Schneider Family Book Award

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). The book must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and or adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional. Donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider.

emmanuel's dream

2016 Children
Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls. Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people--but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

fish in a tree

2016 Middle
Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Fish in a Tree

Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read.

the unlikely hero of room 13b

2016 Teen
Teresa Toten. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he's also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.

a boy and a jaguar bookjacket

2015 Children
Alan Rabinowitz and Cátia Chien. A Boy and a Jaguar

The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.

rain reign

2015 Middle
Ann M. Martin. Rain Reign

Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

girls like us bookjacket

2015 Teen
Gail Giles. Girls Like Us

Graduating from their school's special education program, Quincy and Biddy are placed together in their first independent apartment and discover unexpected things they have in common in the face of past challenges and a harrowing trauma.

2014 Children
Jen Bryant. A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

This picture book biography of self-taught African American folk artist Horace Pippin demonstrates the dogged determination of a wounded soldier to paint again. After a WWI injury threatened to end his potential artistic career, he trained himself to paint by supporting his injured arm with the other hand.

2014 Middle
Merrie Haskell. Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Reluctant Princess Tilda, sheltered due to her deformed foot, longs to escape her destiny. A thwarted kidnapping sends Tilda, Lord Parzifal and her handmaiden Judith on a dragon-hunting quest. Supported by friends and dragons, Tilda realizes her physical limitations do not define her.

2014 Teen
Elizabeth Wein. Rose Under Fire

After a daring flight maneuver, young pilot Rose Justice is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Assigned to a high security unit, Rose survives under the wing of the “Rabbits,” Polish political prisoners, subjected to medical experimentation by Nazi doctors.

2013 Children
Claire Alexander. Back to Front and Upside Down!

Stan is excited about making a birthday card for his principal, Mr. Slippers, until he discovers that he has to write a message.  For him, letters come out back to front and upside down.  Stan learns that asking for help, a little coaching, and a lot of practice make for success.

2013 Middle
Sarah Lean. A Dog Called Homeless

A year after her mother’s death, Cally, a fifth grader, has stopped speaking when no one seems to care about what she has to say.  When her family moves to a new apartment, Cally meets 11--year-old, Sam who is deaf and blind.  Through her friendship with Sam and the mysterious appearance of a dog, Cally finds her voice.

2013 Teen
Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis. Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am

Ben surprises everyone by enlisting in the army after his high school graduation.  When his convoy is caught in an IED explosion, Ben suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in memory loss and other disabilities. His 15-year-old brother Chris, who has autism, becomes a critical catalyst to Ben’s recovery.

2012 Middle
Joan Bauer. Close to Famous

Twelve-year-old Foster dreams of growing up to become a famous celebrity chef despite her reading disability. Can the quirky townsfolk of tiny Culpepper help Foster succeed?

2012 Middle
Brian Selznick. Wonderstruck

​Rose and Ben are children who are deaf living 50 years and worlds apart, yet both marvel and connect with the world around them. The American Museum of Natural History links their separate stories – one narrated in text, the other through cinematic illustrations.

2012 Teen
Wendelin Van Draanen. The Running Dream

When sixteen-year-old track star Jessica loses her leg in an accident, she is devastated believing she will never run again. Rehabilitation forces Jessica to confront disabilities and rethink her physical limitations.

2011 Children
George Ella Lyon. The Pirate of Kindergarten

Ginny's eyes play tricks on her, making her see everything double, but when she goes to vision screening at school and discovers that not everyone sees this way, she learns that her double vision can be cured.

2011 Middle
Jordan Sonnenblick. After Ever After

Although Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa.

  2011 Teen
Antony John. Five Flavors of Dumb

2010 Children
Bonnie Christensen. Django

Born into a traveling gypsy family, young Django Reinhardt taught himself guitar at an early age. He was soon acclaimed as the "Gypsy Genius" and "Prodigy Boy," but one day his world changed completely when a fire claimed the use of his fretting hand. Folks said Django would never play again, but with passion and perseverance he was soon setting the world's concert stages ablaze.

2010 Middle
Nora Raleigh Baskin. Anything but Typical

Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

2010 Teen
Francisco X. Stork. Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

2009 Children

Robert Andrew Parker.  Piano Starts Here:  The Young Art Tatum

The story of the young Art Tatum, who became one of the all-time greats of jazz piano.

2009 Middle

Leslie Connor.  Waiting for Normal

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.


2009 Teen

Jonathan Friesen.  Jerk, California

2008 Children

Andrea Stenn Stryer.  Kami and the Yaks

In the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, a deaf Sherpa boy proves himself to his father by rescuing his family's yaks from a dangerous storm.

2008 Middle

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.  Reaching for Sun

Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse.

2008 Teen

Ginny Rorby.  Hurt Go Happy

When thirteen-year-old Joey Willis, deaf since the age of six, meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his chimpanzee Sukari, who use sign language, her world blooms with possibilities but that of the chimp begins to narrow.

2007 Children

Pete Seeger.  Deaf Musicians

Lee, a jazz pianist, has to leave his band when he begins losing his hearing, but he meets a deaf saxophone player in a sign language class and together they form a snazzy new band.

2007 Middle

Cynthia Lord.  Rules

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

2007 Teen

Louis Sachar.  Small Steps

Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.

2006 Children

Myron Uhlberg.  Dad, Jackie, and Me

In Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, a boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers' first baseman, Jackie Robinson.

2006 Middle

Kimberly Newton Fusco.  Tending to Grace

When Cornelia's mother runs off with a boyfriend, leaving her with an eccentric aunt, Cornelia must finally confront the truth about herself and her mother.

2006 Teen

Adam Rapp.  Under the Wolf, Under the Dog

Sixteen-year-old Steve struggles to make sense of his mother's terminal breast cancer and his brother's suicide. Steve Nugent is in a facility called Burnstone Grove. It's a place for kids who are addicts, like Shannon Lynch, who can stick $1.87 in change up his nose, or for kids who have tried to commit suicide, like Silent Starla, whom Steve is getting a crush on. But Steve doesn't really fit in either group. He used to go to a gifted school. So why is he being held at Burnstone Grove? Keeping a journal, in which he recalls his confused and violent past, Steve is left to figure out who he is by examining who he was.

2005 Children

Diane Gonzales Bertrand.  My Pal, Victor/Mi amigo, Victor

Two latino boys experience carefree camaraderie despite one boy's disability. Fun and friendship overpower physical limitations.

2005 Middle

Pam Munoz Ryan.  Becoming Naomi Leon

When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

2005 Teen

Samantha Abeel.  My Thirteenth Winter:  A Memoir

Abeel tells her own story of living with and overcoming dyscalculia, a math-related learning disability. She describes how her life was affected by her learning disability before and after she was diagnosed, and the way her peers, her family, and her teachers treated her.

2004 Children

Glenna Lang.  Looking Out for Sarah

Describes a day in the life of a seeing eye dog, from going with his owner to the grocery store and post office, to visiting a class of school children, and playing ball. Also describes their three-hundred mile walk from Boston to New York.

2004 Middle

Wendy Mass.  A Mango-Shaped Space

Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her.

2004 Teen

Andrew Clements.  Things Not Seen

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.