Characters with Disabilities | Top Ten Tuesday

Wooo – another Tuesday! Once again I’m going rogue and doing my own prompt because I’m a fussy blogger and apparently hardly ever want to do what I’m told. What can I say?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s prompt is:

Characters That Remind Me of Myself

But I went nah, and did this instead:

Characters with Disabilities/Ailments

Because today is World Asthma Day (because of course there’s a day for that?). I suppose I could say this is *somewhat* a reflection of me because I have asthma. But that’s beside the point. I recently read an amazing book with the MC being disabled and I thought hey! Let’s take a look at other characters with some form of disability that rocked their socks off.

Side note: I also will include characters with notable defects that probably aren’t really disabilities. I’m just on a wild tangent of thoughts, gaining inspiration for this post from the whirlwind of almost connected and relevant ideas in my mind. Just in case anyone was confused. Okay? Okay.


1. A Curse so Dark and Lonely
by Brigid Kemmerer

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The character: Harper
Disability: Cerebral palsy

Harper is a new favourite character of mine. She has cerebral palsy which can be really debilitating, but she never lets it get in her way nor does she let others tell her what she can or can’t do because of it. She’s a fiercely independent woman that I hope to be when I grow up.

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2. Wonder
by R.J. Palacio

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Character: August
Disability: Treacher Collins Syndrome

I haven’t actually read the book for this one yet but I saw the movie and therefore, we’re talking about it today. TCS is definitely a less common one and this is the only book I know of about it. We all know this to be a heartbreaking (but also uplifting?) tale about August and it’s well worth reading/watching.

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3. Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

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Character: Kaz Brekker
Disability: limp/chronic pain (also like PTSD?)

Technically, Six of Crows has two characters with a disability, as Jesper has a gambling addiction. But I’m focussing on Kaz. Kaz is an inspiring badass and if I ever wish to become a (nice) evil mastermind then I want to be just like him. It’s amazing how he has such a wicked reputation and does the things he does in spite of being in pain 24/7. Hats of to you, sir.

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4. White Stag
by Kara Barbieri

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Character: Janneke
Disability: breast removed/abuse

This might seem like a strange choice, but Janneke is such a strong and inspiring character in spite of what she’s been through. It’s set in a fantasy world and Janneke was kidnapped from the human realm to the goblin realm where she was so badly sexually abused it resulted in one her breasts having had to be removed. This obviously has serious mental health repercussions for her throughout the book.

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5. Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

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Character: Will
Disability: Paraplaegic

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Will. This book gives you all the emotions, from heart-lifting happy moments to body-wracking sobs at how hard Will has it. Going from being an active, sporty person to completely paralysed after a car accident is a nightmare, and I think that is well and truly explored within these pages.

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That’s a wrap!

What disabled characters have you come across that have inspiring tales? I apologise for this being a list of one five today but I left this right to the last minute and so here we are. #Organised.


Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~

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18 thoughts on “Characters with Disabilities | Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Love your spin on the topic! Janneke is a great choice! I loved the way she overcame the abuse and became strong, even while her trauma was presented realistically as something she could never quite fully escape. She was a really powerful lead.

    I’m actually reading Hero at the Fall right now (book three in Rebel of the Sands), and this post made me think of Tamid, who was born with a leg deformity and always walked with a limp. He gets a really interesting character arc and never let it slow him down. His is more of a quiet strength or determination, which was a nice change and still powerful!

    Here’s my TTT post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great spin on the topic! I love Sarah from the Casson books by Hilary McKay (who is such a big personality you never just think of her as the girl in the wheelchair) and Ginny from Small Steps (the Holes sequel) who has cerebral palsy. Oh and Marcus from Eagle of the Ninth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ❤️ Wow so many! I haven’t read any of those but that’s great to hear there’s some good representation out there. I found it so hard to come up with books to start with and then all of a sudden I started remembering all the characters out there who do have disabilities!

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  3. You’ve got some great books on your list this week! Six of Crows is one of my all-time favourites, I though all the representation was just incredible, and I also really enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely too. I loved how Harper didn’t let her disability hold her back at any point.
    Great post. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved that you changed it up and shared characters with disabilities! I’ve read Six of Crows and Me Before You off this list, both which I highly enjoyed.

    Some recent reads I’d recommend with characters with disabilities: Akata Witch series – albino main character, Song For a Whale – deaf main character, and The Sky at Our Feet – character that has epilepsy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh I’ve heard of Akata Witch (I think it might even be on my wishlist) so that’s interesting to know! I haven’t heard of the other two however, I might go look them up 🙂

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