March 8, 2012

Books About Limb Differences!

I originally posted this list of books in 2010 and have received a lot of great feedback since then. I have updated it with some wonderful new books! Please let me know if there are any others I have missed.
Unfortunately some of these books are now hard to find. If anyone knows where to find available copies of "For the Love of Jody" please comment and let us know. I love hearing your feedback since we do not own ALL of these books. Which one is your family's favourite?
Thank you to the all the people who have commented as well as to the following resources for helping me compile this list:
"Resources to Help Children Understand Limb Loss", I-CAN Book Club and Limb Differences: Recommended Reading.
"Reading encourages children’s imaginations to grow, and opens their world to new people, places and possibilities. Reading books about difficult concepts, such as limb difference, is a safe and familiar way to introduce children to the topic.
These books can help a child with limb difference have greater self-esteem and identify with characters that “look like me” or are “different like me.” Children can find encouragement to talk about their limb difference openly and answer questions from friends. Some books even help explain how to be fitted for a prosthesis. They can also be useful for easing fears that children often have about upcoming medical procedures or recovery for themselves, their friends or an adult in their life.
While each of these books is different, a shared theme is that people with limb loss are still just people and have a lot in common with others.
Some adults with limb loss visit classrooms and libraries for story time to help children learn about living with a disability, and what it is like to be an amputee. This is an opportunity to teach acceptance and to reinforce the old adage that “different is not bad.” Books often get kids talking and asking questions."
- Molly Moore, NLLIC Librarian

"The Gift of Grace" - Grace Mary McClelland
Grace was born with little fingers and she was inspired to write this book by a bully when she was 5 years old. She wanted to help people understand about her "special hand". Grace has a wonderful message that we are all "wonderfully-made". Also talks about her surgery which involved removing bones from her toes to make fingers.
"Make a difference" Written by Ty and his mom, this book's goal is to raise awareness of children with limb anomalies and to celebrate everyone’s differences. A wonderful story about a little boy whose physical difference is not a disability but merely an outstanding characteristic. It teaches children that THEY can make a difference in the world, simply by treating others with respect and by simply giving a smile.
"The Tree With No Limbs" - Christine Marie Johnson
The little tree has no limbs but discovers he is loved and still able to produce fruit. This an eLIVE book, meaning each printed copy contains a special code redeemable for the free download of the audiobook version of the book.
"The Making of My Special Hand: Madison's Story" - Jamee Riggio Heelan This book recounts the making of a prosthesis for a girl who was born with one hand. Beginning with the visit to the hospital where Madison and her family learn about the different kinds of "helper hands," Heelan takes readers through the whole process.

"Harry and Willy and Carrothead" - Judith Caseley
Born without a left hand, Harry is just a regular kid. He enjoys the same games, and his matter-of-fact responses to other children's questions soon satisfy their curiosity. The emphasis is on the similiarity of the boys. Harry shows that he is capable and self-assured.
"Imagine...Amazing Me!" - Libbi Chilia
Photos of beautiful children from across the United States and Canada enjoying childhood activities despite their limb differences. Inspired by Libbi Chilia’s daughter Sami, who has a limb difference, this book is reflective, educational and inspiring.

"Oliver's High Five"
- Beverly Swerdlow Brown
Oliver Octopus "only" has 5 arms but it doesn't bother him! Oliver journeys onto land to try to find a job but he is judged by how many arms he has and no one will hire him. Oliver never gives up and eventually proves that he doesn't need 8 arms to get the job done!

"Little Arm & Me" - Mutiya Vision
Kiomi is a very “handy” and “capable” girl born with a little arm. As she works to find her purpose in the world, her example helps others realize that her potential goes far beyond her physical limitations. Kiomi doesn’t let the world’s limited perception of her influence how she sees herself. As she overcomes challenges, she learns to find value in the masterpiece she was born to be. Since she was created to be in the spotlight, Kiomi decides to be an inspiration by living a life filled with love, courage, and accomplishment.
"My Brand New Leg" - Sharon Rae North
In this wonderfully illustrated book, the characters meet a girl who has a prosthetic leg and can do everything her friends can do. She gracefully shares her abilities with others and never once expresses a difference. As she encounters new activities, her friends see that she is no different.
"Boo-Boo's New Leg: A True Story of Illness, Acceptance, and Healing" - Mary Garcia Sarah tells the story of how her grown up friend is very sick. Her foot is bandaged and she can't get around without the help of a wheelchair and crutches. Her friend must go to the hospital to have her leg amputated. Although her life will be forever changed, she will inspire a positive way of thinking in those around her with the greatest gifts one can have- laughter and friendship.
"Burgess and Marie Bear" - Josie Horvath and Mary Hovancsek The tale of Burgess Bear shows how he navigates through life with a prosthetic leg, inspiring young children who might share the same obstacles to take on life’s challenges with the utmost enthusiasm. Burgess shows that despite what may happen to us, we can turn any situation into a great one.
"Zoompanszee and His Bionic Buddies" - Frank Horvath
Zoompanszee, an adorable little chimp was born without arms. He and his new friends are swept into a perilous adventure and in the process learn a lesson about the damage that can be done by hatred and anger, and ultimately, learn about the healing power of love and friendship.

"Different Is Not Bad, Different Is the World: A Book About Disabilities" - Sally L. Smith The purpose of this book is to help children realize that being "different" is OK; in fact, it makes people more interesting and the world is a better place. This book is intended to help children with differences feel better about themselves, as well as to help other children become more accepting of those different from them.

"Charlie: The Dog That Didn't Have a Paw" - Delaney and Ria Hurst
"Once upon a time there was a dog that didn't have a hand. The other dogs made fun of him. Then, he met a dog without a hand. They became best friends and lived happily ever after." After Delaney wrote that story her mom took her to Camp NO LIMITS to meet other children with limb differences. Then she encouraged her daughter to expand on her story until it became this wonderful book that sees beyond differences and includes some very unexpected animals!
"God Made Me Special, Just Like You!" - Nicki Olin
An inspiration story about a girl with limb differences. Using fun photos and rhyming it is appealing to children and a wonderful teaching tool. This book teaches that not all people are made the same on the outside, but on the inside we are the same. God made all of us special, be proud of who you are!


"Shared Experiences: The Experience of Having and Parenting Children with Upper Limb Deficiencies" - Charlotte Fielder
In 2006 Charlotte Fielder invited parents of children with arm and hand deficiencies to share their experiences of parenting. Parents responded with incredible honesty and a strong desire to inform new parents, health professionals, teachers and a much wider audience of what it’s like and how it feels. Having been born with a missing left hand, Charlotte has a natural understanding of the issues, and has been able to bring together the many and varied responses in a way which offers valuable insights into parenting visibly different children.
"Expectations: Parenting Children and Teens With Limb Differences" - A Publication of the Amputee Coalition of America
This is a FREE resource available through the ACA's website. It addresses a variety of topics of interest to parents, including adjustment issues, prosthetics, funding, peer support, advocacy, insurance reimbursement, technology, and prevention of secondary conditions. It also includes several useful resource lists and links to other youth organizations.
"For the Love of Jody: Insight for Parents of Children with Limb Differences" - Tamara Reyes-Muralles
Written by a parent of a child with a limb difference. She wrote this book because she was frustrated with the lack of info available. Tamara wants to let parents know they're not alone.


"Footnotes: A Life Without Limits" - Lena Maria Klingvall
Born without arms and with one fully formed leg, Lena is an inspiration. She refused "special" status, preferring instead to learn how to accomplish things her own way. Lena has not only learned to play keyboards and drive a car, but also to conduct a choir, develop a successful professional singing career and compete in the Paralympics.
"Jim Abbott: Against All Odds" - Ellen Emerson Wright
An awesome pitcher for the California Angels who has one hand. He has countless achievements in baseball, from Little League and high-school, through his years at the University of Michigan and his performance with Pan-American and Olympic teams, to the major leagues! There is a detailed explanation of how he catches and throws the ball, and comments from teammates and opposing players on how Jim has inspired them.


  1. The funny thing is I don't see Gavin as being anything but perfect! I know he will face many more physical obstacles than other kids, but he will overcome them. It's great there are so many good books available.

  2. I've read amazing me and love it! I live that is is real children living with limb differances!! We just got Harry willy & carrot head, olivers high five, & living one handed in a two handed world so I'll let you know what we think!!

    Also Delaney brought home a book she wrote a book at school about a dog that didn't have a "hand" so we expanded it and had some printing donated, I can email it to if your intrested.... Now we are looking for a publisher!! Ria mom of Delaney (rbe)

  3. I would love to see Delaney's book! That is great! :)

  4. awesome list, thanks for compiling this!

  5. Great list. I want to add this information to my site as a resource for parents.

  6. I'm trying to locate a copy of the book, "For the Love of Jody: Insight for Parents of Children with Limb Differences" - Tamara Reyes-Muralles, for a friend, but it is out of print.
    Anyone know where I can get a copy?

  7. Hi - my 4 year old son has bilateral radial hypoplasia - and he's getting questions in school about "what's wrong with his arms" that he said makes him feel embarrassed. So I'm going to volunteer at school a bit and I was looking for some books to read to the class. We have Oliver's High Five, but now I have so many more. So happy to have found your blog!

  8. Great site for a great family! Check out "Little Arm & Me" and "Disabilities" by Mutiya Vision.

  9. Please check out my new amputation children's book: Boo-Boo's New Leg: A True Story of Illness, Acceptance and Healing

  10. I am definately going to be buying these books!

  11. Thanks so much for all your comments and suggestions! The list has been updated! :)

    1. Thank you so much for adding my book to your list! I will share the news with Boo-Boo!

  12. Thank you so much for this list! I can't wait to read these with my daughter!

  13. Hi! I am so glad to have found your blog and this topic in particular. I am the mama of 19 year old LBE Samuel Kuhnert who is the founder of NubAbility Athletics. We are going to share your blog on our Facebook page and if I ever get time to update links I will share it on our website as well. Gavin is such a handsome fella. We'd love to see him at our All Sport Summer Camp in July.

  14. A great amputee kids sports story The Breakaway Kid available at amazon

  15. I am so glad to have found your blog I too have a son who was born with a partial left arm he is now three years old and nothing has stopped him from doing the things that he loves, I am very excited to get some of these books to help him and others around him better understand that it is okay to be different

  16. We have an armband product, for those that have a partial arm that are young adults or older, that allows you to access and use your smartphone. The armband allows the phone to rotate to 8 positions for a full 360 degrees. It also allows for easy on/off of phone from armband. We have customers with strokes and partial limbs that love using our product. It gives them back some more independence. Send me an e-mail on our website if you are interested and I will be glad to offer you a discount. I just think our product will help make life a bit easier. :)

  17. Thank you for this list. My mom is having her leg amputated this week and I was looking for books to read to my 4 year-old to help him understand.

  18. Please stop using the word "disabled". This is how people with 4 limbs see those who are different, but they have many abilities. Disabled has such a negative connotation and if we are trying to empower those who are limb different, this is an oxymoron. Thank you.

  19. What a pleasant YouTube video it is! Awesome, I loved it, and I am sharing this YouTube record with all my colleagues.
    Positive kids books