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Education Physical Disabilities

Stories for Every Classroom

Canadian Fiction Portraying Characters with Disabilities

by (author) Beverley A. Brenna

Canadian Scholars' Press Inc.
Initial publish date
May 2015
Physical Disabilities, Children's Literature, Inclusive Education
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price

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Academic study of children’s literature has explored various aspects of diversity; however, little research has examined Canadian books that portray characters with disabilities. This relevant and timely text addresses the significant dearth of research by exploring the treatment of disability in Canadian literature for young people. Engaging and highly accessible, this text will assist teachers, teacher educators, and teacher candidates in finding and using books about characters where disability is a part of their characterization, supporting the development of curricula that reflect critical literacy and social justice issues.Stories for Every Classroom explores the historical patterns and trends, theoretical frameworks, and critical literacy methods used to understand and teach children’s literature and its portrayal of characters with disabilities. It provides educators with curriculum ideas and enriches the body of resources shared with children in K–12 settings for the purposes of developing imagination, empathy, and understanding of self and others. Featuring author portraits, comprehensive annotated bibliographies of contemporary Canadian children’s books that depict characters with disabilities, and read-on bibliographies that provide connections with other books in the field, this unique text will be an invaluable resource for educators.

About the author

Beverley A. Brenna is a Professor and the Acting Associate Dean of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. She has taught in elementary classrooms in rural and urban settings and has worked as a special education teacher and consultant. She has authored over a dozen books for young people, including The White Bicycle, which in 2013 won the Printz Honor Book Award and was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award.

Beverley A. Brenna's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"With its examination of Canadian fiction portraying characters with disabilities, Stories for Every Classroom addresses a significant gap in the literature. Bev Brenna expertly integrates historical context and theoretical orientation with rich descriptions of picture books and novels for children and young adults. Rather than the traditional uni-dimensional portrayals of characters with disabilities, the author highlights characters who have a multiplicity of traits. The additional features of author profiles, annotated bibliographies, and read-on lists make this a must-read for in-service and pre-service teachers, as well as for teacher educators and educational researchers."—Lynne Wiltse, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

"Brenna has written an important book in Stories for Every Classroom. She navigates the growing field of literature on dis/ability with eloquence and passion. It is a book that will be treasured by teacher educators, teacher candidates, and teachers alike."—Cam Cobb, Faculty of Education and Academic Development, University of Windsor

"Brenna is bringing into the light a topic that is often avoided, bringing into focus the students who are so often marginalized and misunderstood. . . . This book helps readers to overcome stereotypes and moves us into understanding rather than avoiding this very important sector of our school population."—Joyce Bainbridge, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta