Mr. Gringle’s Magical Wheelchair is a proud recipient of the Gold Mom’s Choice Award, which honors excellence in family-friendly media, and a five-star Reader’s Favorite review.
All kids want to feel recognized and included, and when they don’t see characters like them in books, they may feel less accepted. Children, parents and teachers want books that feature diverse characters, including kids with disabilities— however, these types of books are not widely available. According to School Library Journal’s 2018 Diverse Books Survey, 62 percent of librarians say that books featuring characters with disabilities are in demand and hard to find. The greatest shortage is in picture books for younger readers.
Of course, it wasn’t a study that inspired me to write this book. It was the friendships I’ve developed through my volunteer work with Big Dreams Children’s Foundation and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. My friends who use wheelchairs to get around daily have overcome great challenges to achieve success—whether in creating art, winning medals in sports, or even climbing mountains with prosthetic limbs. Often, when you see people with disabilities portrayed in books or movies, storylines focus on what the character can’t do, instead of on what they can. I believe it’s important to avoid stereotypes and instead focus on realistic experiences, challenges and victories. I wrote Mr. Gringle’s Magical Wheelchair to encourage self-confidence, take a stand against school bullying, and celebrate people of all abilities.