News & Events

Self-Advocate Book Project

How the Book Project Began

The NDSC Self-Advocate Book Project began in 2002 when self-advocate, Tracy Hile, introduced the idea to the NDSC Board of Directors. The Book Project was proposed as a fundraising and community service project for the Self-Advocate Council (SAC). Through the program, self-advocates raise money to purchase books that positively portray individuals with Down syndrome, which they would present each year to libraries and schools in the host community of the annual NDSC convention.

Besides creating a fundraising and community service project, the Self Advocate Council identified several other goals of the Book Project:
• A means to educate the public about the abilities of self-advocates
• A way for self-advocates to raise disability awareness for students K-12
• To provide self-advocates leadership opportunities
• To show communities how to become a more inclusive place for people with Down syndrome
• To give back to the community

How You Can Help

  • We are always searching for books that positively portray people with Down syndrome. If you know of a book that you believe would be a good addition to the Book Project list, please email us at
  • Download the flyer that explains the Self-Advocate Book Project, that you can share with others.
  • Each year during the NDSC Convention registration, we ask that you choose to add $1 or more to your registration fees to be donated to the Self-Advocate Book Project. It is as simple as checking a box!
  • You may also choose to receive a “bundle” of books. Every $100 donor will receive a bundle that includes one copy of each book included in this year’s Project bundle. These books make excellent donations for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21 or for Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.

Bibliography 2023

Donate Now

We accept donations for the Book Project year-round. Please fill in the form below and submit with credit card payment.  Checks should be made payable to NDSC and mailed to the NDSC Center at:
30 Mansell Court
Suite 108
Roswell, GA 30076

Please include Book Project in the memo line so that your donation may be appropriately allocated. Thank you in advance for supporting the NDSC Self-Advocate Book Project!

Current Self-Advocate Book Project List

ABC Building Blocks for Growing Up With Down Syndrome by Meredith Martin

Whether the individual is two or thirty-two, it’s never too late to work on independent living skills. Self-advocate Meredith Martin, Meredith developed a blueprint to living independently with Down syndrome using the 26 letters of the alphabet to showcase the skills necessary for successful experiences when living on her own.

To hear author Meredith Martin read ABC Building Blocks for Growing Up With Down Syndrome, watch our video.

A Friend Like Anian: The First Day of School by Meeka Caldwell

Anian is a little scared about his first day of Kindergarten, but with the help of his teachers, and new friends it’s not so bad after all.  Anian is a wonderful little boy who is loved by all in his community. He likes to play and make new friends, among other things. He also has Down Syndrome. Because he was born with a little extra, he needs a little extra help sometimes. Follow Anian as his friends help him learn and grow!

Almost Twins book cover

Almost Twins
Authors:  Anna Moates & Anna Penland
From the moment Anna and Anna met at Auburn University, they realized they had so much in common and HAD to call each other “twin.” Many people celebrate that people are all the same, but the twins respectfully disagree- which is why this duo dubbed themselves as the Almost Twins signifying the beautiful difference in not only someone with Down syndrome and their typical peers but each and every one of us.

Chad’s Surprise Balloon Ride by Kelly Wallis DeWitt

This story is based on the real events of Chad, a sweet and playful boy who has Down Syndrome and loves big adventures. When a hot air balloon competition comes to town, he is ready for an experience as grand as the balloons floating in the sky. Chad brings enthusiasm to all of life’s moments, big and small. Chad’s grand adventure sends him soaring into the air.

To hear Jeremy Williams read Chad’s Surprise Balloon Ride, by Kelly Wallis DeWitt, watch our video.

Different: A Great Thing to Be book cover

Different–A Great Thing to Be!
Author: Heather Avis
A New York Times Best Seller. This joyful rhyming book encourages children to value the “different” in all people, leading the way to a kinder world in which the differences in all of us are celebrated and embraced. Macy is a girl who’s a lot like you and me, but she’s also quite different, which is a great thing to be. With kindness, grace, and bravery, Macy finds her place in the world, bringing beauty and laughter wherever she goes and leading others to find delight in the unique design of every person.

Mystery on Cheechaco Island by Mary Haakenson Perry

Eleven-year-old Sunny Turner doesn’t let the fact that she has Down syndrome stop her from participating fully in life. Whether she is at school, swimming with friends, or helping her family with chores, she always tries to do her best. When her family moves to their summer fish camp on a remote Alaskan island, Sunny encounters a menacing stranger.

Sam’s Top Secret Journal (3 Book Series) by Sean Adelman

Sam is an eighth-grade girl living a regular life, enjoying her family, school, and traveling. She doesn’t feel different but sometimes others treat her differently because she has Down syndrome. Follow Sam as she chronicles her adventures in her private journal.

Stealing First: The Teddy Kremer Story by T Kremer with D. Lang & M. Buchanan

The night of April 18, 2013, is one that Cincinnati Reds fans will remember. On that night, Teddy Kremer was the team’s batboy. Also, on that night, the Reds hit seven home runs, and Manager Dusty Baker told Teddy, “Seems you’re our good luck charm, Teddy.”

Tommy The Special Tomato  by Carrie Bergeron

Carrie Bergeron’s original story of a special tomato which began as a high school English assignment, has now been adapted into this wonderful children’s book.  Carrie shares this story when speaking to organizations, schools, and colleges to help spread the word that being different is OK! Carrie’s dream has been to write a children’s book version of Tommy The Special Tomato and share her message with even more people!

Why Are You Looking at Me?: I Just Have Down Syndrome by Lisa Tompkins

This story is about the life of a child with Down Syndrome that wants to be your friend. Lynnie may look different than most children, but has many of the same likes and dislikes. Lynnie will help your child discover what it means to accept and embrace relationships with people who are different.

To hear Melissa Silverman read Why Are You Looking at Me?: I Just Have Down Syndrome, by Lisa Tompkins,  watch our video.