Evil Speaks: Warriors and Watchers Saga by S. Woffington is a new scifi/fantasy novel with an interesting twist.
If there is a Bechdel Test for ableism, it would pass.
This is an interesting story written for youthful readers (see publisher’s summary below) that is well written and mostly devoid of the usual plot holes we find in this genre, but where the characters represent a range of non normative persona.
Benny, fifteen, is solitary by circumstance more than choice: he counts each move to a new town as “a life.” He’s on Life Number Seven. His last! He plans to run away from his paranoid mother, who’s been on the run since the disappearance of his father when he was three. Benny has no memory of it, except for weird dreams of a firestorm and a hideous dragon. After a fight with his mother, Benny packs his bags. Boom! The house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated Neoclassical building in the woods and to six teens he vaguely remembers: Kami is deaf, Amir is blind, Zuma is overweight, Layla is gorgeous but lazy, Chaz is in a wheelchair and Raj is as angry as the purple dagger-shaped birthmark running down the side of her face. These unlikely heroes share a common thread: Benny lost his father and they lost their mothers on the same day. The only clue to the mystery is Benny’s grandfather, Domenico H. Adez, a strange and dangerous man. “In my last years at Harcourt, I can’t remember reading one single fantasy MG or YA that was half as interesting as the world you have created. . . It really was a cool discovery that you had linked these modern-day misfits to Greek mythology and Greek history! So brilliant! Between the fight scenes and the stories and people and creatures of Greek mythology coming to life, it was truly a roller-coaster adventure. And the ending—now THAT is how you leave us wanting for more!” –Editor, Evil Speaks