Different Abilities

Different Abilities

Many children live with disabilities but refuse to be defined by them. Fortunately, more authors are including differently-abled children in their books. Here are a few we found that feature children of color.

(Book descriptions from Amazon.com)

61npnZRDOHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voices of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida (Published by Random House, 2013; 176 pages; ages 12+) Written by a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

Wenatchee Excavation recommended this book to us.

Non-Fiction Books

The Bond: Three Young Men Learn to Forgive and Re-connect with Their Fathers by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt (Published by Riverhead Hardcover, 2007; 272 pages; YA) The Three Doctors—Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt—discovered early in their friendship that they shared one disturbing trait: as children, they had to navigate life in inner-city Newark without a father’s support and guidance. While each young man dealt with the turmoil caused by an absent father, with no male role model to turn to for advice, each veered dangerously close to a life of delinquency, drugs, and crime. But despite great odds, the three overcame the statistics. In high school, they formed the Pact, a promise to one another that they would become doctors, and it kept them dedicated to one another and to their dream and helped to put them on the road to successful careers as physicians.

In The Bond, the Three Doctors plumb their own tough childhoods to explore the national epidemic of fatherlessness. But rather than cling to any bitterness or pain they may have felt as children about their fathers’ inability to be in their lives, as adults Davis, Jenkins, and Hunt sought out their fathers and worked to reconnect with them. In the doctors’ own words-and their fathers’-they describe the crucial lessons they learned, identifying ways to stem the tide of fatherlessness that’s sweeping through communities across the country. Honest, brave, and poignant, The Bond is a book for every family, every father, and every man.

Thanks for recommending this book Wenatchee Drywall

We’ll see ya in the next post!

The Birthday Party Pledge

Are you ready to take the Birthday Party PledgeStudies show that children who grow up in a home filled with books do better in school, and teens who read for fun are better prepared to succeed in college. When you take the BPP, you agree to give the gift of books whenever a birthday or other special occasion rolls around. Help the children in your life build a home library, and let them know that you’re someone who values books and loves to read.

Get started today!

1. Make a list of the children in your life. Make note of their birthday, age, interests, and reading level so you can pick a book they’re sure to love.

2. Use our book lists (on the right) to find a title that’s suitable for your child. Each list is updated regularly so you’ll always find a variety of interesting books.

3. Find a retail or online bookseller that carries multicultural children’s books. Gently used books can also be re-gifted; if your child has outgrown a book, pass it on!

4. Wrap your gift like you mean it! You can also pair a book with a small toy or other treat so the child links reading with fun. If you know a reluctant reader, suggest ways to connect with books (like starting a parent-child book club with family and friends). You can find reading activities and other resources on the BPP Blog.

5. Spread the word! Let your friends and family members know that you’ve taken the BPP and encourage them to do the same.

6. Walk the walk. Make sure the children in your life see you reading! Create a space in your home where books are shelved and treated with respect. When your child receives a book as a gift, show your enthusiasm so that s/he learns that books are valuable and desirable.

Ready? Take the Birthday Party Pledge:

I promise to give multicultural books as gifts to the children in my life for ONE year.

I promise to encourage them to read about and appreciate diversity in all its forms.

I commit myself to building a new generation of readers!

Need help finding the perfect book to give to a child in your life? Leave a comment or send us an email (bookbirthdaypledge at gmail dot com) with a quick “profile” of your child—age, reading level, interests or hobbies—and we’ll provide at least three titles that s/he is sure to love!

For outdoor entertainment check out these Gas Fire Pits for sale!

That’s all for now!

About Us

The Birthday Party Pledge emerged from an ongoing conversation between authors, educators, librarians, and book bloggers. We wanted to promote children’s books by authors of color, and we wanted to encourage the building of home libraries in low-income communities. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, less than 5% of all books published annually for children in the US are written by people of color. Many publishers insist that they can’t find more writers of color and/or claim that the market doesn’t exist for books about children of color. Yet a study conducted by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation revealed that many adults want to purchase multicultural books and are simply unable to find them:

Nearly eight in ten (78%) U.S. adults believe that it is important for children to be exposed to picture books that feature main characters of various ethnicities or races—but one-third (33%) report that it is difficult to find such books, according to a recent survey that was commissioned by The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the love of reading and learning in all children.


Some parents simply can’t afford to buy books, and we encourage all families to draw on the resources available at their local public library. In other cases, buying books for children is a matter of shifting priorities and redirecting resources. Compared to video games and other toys, books are relatively inexpensive (and can often be purchased “like new” from online resellers). Buying books locally puts money back into your community, and we encourage you to support those independent bookstores that carry multicultural books.

The BPP has two goals:

1. To encourage childhood literacy in order to promote a lifelong love of books.

2. To assist adults in providing children with books that truly reflect the diverse society in which we live.