Name of Book:
Keep Your Ear on the Ball
Tilbury House, Publishers
Year of Pub:
6-10 (or even older)
Type of Disability
Fiction or Nonfiction
A)books that provide factual information about a disability
B) books that provide information about a disability in a story format in which the character with a disability is integral to the plot
C) books that provide stories that have a character with a disability who may or may not be integral to the storyline and who has been added to the story to achieve diversity and reflect reality
Davey is the new kid in class. He’s typical in every way, except that he is blind. Eager to assist Davey in any way they can, the other students ask whether they can help him get around and complete the activities. But Davey, determined to show them he can do everything himself, gives the same answer every time: “Thanks, but no thanks.” They get the hint and stop asking how they can help him. But during recess, it’s time to play kickball, and Davey keeps missing the ball or running into people. Nobody wants him on the team. The kids’ moods are low until one of them comes up with a plan. Through innovation and determination, they provide Davey with the tools he needs to play the game. And most important, Davey is able to maintain his independence and dignity AND learn how to accept what others have to offer. Vivid, realistic, portrait-like illustrations.
Link to publisher:
Links to professional reviews:
Moonbeam Award (bronze), 2008; http://www.moonbeamawards.com/
Standards for Quality Portrayal of Characters with a disability
1. Promotes empathy not pity
2. Promotes acceptance, not ridicule
3. Emphasizes success rather than, or in addition to failure
4. Promotes positive images of persons with disabilities or illness
5. Assists children in gaining accurate understanding of the disability or illness
The book jacket provides information about the real person who was the inspiration for the character (David DeNotaris) and about assistive technology used today by students with visual impairments.
6. Demonstrates respect for persons with disabilities or illness
7. Promotes attitude of “one of us” not “one of them.”
8. Uses people-first language
9. Describes the disability or person with disabilities or illness as realistic (not subhuman or superhuman)
10. Depicts people with disabilities as more similar to than different from other people
11. Shows peoples’ strengths and abilities along with their disabilities
12. Represents characters as strong, independent people who others can admire or learn from
The illustrations play a major role here.
13. Represents people with disabilities from different racial and cultural backgrounds, religions, age groups, and sexual orientations
Character is white. Classmates are culturally diverse.
14. Shows people with disabilities in integrated settings and activities
15. Shows people with disabilities in valued occupations and diverse roles.
16. Shows people with disabilities in reciprocal relationships
17. Main character develops and grows emotionally as a result of what happens in the story
This is a main point of the book.