Teen & Young Adult Books
The following young adult books center on characters that are blind or visually impaired or are impacted by those with visual impairments. If there are other books you would like to see here, please let me know so I can add them.
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
Auxier, Jonathan. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. Amulet Paperbacks; reprint edition (2012). Teen & Young Adult. This is a story of a ten-year-old thief who is also an orphan who is blind. He steals a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes and the adventure begins.
Light a Single Candle
Butler, Beverly. Light a Single Candle. Archway Paperback (1970). When Cathy lost her sight at the age of fourteen, she faced a very different way of life. It took courage and alertness to explore a new, uncharted world where her other senses had to take over the work of her eyes. But adjusting to blindness was often easier than handling the reactions of people. One friend now avoided her. Another smothered Cathy with too much kindness. Then came the thrill of independence after completing a tough training course with Trudy, her wonderful guide dog. With her new freedom of movement, Cathy accepted the challenge of going back to public high school.
Comby, Cristelle. Blind Chess. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015). Professor-turned-PI Ashford Egan owes everything to Alexandra Neve. So when his kind-hearted colleague is shot and slips into a coma, he vows to take revenge. But even using every trick she taught him, a sightless investigator may be no match for London’s most ruthless criminal kingpin. Desperate to leave no stone unturned, Egan teams up with cops and criminals alike. But someone is hiding their true allegiance, and the professor fears he’s being played for a pawn. With Neve’s life hanging in the balance, Egan’s terrified even Scotland Yard could be caught in a crooked game.
Cummings, Priscilla. Blindsided. Puffin Books; reprinted edition (2011). Fourteen-year-old Natalie O'Reilly's world is turned upside down with the news that she will soon go blind. As if this weren't shocking enough, she is forced to face the fact that she must now attend a school for the blind to learn Braille and how to use a cane. As Natalie tackles the skills that will help her to survive in a sighted world, she inwardly hopes for a miracle that will save her sight. But will that miracle come, or will she need to learn to embrace her new life?
The One Thing
Curtis, Marci Lyn. One Thing. Disney-Hyperion; reprint edition (2017). Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.
DeWoskin, Rachel. Blind. Speak; reprint edition (2016). When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she’s about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why—in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.
Ellen, Laura. Blind Spot. HMH Books for Young Readers (2012). Blind Spot is a realistic portrayal of a girl, Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration. This book is written in the first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else
Henry, April. Girl Stolen. Square Fish; Reprint edition (2012). Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen--with her inside! Griffin hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne's father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes―now there's a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn't know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?
The Heart of Applebutter Hill
Hill, Donna W. The Heart of Applebutter Hill. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013). Teen and Young Adult. The heroine of The Heart of Applebutter Hill is a 14-year-old, shy songwriter, who is losing her sight. Abigail has a guide dog named Curly Connor, and she is just starting to learn about Braille and assistive technology. The reader witnesses her struggles and triumphs as the story unfolds.
Ingold, Jeanette. The Window. Orlando: Harcourt Trade Publishers, 2003. Grades 6-9. "Fifteen years old and blinded by the accident that killed her mother, Mandy has just moved to Texas to live with relatives she has never met. She explores the mystery of her family history and learns about her own strengths and resilience as she makes a new life for herself."
The Tragedy Paper
LaBan, Elizabeth. The Tragedy Paper. Ember, reprint edition (2014). Grades 7-9. It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old with albinism and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.
Not If I See You First
Lindstrom, Eric. Not If I See You First. Poppy; reprint edition (2016). Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart. When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react--shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
A Different Kind of Beauty
McNicoll, Sylvia. A Different Kind of Beauty. Fitzhenry & Whiteside (2003). Teen & Young Adult. A story of Kyle, a 16 year old who is recently blinded due to diabetes and struggling with the adjustments and Elizabeth who is raising a future guide dog.
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller
Miller, Sarah. Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller. Atheneum Books for Young Readers; reprint edition (2010). Teen & Young Adult. This is the story, told in first person, of Annie Sullivan, an orphan who is partially blind who takes the job of teaching Helen Keller.
Moore, Peter G. Blind Sighted. Viking Juvenile (2002). Grade Level: 7-9. A story of fifteen year old Kirk who is a loner who struggles making friends and with school. He takes a job reading to a young woman who is blind who makes him feel good about himself.
She Is Not Invisible
Sedgwick, Marcus. She is Not Invisible. Square Fish; reprint edition (2015). Grade Level: 7-12. Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers―a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind.
But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her seven-year-old brother, Benjamin, are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City, where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness.
Shaberman, Ben. Retina Boy. (2019). Young Adult. Researchers were mystified by the boy from Des Moines born without retinas. Strangers and friends were mesmerized by his luminescent, aquamarine eyes.Retina Boy grew up to be a carefree teenager. He played amazing lead guitar in an awesome, classic rock cover band. His girlfriend, Marcy, though unable to walk, was the smartest kid in their school. They were a perfect pair - she was his eyes, and he was her legs. Never did Retina Boy imagine he was from another planet, and that he and Marcy would be called upon to save the Earth and an alien world of blind inhabitants on the brink of environmental collapse.
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