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The Star Of This Book Uses A Wheelchair

Author Interview Charlene McIver

Medieval Mashup follows a boy who is struggling with accepting himself and wants to fit in with the cool kids. What was the inspiration for your book?

The inspiration behind this and all my stories is my late son, Leigh. He was born with a physical disability and struggled many times to keep up with his peers from a very early age. The difficult situations Leigh, the character, encounters in these stories are loosley based around Leigh’s child-hood.

Leigh struggles with wanting to be cool and still be himself. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s personality?

Of course, the “real” Leigh, my son. He had a beautiful, shy caring nature and a little cheekiness about him which often surfaced when he was feeling confident. Unfortuantely, his lack of confidence with body image and mobility was always a major concern for him.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

It was important to highlight some of the issues that children with limited mobility face which other children and adult, may or may not have considered.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Book 3 in Leigh’s Wheelie Adventures is currently in production and will again highlight another issue children with special needs may encounter.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Little Parachutes Gold Star Winner 2022
Leigh’s Wheelie Adventure series continues with Medieval Mashup (Book 2).
A special book focusing on the challenges children with different needs face on a daily basis.
Leigh just wants to look brave and strong…
Leigh, Tara, and Cosmo are making costumes for the school’s Medieval Fair. But Leigh is afraid of looking silly and keeps snapping at his friends. Will Leigh overcome his fear of not looking cool and make up with his friends?
Based on the true story of Leigh who was born with a severe physical disability.
A beautifully illustrated story of courage, friendship, and fun.
QR Code on back cover to watch the full video and read along

Medieval Mashup

Medieval Mashup by Charlene McIver is about a boy named Leigh who wants nothing more than to win the school’s Medieval costume contest. Leigh is in a wheelchair and wants to prove that despite his disability, he can be cool, brave, and strong. His friends Cosmo and Tara try to help Leigh come up with ideas, but he doesn’t like any of them. Leigh gets angry with his friends for suggesting silly or impractical ideas for his wheelchair. Eventually, Leigh gets tired of their ideas and rolls outside for a few minutes to collect himself. After taking a break, Leigh realizes he needs to rethink and lets his friends help him come up with a fun costume that is funny and strong.

I love how Cosmo and Tara accept Leigh the way that he is and encourage him to embrace being himself. He is naturally silly, so he should not try and hide that part of himself or change just to fit in with the “cool” kids.

His friends accept his disability and do not treat him as less of a friend because of it. Instead, they try and include him in all their fun ideas, and when he mentions that he can’t do something because of his wheelchair, they problem-solve to come up with a solution that will work. The message to children that they can be creative and find solutions is excellent in a world where many people look for a quick answer.

This well-written picture book is illustrated by Caroline Keys, and is filled with images of inclusion, realistic situations, and expressive characters. As this children’s book focuses on emotions, seeing the characters’ faces so clearly helps young readers understand the feelings that Leigh and his friends are going through.

Medieval Mashup is a heartwarming picture book about inclusion, friendship, and confidence. The children in the story are relatable to young readers and will help them develop their own confidence and see what real friendship looks like.

Pages: 34 | ISBN : 0648417883

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