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Beach Reads: Disability Pride Month

15 Jul 2022
Haley Harnish

Mid-summer has arrived and it is hot outside. Hope you are all escaping the heat by the pool (or at least the A/C)! Make sure you’re staying hydrated and well read.

Woman on beach reading

There’s no better time to read than a cruise, when you can kick off your shoes, grab a drink of choice, and settle in with whatever book you’ve been saving for just this opportunity.

Does this sound like a good idea to you? We have some recommendations perfect for all you July cruisers (and everyone else, too)! Pack one or two of these books in your suitcase or on your tablet for your next vacation.

July is Disability Pride Month, and so the books I have picked out for you all touch on some kind of disability.

Family on the beach

The definition of disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities. Most are associated with stigma and prejudice, and so reading about disability issues can help us educate ourselves on what people living with such conditions go through.

I’d love to hear in the comments which book you chose, or if you have a favorite read for Disability Pride Month that wasn’t mentioned!


  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - Follow Edgar, born mute, on a story in the northern Midwest as he is forced to flee into the wild after his father’s death with only his three dogs for company.
  • Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson - Jacqueline Woodson is a premier middle grade author, and she hits it out of the park with Feathers. Frannie deals with a lot of big issues for a kid:  her mother’s depression, a friend’s growing religion, her brother’s deafness, and a new kid at school who is getting bullied.
  • All’s Well by Mona Awad - After a fall ended her career on stage, Miranda Fitch takes a job as a theater professor. However, living with the chronic pain as a result is a mountainous task. When her students rebel against her choice in Shakespeare plays, the Fates intervene.
  • Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman - Anise Sawyer, California girl, must spend her summer in landlocked Nebraska, caring for her cousins while her aunt heals from a car accident. While there, she meets a one-armed skater boy who charms her off her feet.


  • Look Me in the Eye:  My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison - Robison’s life-long talent with electronics may have landed him a gig with KISS, but he had to pretend to be “normal” in any “real” job. Finally, at forty, he was diagnosed with autism, transforming the way he saw himself, and the world.
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller - Most of us grew up with Helen Keller as an example of physical disability, as well as courage, dedication, and friendship. Have you read her autobiography?
  • The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne - Thanks to TikTok, Tourette’s Syndrome has been gaining more awareness lately. Check out Josh Hanagarne’s memoir as he tells his story of growing up with Tourette’s, and how he tried everything to rid himself of his tics–to the point of losing his voice. 
  • This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl - Those familiar with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars may recognize the name Esther Earl, as she was not only who the book was dedicated to, but who the book was based on. Collected by friends and family are Earl’s journals and writing and deserves all the credit it has received, separately from TFOS.

Are you someone who likes to read when you get on board your vacation cruise? How many books do you usually pack? What are you reading for Disability Pride Month?

We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

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