Pre-Teen sibs

9-12 years

A Different Kind of Perfect: Writings by Parents on Raising a Child with Special Needs by Cindy Dowling, 2012, Shambhala Publications Inc. What happens when dreams are shattered by a physical or cognitive disability? A Different Kind of Perfect offers comfort, consolation, and wisdom from parents who have been there–and are finding their way through.

Dolphin’s Dance by Jutta Goetze, 2007, Walker Books Australia. Max is Ali’s brother with autism. He’s coming to Ali’s school this year, and Ali’s life is about to change. All she wants is to be a typical kid, but that’s not easy with Max around. Ali can’t even go to the beach and swim with the dolphins, because going anywhere new with Max, is almost impossible.

Oh, Brother! Growing up with a Special Needs Sibling by Natalie Hale, 2004, American Psychological Association. Living with a brother or sister who has a disability can be difficult for a child to deal with, day after day. This book provides anecdotal examples, self-help guidelines and practical coping techniques to promote positive, realistic attitudes.

Sara Webb: Disaster Area by Liz Wilks, 2006, Hachette Australia. Sara has difficulty coping with the eccentric behaviour of her two older siblings, who have disabilities. She doesn’t have a partner for the school social and the playground bullies tease her about her brother and sister’s differences. Her school friends try to help her solve her problems and she focuses on her love of sport but in the end it has to be up to Sara to make decisions and act.

Special Brothers and Sisters edited by Annette Hames and Monica McCaffery, 2005, Jessica Kingsley Publishers. A collection of real-life accounts from the brothers and sisters, aged from 3 to 18 years, of children with a disability in the UK.

The Sibling Slam Book: What It’s Really Like to Have a Brother or Sister with Special Needs by Don Meyer, 2005, Woodbine House Inc. Give teenagers a chance to say what’s on their minds, and you might be surprised by what you hear. That’s exactly what Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and author of Views from Our Shoes did when he invited together a group of 80 teenagers, from all over the USA and abroad, to talk about what it’s like to have a brother or sister with disability. Their unedited words are found in this book, a brutally honest, non-PC look at the lives, experiences, and opinions of siblings without disabilities

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars, 1996, Penguin Random House Children’s UK. A Newbery Medal Winner. All summer Sara Godfrey has fretted over herself, her impossible body, her terrible new haircut. One moment she’s elated, the next, she’s in tears. And she can’t figure out why. Maybe her wildly changing moods are tied to the sudden and unaccountable appearance of the swans, which hold the rapt attention of Charlie, Sara’s brother with an intellectual disability, who she loves far more than herself these days.

Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian, 2007, Square Fish. Twelve-year-old Tru wants two things more than anything else – to find a cure for her twin brother, Eddie, who has a developmental delay, and to create her own television show. Written in the form of a computer diary by the sassy heroine, this refreshingly humorous novel sensitively portrays the struggles and triumphs of living with a brother or sister with a disability.

Views from our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs edited by Don Meyer, 1997, Woodbine House. A collection of real-life accounts from the brothers and sisters, aged from 4 to 18 years, of children with a disability in the US.