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Welcome to Bookistaan

Bookistaan is India’s first recommendations based online children’s bookstore

As a small town bookstore, we have an inclination towards Indian publishing and writing, that hasn’t been able to find the routes into smaller towns. We believe it’s important for children to be exposed to their own literature for them to grow into empathetic individuals, proud of their own roots.

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books about disability

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Books about disability

For the past few years Literature is all about diversity, giving voice to every people, regardless of race or ability or lack thereof. These diverse books advocate the need for minority representation, representation of disabled or ill characters, as protagonists and not as sidekicks. And mind you, the idea of this books is not to invoke pity. No, the idea is about equal representation, a disabled character need be just as special as any normal character, with everyday struggles, the angst of growing up and hopes for the future like any other character. The idea is to find a place in this world for these stories as well because there may be readers out there who’ll feel less lonely, feel like less of an outcast when they read a story like their own. And for the reader who can’t relate to these books, my advice is give them a try, you’ll find a lot of heart and inspiration in there, even a love for life and people, every people.

So here are some diverse books that we think are a good place to start if you’re game for exploring the genre:

MIDDLE GRADE

 

Image result for wonder bookWonder

August Pullman is a 10 year old who was normal parents, a normal sister, normal life but an unusual facial appearance. He has a deformed face, the kind that scares other children, and he’s never been to a school before. But then his parents start discussing how it’s time and the next thing he knows he’s taking on the challenge, albeit fearfully. He wants to be treated like everyone else, he wants to be the normal kid with friends, but is he?

Wonder is a paragon of middle grade diverse books. A poignant story about friendship, about learning to love yourself, about acceptance and growing up.

(Need more reasons to read the book? click here)

 

Image result for simply nanjuSimply Nanju

Simply Nanju is about a boy who’s simply normal. Nanjegowda is a boy of 10, studying in Standard 5 at the United Integrated School, born-with-a-spinal-defect-which-means-he-walks-funny-and-needs-to-wear-a diaper-24/7 normal. But Nanju has bigger problems on his hands like a mystery to solve, his name to clear concerning said mystery, prevent his father from shipping him off to a hostel for orphans, among other things. Good thing nothing worries him! Much!

(find our full review here)

 

Image result for el deafoEl Deafo

In this autobiographical graphic novel, the author Cece Bell chronicles her own loss of hearing at a young age and her experience with a hearing aid and how it made her her a misfit in school. Gradually it is this very hearing aid that help her become ‘El deaf, Listener for All’. Will she find her place in the world? Will she finally get people to accept her?

 

Image result for charlie and frog bookCharlie and Frog

Charlie’s parents are off to another adventure, this time dumping him with his TV addicted grandparents. He’s out exploring the place when a strange woman leaves him with a desperate message. In sign Language. Before disappearing suddenly.  Now Charlie has a mystery on his hands but no idea where to start. Good thing he finds help in Frog aka Francine, a deaf, wannabe detective who is all too excited to practice her sleuthing skills. Will a lot of ASL (American sign Language), intrigue, humor and a heartwarming friendship, this book is a satisfying, smart middle grade read.

 

 

 

YA

 

Image result for curious incident of the dog in the nighttimeThe Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime

Christopher is a 15 year old boy, living with his father. He loves prime numbers, hates yellow and is autistic. One day his neighbor’s dog is found forked to death and he embarks to uncover the murderer, Sherlock Holmes style. Even though I did not fall in love with the plot of the book, I did completely love Christopher, his musings on life and the world around him are so eye opening, no mind opening that I recommend this book for that reason alone.

 

 

Image result for unbroken duckbillUnbroken

Akriti is the girl with a disability. She’s in a wheelchair but she wasn’t always like this. She was a normal girl once but now that girl is lost. The thing that throws you of guard about this book is that the character with the disability does not elicit admiration in the reader, not for a very long time in the story. She is a character who wants to be hated, she’s much rather be hated than be pitied, she feels no one understands her but she makes no attempt to give people a chance to understand her. According to her, she is a monster and she’s accepted that. This is a book that explores anger, he frustration when your life changes for the worst and stops making any sense and all you can think about is, ‘why me?’.

Full review here

 

Image result for a quiet kind of thunderA Quiet Kind of Thunder

Steffi is selective mute. She’s been silent for so long that no one remembers her talking in school. She’s pretty much invisible until a new boy comes and notices her. Rhys is deaf and Steffi’s knowledge of ASL means she’s assigned to help him settle. A beautiful story about young love, taking a chance and new beginnings.

 

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