Grandad Wheels Launches On A New Literary Adventure
On Thursday 21 November, the Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell plays host to the launch of the first in a new series of children’s books, aiming to prove a wheelchair is no bar to living life to the full.
Halifax based author and wheelchair user Brian Abram, 62, will be at the Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell from 5.00pm -7.30pm to launch ‘Charlie’s Big Idea!’ the first of five books in ‘The Adventures of Grandad Wheels!’ series - hilarious stories of a grandson and his disabled grandad.
Illustrated by local artist Lynne Hickin, all profits from sales of the book will go to the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Back Up, two charities working to improve the lives of people who have suffered a spinal injury. They helped Brian after a 2013 bicycle accident left him paralysed from the waist down. The book is also dedicated to the amazing staff at Pinderfields Spinal Unit who helped Brian during his year-long recovery in hospital.
Conceived to help grandson Charles understand why Brian didn’t walk like other grandads, family and friends suggested Brian write more and the idea for ‘Grandad Wheels’ was born.
The series comes in the wake of criticism that modern children’s books feature fewer children with disabilities than in the Victorian era. In the last 12 months, only one of the top 100 best-selling children’s books explicitly refers to disability – something Brian hopes to change.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Brian Abram said: “I would never have imagined I would be an author so I’m grateful to Irwin Mitchell for hosting the launch of ‘Charlie’s Big Idea!’ The message is there is definitely life after spinal injury. It’s hard, but different things reward you so much.
“The Adventures of Grandad Wheels!” are not about having a disability, but the fun and life to be lived in spite of it. It would be nice to think we can start to see more children’s books cover disability in a fun, realistic and rewarding way. There’s a lot of potential for good to come out of this and I can’t wait to see Charles’ face when he sees us on the cover of a real book in a shop window!”
Expert Opinion“We are delighted to be able to welcome Brian to our Leeds office for his book launch. Our I Am Able campaign puts the focus on ability and not disability, and Brian and his book are examples of this in action.
All the profits are going to two fantastic charities and the books fill a real need in showing life post spinal injury and that people with disabilities are able to have fun too. It’s an important message we don’t see enough of and one we all need to hear.”
Ross McWilliams - Partner
As well as planning to sell his books in conventional book shops, ‘Charlie’s Big Idea!’ will also be available directly from the Grandad Wheel website. All profits from sale of his first book will be donated to the two charities that helped him with his recovery: the Spinal Injuries Association and Back Up.
Anyone wishing to attend the launch should contact Irwin Mitchell.