I Am Not a Label
by Cerrie Burnell
illustrated by Lauren Baldo
"Representation matters, because magical things happen when we see ourselves in books, film or on stage, even if that magical thing is realising that we are all of value. We all have a place in the world and we are enough, just as we are".
CBeebies presenter and children's author, Cerrie Burnell (who also identifies as disabled), has put together this truly international and intersectional roll call of 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists which reaches back to the past and hurtles in to the present. The very famous -Beethoven, Hawking, Kahlo, Lady Gaga- rub shoulders with the less familiar: Dynamo, the Bradford magician; Antigua-born American model, Aaron Philip (who also identifies as trans); Nigerian software engineer, Farida Bedwei.
Accompanied by a full glossary and blazing, full colour illustrations, this collection manages to mediate the unhelpful stereotype of disabled 'superheroes' by offering up role models at the same time as making it absolutely clear that nobody need aspire to be a hero. Or, as Burnell stresses, "Everyone deserves to live in a world where every person's story is valid" Age 8-12, Paperback 60pp