Charity calls for school libraries to combat dwarfism stereotypes

A dwarfism charity has teamed up with two children’s authors in an effort to combat stereotypes.

The Restricted Growth Association (RGA UK) hopes its Spread the Word campaign will increase the number of books in school libraries that positively portray those with dwarfism.

The charity is encouraging school libraries to stock books such as We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd and Strong and Mighty Max by Kristina Gray to help to introduce children to dwarfism and disability in a positive and realistic way.

The books both feature characters directly impacted by dwarfism; Strong and Mighty Max is for early years and key stage 1, We Are Giants for readers aged 9-plus.

The chair of RGA UK, Gillian Martin, said: “There is an urgent need to address depictions of dwarfism, in our media and popular culture, which too often misrepresent members of our community as people out of myths, fairytales, and fantasy novels.

“Kristina and Amber have done wonders to help us to achieve this and we are very proud to support their books, which should be in every school library across the country.”

Kristina Gray added: “For a child who is born with a rare condition, there is no greater feeling than picking up a storybook and finding out that the main character is just like you.”

Both authors will be available for school visits, and example email templates, letters, tweets and Facebook posts have also been made available on the RGA UK website to help people to spread the campaign’s message.

Martin added: “Introducing children to dwarfism and disability – of all sorts – at a young age helps them to become familiar with and accommodate difference and diversity, which we believe should be celebrated and embraced.”

Restricted growth – or dwarfism – is commonly defined as having a final adult height of 4ft 10in or less.

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  1. What an excellent idea! My school had lots of books about dwarfism, but they were all fairy tales and fantasy novels. When children with this disability only find representation in the likes of The Hobbit, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, this request for balance in the literature stocked in the library is well overdue.