Acclaimed children's books have few characters with disabilities

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  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    This article is a shame for not letting people know which books met the "criteria". The second issue I have with the study is that many of these ficitional characters very well could have specific learning disabilities to THE reader. I see quite a few of the so-called character flaw of OCD in many of these books. Isn't Sherlock Holmes the epitomy of a mind wrecked with OCD?

    A View from Saturday probably didn't make the cut because the disabled person was the teacher confined to a wheelchair. How about Out of the Dust where the girl was burned so bad she could no longer play the piano? How about Surviving the Applewhites (a runner up for the NB) where Jake Semple has major attactchment issues? What about Stanley Yelnats from Holes? I could justify a character in dozens of these books as having the issues the author of these studies claims are lacking.

    Great books with captivating stories happen to be available for all kids. Its a matter of knowing whats on the shelf, and what the kid's interest is.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 10:00 a.m.

    Adults like Newberry books. Kids for the most part do not.
    Kids want to read about life outside of their own lives.
    Kids don't have to relate to the characters in order to enjoy a book. They like to read stories that are different than the life they live.
    They don't like to read about their own lives, they know that and experience that.
    They want to read about dragons, fantasy and happiness. They want to go to a world they can't experience everyday.
    A good story will fascinate kids no matter who wrote it or who it's about.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    @My2Cents - Newberry books aren't picture books, although they may contain some illustrations.

    Most authors write about what they know. Sounds to me more like few of the best authors (the ones winning the prize) know much about disabilities or some of the smaller minority communities.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    Most book writers and illustrators don't have a clue about disabilities let alone other realities of normality.

    Some things are best not put in picture form, it is misleading if the illustrator does not get it correct, then they get sued. Perhaps just eliminate all pictures from school books, then no one feels slighted.