Dallas Teen Publishes 'Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair' Children's Book Promoting Disability Representation
Just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month, "Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair" (ISBN: 978-1612543154) by Natalie Gonchar, is a new book scheduled to release on September 24, 2019.
The book has already won the Gold Mom's Choice Award - a national award honoring excellence in family-friendly media, and it's currently being reviewed for the Schneider Family Book award by the American Library Association (ALA).
Dr. Joan K. Blaska, a retired professor at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and author of "Using Children's Literature to Learn about Disabilities and Illness," praised the book as a positive example of inclusionary literature.
"We need more inclusionary books where a character who has a disability is included, but the story is not about the disability," Blaska says. "The main character of this book is a girl who happens to have a disability. The topic is bullying, which is a problem in all of our schools. We've needed a book for children to foster conversations about bullying."
The book's main character, Lisa, along with her friends, work to confront bullies, Billy and Joe, who take allowances, steal snacks and generally, push people around. Lisa has a run-in with one of the boys and her wheelchair breaks, but her kind neighbor, Mr. Gringle, gives her a new one. This one is colorfully painted and according to Mr. Gringle, "brims with magic." Lisa is skeptical at first, but quickly realizes something is definitely different. She has a new-found power; she can now face these bullies and inspires other kids to do the same.
The book is available for online purchase through Barnes & Noble's website. All proceeds benefit charity.
For more information, visit: https://www.nataliegonchar.com/
Natalie Gonchar is 17. She is a journalist contributing articles to local and international newspapers and is an active advocate for disability representation. She is the President of the junior board of Big Dreams Children's Foundation. In both 2018 and 2019 Natalie received The President's Volunteer Service Award.