IBBY UK Disability Selection 2023 Press Release

by | Jun 16, 2022 | IBBY NEWS

The 2023 selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities.

Twelve titles selected and submitted by IBBY UK

Every two years, IBBY invites nominations for its international list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. Nominations are made by IBBY national sections and the final list is selected from these by the IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Young People with Disabilities which is based in Toronto. Because of its international content, the list is unique in the children’s book world. It is a huge voluntary undertaking as every country is encouraged to submit up to twelve titles.

The books in the final selection form three collections. One is held at the IBBY Documentation Centre in Toronto and the others are available as travelling collections. An annotated printed catalogue of the final selection is published. Further details and copies of previous lists can be viewed at http://www.ibby.org/?id=271

The 2023 list will be unveiled at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next spring.

This year IBBY UK selected 12 titles from the 90 titles nominated by publishers and others. 

Criteria for nomination and IBBY UK nominations for the 2023 list

For the 2023 selection there are now only two categories– picture books and novels. The third category of accessible books will be subsumed under these headings. The other central difference is that, for the first time, a book can be submitted which focuses on mental health issues as a central subject.


Category 1

Picture books from the regular production especially selected for young people with disabilities that also answer their particular needs through design, topics, illustrations and texts.

Category 2

Picture books and novels from the regular children’s book production that portray persons with disabilities.


The IBBY UK’s nominations this year were selected by committee members Dr Rebecca Butler and Carol Thompson


Picture Books

Raymond Antrobus Can Bears Ski, illustrated by Polly Dunbar. Walker Books, 2020

Rosie Robbins Loud!  Scallywag Press, 2021

James Catchpole What Happened to You? illustrated by Karen George. Faber, 2021

Summer Macon Up and Down Mum. Childs Play, 2019


Reluctant Readers

Joyce Dunbar The Boy in the Jam Jar, illustrated by John Shelley. Bloomsbury, 2020

Katherine Woodfine Elizabeth and the Box of Colours, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. Barrington Stoke, 2022


Novels / YA

Cath Howe It’s Not My Fault. Nosy Crow, 2019

Rosie Jones The Amazing Edie Eckhart, illustrated by Natalie Smillie. Hodder, 2021

Gill Lewis Swan Song. Barrington Stoke, 2021

Helen Rutter The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh. Scholastic, 2021

Lisa Thompson The Goldfish Boy. Scholastic, 2017

Anna Woltz, Talking to Alaska, translated by Laura Watkinson. Rock the Boat, 2021