I’ve made a commitment to work on our libraries – both for children and adults – this year. I’ve finished the list of children’s literature that contains references to Down syndrome and you can check that out here. Just click on the picture at the bottom of the page to open the lists. In addition to the list of books – divided by age group – I’ve also provided an extensive review tool I created so that we can rate the books by how well they represent Ds to the public. Not all “awareness” is created equal and you might be surprised which books with outdated or stereotypical information are hiding on public and school libraries.
So now it’s on to the adult books!
First up is a list of 162 fictional stories that reference Ds. Again, the representation varies a great deal. Some books contain main characters who have Ds, many focus on families when they receive a Ds diagnosis. Some have minor characters sporting their designer genes – which might get overlooked by the casual reader – even if they reinforce stereotypes that we’d rather get rid of.
At this point in the process – (I still have lots to do on the non-fiction side), I’m trying to set up our “associate” account on Amazon. If anyone is looking for a new, or new to you story, and you’re going to buy the book online, please consider using our Amazon link on the book detail page.
What to Choose?
If you haven’t read any of these and are wondering where to start my first recommendation would be the one fiction story I found that is written by an adult who has Down syndrome.
Solved in Silence by Glen Sheppard
“You are Sarah Beechworth. You have Down Syndrome, autism and you cannot speak. Your only means of communication is by pointing at letters on a board. Your good friend has died and her death has been written off as an awful accident. You believe that foul play is at hand and so you begin to unravel the mystery and find justice for your friend.”
If you’ve read that one, how about the David series by Anne Kelleher? She wrote How David Met Sarah and When David Was Surprised with her brother who has Ds in mind. They contain adult storylines but are written at a level that is geared to adults with developmental disabilities.
We also have some pretty famous authors on the list:
Dean Koontz – The Bad Place
“Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning he awakes, he discovers something strange—like blood on his hands—a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person—a young man with Down’s syndrome—can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever returns…”
Danielle Steele – Accident
“Accident is a powerful and ultimately triumphant novel of lives shattered and changed by one devastating moment.”
Stephen King – Dreamcatcher
“Four childhood friends, united by secrets, are caught in the quarantine zone when something crashes into the remote forests of Maine; and the question becomes who will avoid being eaten alive by alien fungi, torn from the inside by alien ferrets, possessed by alien minds or menaced by a psychotic military commander to whom ruthlessness has become a macho ego trip?”
How about an Oprah Book Club book? Jewel
“In the backwoods of Mississippi, a land of honeysuckle and grapevine, Jewel and her husband, Leston, are truly blessed; they have five fine children. When Brenda Kay (who has Down syndrome) is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome.”
Anyone in a superhero – science-fiction mood? Trisomy XXI
“A boy with Down Syndrome who holds the genetic key to the salvation of a race of dying aliens is relentlessly pursued by an otherworldly assassin!”
Me, I’m looking forward to diving into “The Lily Series”
“A series that chronicles Lily’s impact on three generations of family and the world around her.”
Of course, Lily has Ds. What started as a trilogy ended up needing 5 novels to complete:
I hope everyone can find something to interest them.
Well, I need to get back to building. Please let me know if you have any questions.