Sunday, March 18, 2012

YA/MG Books About Teens with Down Syndrome

"I can climb the highest mountain,
Cross the wildest sea."

--"Man in Motion" (St. Elmo's Fire movie soundtrack)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 marks the 7th Annual World Down Syndrome Day and the first year the events of WDSD are recognized by the United Nations. The goal of these events is to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and the vital roles people with Downs play in our society. For more info, visit the World Down Syndrome Day website.

While I found plenty on Asperger's and autism, I am not finding tons of in-print fiction titles for teens featuring characters with Downs. If you know some good ones, please recommend them in the comments!

*all summaries on this page courtesy Follett Titlewave

FICTION TITLES:

icon
icon
Fade to Black (Alex Flinn)
An HIV-positive high school student hospitalized after being attacked, the bigot accused of the crime, and the only witness, a classmate with Down Syndrome, reveal how the assault has changed their lives as they tell of its aftermath.
icon
icon
The Hangashore (Geoff Butler)
A self-important magistrate comes to take up his post on a small Newfoundland island near the end of the Second World War, and learns a lesson in humility and gratitude from a young man with Down's syndrome.
icon
icon
Head Above Water (S.L. Rottman)
Skye, a high school junior, tries to find the time for both family obligations and personal interests, which include caring for her brother who has Down Syndrome, dating her first boyfriend, and swimming competitively.
icon
icon
The Last Best Days of Summer (Valerie Hobbs)
During a summer visit, twelve-year-old Lucy must come to terms with both her grandmother's failing memory and how her mentally-challenged neighbor will impact her popularity when both enter the same middle school in the fall.
icon
icon
The Man Who Loved Clowns (June Rae Wood)
Thirteen-year-old Delrita, whose unhappy life has caused her to hide from the world, loves her uncle Punky but sometimes feels ashamed of his behavior because he has Down syndrome.
icon
icon
Willowood (Cecelia Galante)
Eleven-year-old Lily has trouble leaving her best friend behind and moving to the city when her mother changes jobs, but she makes some very unlikely friends that soon become like family members.
icon
icon
The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance (Catherine Ryan Hyde)
Thirteen-year-old Cynnie has had to deal with her mother's alcoholism and stream of boyfriends all her life, but when her grandparents take custody of her brother, who has Down syndrome, Cynnie becomes self-destructive and winds up in court-mandated Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
icon
icon
The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Kim Edwards)
Dr. David Henry, forced to deliver his own twins during a snowstorm in 1964 with only a nurse to help him, makes a decision that has far-reaching effects on his life, and the lives of his wife and son, when his infant daughter is born with Down Syndrome, and in a vain attempt to protect his wife, he orders the nurse to take the baby to an institution.

NOTE: It's been years since I read The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which is labeled adult. As far as I remember, it would work in high school (at least I don't remember anything explicit beyond the childbirth scene). One of our district's two high schools circulates it.

NONFICTION:
icon
icon
Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters (Brian Skotko)
Includes bibliographical references and index. Offers teenagers with siblings diagnosed with Down syndrome advice on how to cope with both the joys and challenges associated with their sibling's condition as well as an overview of how Down syndrome will impact their lives.
icon
icon
The Sibling Slam Book: What It's Really Like to Have a Brother or Sister With Special Needs (Donald Meyer, ed.)
Presents a comprehensive book for teens with contributions by over eighty teens around the world who share the joys and trials of living with their special needs siblings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's start a conversation! All commenting on Mrs. ReaderPants is moderated and CAPTCHA-free! Please submit your comment only once--it will appear shortly.