Minds & Bodies

‘Stella Young’s letter to herself at 80 years old’

Stella Young

“I started calling myself a disabled woman, and a crip. A good thirteen years after seventeen-year-old me started saying crip, it still horrifies people. I do it because it’s a word that makes me feel strong and powerful. It’s a word other activists have used before me, and I use it to honour them.”

She is Not Invisible

Marcus Sedgwick

Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year-old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

Saving Francesca

Melina Marchetta

Francesca is in Year 11 at a new school. She misses her old friends, and her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed. Does she have the power to bring her family back together?

Before You Forget

Julia Lawrinson

Year Twelve is not off to a good start for Amelia. Art is her world, but her art teacher hates everything she does; her best friend has stopped talking to her; her mother and father may as well be living in separate houses; and her father is slowly forgetting everything. Even Amelia.

Accidents of Nature

Harriet McBryde Johnson

Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. Enter Sara, who has radical theories about how people fit into society and is full of rage and revolution against pitying insults and the lack of respect for people with disabilities. Is ten days all it takes to change a life forever?

Everything Beautiful

Simmone Howell

Riley Rose doesn’t want to be at Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp. But is everything at the Spirit Ranch as it appears? What secrets are waiting for discovery in the abandoned Fraser house? And why doesn’t anyone want to talk about the accident that landed the mysterious Dylan in a wheelchair last year?

‘You Get Proud By Practicing’

Laura Hershey

Laura Hershey’s poems and essays explore diverse topics including body, nature, community, activism, social justice and more. She is internationally recognised for her activism and advocacy on a wide range of disability rights and social justice issues, and her poem You Get Proud by Practicing is beloved by many in the disability community.

Are You Seeing Me

Darren Groth

At only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother, Perry. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory. But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble.

Maggot Moon

Sally Gardner

When his best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, Standish Treadwell realises that it is up to him, his grandfather and a small band of rebels to confront and defeat the ever-present oppressive forces of the Motherland.

The Diet Starts on Monday

Tamar Chnorhokian

Zara Hagopian is size 22. She has a secret crush on the hottest boy in school, Pablo Fernandex, who has a skinny girlfriend named Holly. Zara hangs out with her best friends Carmelina and Max. They go window shopping in Parramatta and drink hot chocolate in Stockland Mall. Zara learns some of life’s hard lessons when she puts these friendships on the line and goes on a diet to win the boy of her dreams.

M is for Autism

The Students of Limpsfield Grange School and Vicky Martin

Written by the students of Limpsfield Grange School for girls with autism, M is for Autism is a truly authentic coming-of-age novel that shows what it’s really like to grow up feeling a bit different. Why is being normal so easy for everyone else? Will finally getting a label help M to make sense of it all? What does normal even mean anyway?

Defying Doomsday

Tsana Dolichva & Holly Kench

An anthology of apocalypse fiction featuring disabled and chronically ill protagonists, proving it’s not always the ‘fittest’ who survive – it’s the most tenacious, stubborn, enduring and innovative characters who have the best chance of adapting when everything is lost.

Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with cure

Eli Clare

In Brilliant Imperfection Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure – the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed.

Eyes Too Dry

Alice Chipkin & Jessica Tavassoli

CW: depression, suicidal ideation

Meet Tava, a 24-year-old medical student in deep depression. Alice, her friend and housemate, is trying to figure out how to support her. Time unravels, leaving both women bewildered at the emotional landscapes that have opened before them.

‘Fuckability: Exploring My Disability and Queer Sexuality’ (in Doing It, edited by Karen Pickering)

Jax Jacki Brown

In this essay, from a collection of essays by Australian women on sexual empowerment, Jax Jacki Brown explores love and desire within – and beyond – the confines of the current social understanding of disability.

Queens of Geek

Jen Wilde

Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

So Sad Today

Melissa Broder

CW: anxiety, depression

Melissa Broder is so sad today. How and why did she get so sad? Should she stay sad?

Broder asks herself these questions over and over, turning them into a mesmerising and strangely uplifting reading experience through honesty and a total lack of self-deceit.

El Deafo

Cece Bell

El Deafo chronicles Cece Bell’s hearing loss and subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a powerful and awkward hearing aid. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become ‘El Deafo, Listener for All’.

How to be Happy

David Burton

CW: suicide, self-harm

A funny, sad and serious memoir, How to Be Happy is David Burton’s story of his turbulent life at high school and beyond. Feeling out of placed and convinced that he is not normal, David has a rocky start. He finds some solace in drama classes with the creation of ‘Crazy Dave’ and builds a life where everything is fine. But everything is not fine. And, at the centre of it all, trying desperately to work it all out, is the real David.