Disability and Chronic Illness Representation in Fiction Booklist

In today’s diverse world, everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in fiction. The We Need Diverse Books movement has made great strides in this area.

However, disability and chronic illness are still largely under represented and under promoted. This booklist seeks to promote disability and chronic illness representation in fiction books for all ages, including #OwnVoices, that you can add to your library’s collection.


Melissa Villy has been a Youth Services Librarian for over seven years. She was born with a severe abdominal birth defect and a genetic disorder that have caused lifelong health issues and disabilities. To date she has had four surgeries, two in childhood to “correct” her birth defect and two as an adult to remove benign tumors. As a child, she didn’t see herself reflected in the books she read as there were never any characters needing surgery. As a librarian, she became determined to find books featuring characters with disabilities and chronic illnesses so that other kids and adults could see themselves reflected on the page.


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