'Away with the fairies?': disability within primary-age children's literature

Angharad Beckett, Nicholas R Ellison, Sam Barrett, Sonali Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article outlines the findings of a new study that explores the portrayal of disability within a sample of the primary‐age children's literature most readily available to UK schools. The kind of literature to which children are exposed is likely to influence their general perceptions of social life. How disability is handled by authors is therefore important from the standpoint of disability equality. Findings suggest that whilst there are some good examples of inclusive literature ‘out there’, discriminatory language and/or negative stereotypes about disability continue to be present in a range of more contemporary children's books. Clearly, more still needs to be done to ensure that schools and teachers are provided with information relating to the best examples of inclusion literature and efforts must continue to be made to inform authors, publishers and illustrators about how to approach the issue of disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-386
Number of pages14
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number3
Early online date28 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Cite this