We Want to Go to School!: The Fight for Disability Rights

Albert Whitman. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807535189.
K-Gr 3–The coauthors tell the story of the fight for equal educational opportunities for children with disabilities. Born with cerebral palsy, Leffler went to public school and received an education, as well as the additional support she needed, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy. She explains that this wasn’t always the case for many others and documents the fight for the right of every child to receive an education. Prior to the early 1970s, children with disabilities were usually denied a public school education, or when allowed to attend school, the education was often inferior. That all changed after 1971, when the families of seven children with disabilities decided to file a class action lawsuit, known as Mills v. Board of Education in the District of Columbia. In 1972, the case was decided in favor of children with disabilities, benefiting eight million kids in the United States. The coauthors primarily focus on the story of the lawsuit, but they also include additional information about the status of disability education rights in the U.S. and a time line detailing other important cases in the fight for the rights of individuals with disabilities. The lively, colorful illustrations depict racially diverse children with different skin tones. Additionally, some children are blind or shown in wheelchairs.
VERDICT Recommended for all libraries. This will appeal to all children, providing them with an understanding of the history of disability rights while simultaneously empowering them to continue advocating for the rights of all individuals.

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