convocation and the potential prophecy, and the innovative spell craft will please fantasy readers weary of more traditional magics. (Publishers Weekly)

Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin
An assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, her heightened ability to visualize allows her to make sense of the world by constructing concrete visual metaphors; for her, every concept must be tied into her nonverbal “video library” of particular people, places and associations. Thus enabling Grandin to put herself in the place of cows and other animals, her visual imagination has helped her to design humane livestock-processing equipment (these designs have been so effective that they now handle one-third of the nation’s cattle and hogs). Throughout these essays, Grandin blends personal anecdotes with plainspoken accounts of scientific approaches to autism and methods of treatment, like drug therapy and a “squeeze machine” she invented to modify sensory stimulation. (Publishers Weekly) Temple will be in Seattle at the Autism Conference at Benaroya Hall August 2nd.

Defiant by Michael Scott Monje
Clay Dillon is neuroqueer, and he needs to make peace with it. After thirty years, he finally knows the truth: that he is and always has been autistic, and that most of his problems getting along came from a lack of awareness of himself, a lack that came not from being autistic, but from having no knowledge of the gap between what he knew of his own needs and what others expected them to be. This is changing, though, and the change brings a freedom that is at once great and terrible. It grants him answers, but it also alters his ways of perceiving himself. Feelings that were dismissed at puberty are rushing to the forefront of his perceptions, and Clay is beginning to question what his desires are, and even who he is, as his world shifts around him. (Summary from publisher)

For more titles check out our book list!

~posted by Kara P.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2018 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2018 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

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