Below you will see some some books that were recommended to us by the limb different community. Do you have a book you found helpful and would like to add to this list? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limb Different Experiences
Alive & Whole Amputation: Emotional Recovery
By Dee Malchow, MN, RN
Losing a limb will impact every aspect of a person's life. This book describes the emotional process that a person may experience in adjusting to limb loss. Based on the author's own story and professional experience, it also includes input from many other amputees. Dee Malchow is an amputation nurse specialist who underwent a below knee amputation at age 19 from a boating accident. Since then Dee has interacted with over 3000 amputees through her job, skiing, soccer, mission work in Sierra Leone, and prosthetic research.
Born Just Right
By Jordan Reeves and Jen Lee Reeves
When Jordan Reeves was born without the bottom half of her left arm, the doctors reassured her parents that she was “born just right.”
Jordan’s mother, Jen Lee Reeves, helps Jordan tell her story about growing up in an able-bodied world and family, where she was treated like all of her siblings and classmates—and where she never felt limited. Whether it was changing people’s minds about her capabilities, trying all kinds of sports, or mentoring other kids, Jordan has channeled any negativity into a positive, and is determined to create more innovations for people just like her.
By Ruth Rathblott, MSW
Ruth Rathblott was born with a limb difference. In her compelling and intimate memoir, she recounts the exhausting and often lonely years she spent overachieving and trying to hide her disability before she learned to unhide. She takes us on a journey of self-discovery: discovering her difference, being taught to hide it, and ultimately finding self-acceptance and connection with others.
A Disability History of the United States
By Kim E. Nielsen
A Disability History of the United States is the first book to place the experiences of disabled people at the center of the American narrative. In many ways, it’s a familiar telling. In other ways, it is a radical repositioning of US history. By doing so, the book casts new light on familiar stories, such as slavery and immigration, while breaking ground about the ties between nativism and oralism in the late nineteenth century and the role of ableism in the development of democracy.
By Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner
As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
By Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner
In this young readers’ edition of her acclaimed memoir, Being Heumann, Judy shares her journey of battling for equal access in an unequal world. Judy went on to lead 150 disabled people in the longest sit-in protest in US history at the San Francisco Federal Building. Cut off from the outside world, the group slept on office floors, faced down bomb threats, and risked their lives to win the world’s attention and the first civil rights legislation for disabled people.
Other Disability Experiences
Haben a Memoir
By Haben Girma
The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage.
Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities.
Sensing the Rhythm
By Mandy Harvey and Mark Atteberry
When Mandy Harvey began her freshman year at Colorado State University, she could see her future coming together right before her eyes. A gifted musician with perfect pitch, she planned to get a music degree and pursue a career doing what she loved. But less than two months into her first semester, she noticed she was having trouble hearing her professors. In a matter of months, Mandy was profoundly deaf. Sensing the Rhythm is the story of Mandy’s journey through profound loss, how she found hope and meaning in the face of adversity, and how she discovered a new sense of passion & joy.
The Reason I Jump
By Naoki Higashida
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, 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.
By Amanda Leduc
Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty?
If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference.
Out on a Limb
By Hannah Bonam-Young
[Includes detailed descriptions of physical intimacy]
Winnifred "Win" McNulty has always been wildly independent. Not one to be coddled for her limb difference, she spent most of her life trying to prove that she can do it on her own. And, with some minor adjustments, she's done just fine.
That is until she has a one-night stand with the incredibly charming Bo, a night changes everything.
While Bo is surprisingly elated to step up to the plate, Win finds herself unsure of whether she can handle this new challenge on her own or if she’ll need a helping hand.
Collected Essays and Stories
Edited By Alice Wong
What is intimacy? More than sex, more than romantic love, the pieces in this stunning and illuminating new anthology offer broader and more inclusive definitions of what it can mean to be intimate with another person. Explorations of caregiving, community, access, and friendship offer us alternative ways of thinking about the connections we form with others—a vital reimagining in an era when forced physical distance is at times a necessary norm.
By Ben Mattlin
In Disability Pride, disabled journalist Ben Mattlin weaves together interviews and reports to introduce a cavalcade of individuals, ideas, and events in engaging, fast-paced prose. He traces the generation that came of age after the ADA reshaped America, and how it is influencing the future. He documents how autistic self-advocacy and the neurodiversity movement upended views of those whose brains work differently. He lifts the veil on a thriving disability culture showing how the politics of beauty for those with marginalized body types and facial features is sparking widespread change.
Edited By Alice Wong
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The collection invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.