WELCOME TO YADDB!
I'm Julie, and I'll be your (disability lit) tour guide today. 🌻
A little about me...my pronouns are she/her, I'm a 20-year-old book blogger at struckbystories.com, I'm a full time library science student, and (OH YEAH!) like many of you here, I'm also disabled. I am (*deep breath*) autistic, ADHD, and dyspraxic, and I have anxiety, sensory processing/integration disorder, and nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD). This also happens to be just a very long way of saying that I am extremely passionate about disability representation, especially when it comes to YA literature!
YADDB was created in March 2022. I was scrolling through #DisabilityAwarenessMonth posts on my Twitter timeline when I came to a surprising realization—to the best of my knowledge, no one had ever created an entire database dedicated solely to highlighting all of the many disabled voices (physical, neurodivergent, chronically/mentally ill, and more!) in middle grade and YA literature. And then I had the most brilliant idea ever—why couldn't *I* do that?
And thus, the Young Adult Disability Database (or YADDB for short) was born.
YADDB is meant to function as a curated list of YA books featuring disability representation. For the purposes of this database, "disability" includes, but is not limited to: chronic illness, neurodivergence (including learning disabilities), mental health, Blindness/visual impairment, Deafness/Hard of Hearing, physical disabilities, and more.
As this is acting as a curated list, it's important to note a few key things:
1) Since I am only one human, there is a 99.99% chance that I have just forgotten to include/was unaware of certain books with disability representation. This is where YOU come in! If you click on the "Contact" tab above or the following link, there is a really quick and easy form you can fill out here if there are any books with disability rep that you would like to see featured here.
2) Not every YA or middle grade book with disability representation will be featured here. Books that are controversial and/or have been widely condemned by the disability community will not appear here. Books with blatant, intentional, unchallenged ableism, or that have wildly offensive portrayals of a disabled character, will not appear here. And lastly, books where the character is not explicitly stated in the book OR by the author to be disabled will also not appear here (in other words, no headcannons!). If, while browsing through the database, you happen to pick up on such a book that I've included here, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss it!
3) Also, since I've been getting this question, I just wanted to say that not all authors featured here will necessarily be ownvoices (or OV for short) for the disability representation. I made a thread on Twitter all about this that you can read here, but the TL;DR is that a) not all OV authors have the privilege of being able to come out publicly and state that they are OV for the representation, and b) yes, while it may be rare or difficult, I believe that authors do not have to be OV for disability representation to be able to write it well. Case in point? The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, which easily has some of the best ADHD rep I've ever read!
4) That being said, since YADDB always prioritizes books with positive disability representation, if you happen to be #OwnVoices for disability representation in a book and would like to have your review featured here, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com or fill out the form here! Please include the book's title, author, disability representation you are OV for, and your review/a link to your review. Thanks so much!
5) Lastly, this is not at all required, but if you've enjoyed/made use out of this database, you can always leave me a one-time tip on my Ko-Fi account! ;)