NLS Kids Zone

Schneider Family Book Awards

When Dr. Katherine Schneider was nine-years old, she began borrowing books in braille from NLS. She wished that she could find more books about children who were blind or had other disabilities. Now that she is grown up, Dr. Schneider and her family have set up an award to encourage authors and illustrators to produce books which will express a disability as part of the human experience.

Further information in News, July-September 2003

Award Recipients


Young Children Book

The Deaf Musicians

by Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois Jacobs

Jazz pianist Lee is asked to leave his band when he loses his hearing. At sign language class, Lee meets Max who plays the sax. Riding the subway together, they form a new band with a big audience. For grades K-3 and older readers.

RC 64140


Middle School Book


by Cynthia Lord.

Sometimes twelve-year-old Catherine resents her autistic brother, David, who breaks rules and gets all her parents' attention. She meets Jason, a teenage nonverbal paraplegic, at David's therapy center. As the two become friends, Catherine realizes that accepting differencesmatters more than any rules. For grades 5-8. 2006.

RC 62696

BR 17108, volume 1 or 1

Teen Book

Small Steps

by Louis Sachar

Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit, from Holes (RC 47444, BR 12174) is turning his life around in Austin, Texas, with the encouragement of his ten-year-old neighbor, Ginny, who has cerebral palsy. Then he meets a celebrity teen singer. For grades 5-8 and older readers.

RC 61629

BR 16501, volume 1 or 1


Young Children Book

Dad, Jackie, and Me

by Myron Uhlberg

illustrated by Colin Bootman

Brooklyn, New York; 1947. A boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers’ first African American player, Jackie Robinson. For grades 2-4.


Middle School Book

Tending to Grace

by Kimberley Newton Fusco

Cornelia is shy and withdrawn because of her stutter. She feels even lonlier when her mother drops her off to live with an eccentric great-aunt in a rundown farmhouse. But slowly and warily Cornelia and her aunt learn to share their strengths with each other. For grades 6-9.

BR 15890, volume 1 of 1

RC 61921

Teen Book

Under the Wolf, Under the Dog

by Adam Rapp

Teenager Steve Nugent’s journal describes his experiences in an institution for emotionally disturbed youth. While discussing his interactions with fellow patients, Steve recalls his mother’s and brother’s deaths, his father’s aloofness, and his own self-destructive behavior. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. For senior high readers.

RC 59790


Young Children Book

My Pal, Victor/Mi amigo, Victor

by Diane Gonzales Bertrand

illustrated by Robert L. Sweetland

Dominic talks about the activities he enjoys with his best friend Victor: jokes and stories, sleepovers, rides at the amusement park, swimming. Only the ending reveals that Victor uses a wheelchair. Bilingual book in English and Spanish. For grades K-3.


Middle School

Becoming Naomi León

by Pam Muñoz Ryan

For seven years Naomi and brother Owen lived happily with Gram in her trailer. Gram arranged Owen's surgeries for his physical disabilities and helped Naomi begin to speak again. When their mother reappears, Gram takes the children to Mexico to find their father and their heritage. For grades 4-7.

BR 16277, volume 1 of 2

BR 16277, volume 2 of 2

RC 60266

Teen Book

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

by Samantha Abeel

Abeel, both gifted and learning disabled, describes being different at school. Discusses her diagnosis of dyscalculia, which compromises sequential processing required for spelling, telling time, remembering locker combinations, and understanding math and grammar. Relates learning coping skills in a prescribed special ed math class. For senior high readers. 2003.

RC 58528


Young Children Book

Looking Out for Sarah

by Glenna Lang

Describes a day in the life of Perry, a seeing-eye dog. He guides his owner, Sarah, to the grocery store and the post office and on a school visit. He dreams about the month that he and Sarah walked from Boston to New York. For grades K-3. 2001.


Middle School Book

A Mango-Shaped Space

by Wendy Mass

Eighth-grader Mia has been keeping a secret--even from her best friend, Jenna--ever since third grade, when she realized that not everyone sees a color for each name, number, and sound. Problems at school and her cat's death lead Mia to discoveries about herself and synesthesia. For grades 5-8. 2003.

RC 56666

Teen Book

Things Not Seen

by Andrew Clements

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and can't see his body, his relationship with the physical world and with his parents changes. He confides his invisibility situation to a new friend, Alicia, blinded two years before, and they try to figure out what happened to him. For grades 6-9. 2002.

RC 54713