Young author writing children’s books with unique characters

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OWENSBORO, Ky. – After her daughter’s unfortunate death, Courtney Daugherty decided to deal with it the best she knew how – by writing, which she has been doing since elementary school.


What would you like to know

  • Courtney Daughtery’s first book is called “Different Is Normal”
  • All the characters in the book have some sort of disability
  • She promotes inclusion through her writing

Her daughter Daisy died just six months after being diagnosed with a heart problem. This prompted Daughtery to write her first book titled “Different Is Normal” and this is everyone’s inclusiveness.

“I wanted to give the kids the representation they deserved, especially my own kids,” Daugherty said. “Children with mental illnesses and disabilities and physical things that make them too self-aware because they don’t see themselves portrayed in books and on television.”

Courtney Daugherty holds up her new book. (Spectrum News 1 / Evan Brooks)

Daugherty said the whole process took about seven months to complete and get the books on Amazon and off the shelves. Daugherty is a mother of two and her book includes characters with visible and invisible disabilities.

“There are words that speak of different mental illnesses. There are kids with different skin conditions and ethnicities and everything,” Daugherty said. “The most common flaws and disabilities in children, I made sure to include them. “

According to a 2019 study by the Cooperative Children’s Books Center, only 3.4% of books recognize people with disabilities.

Courtney Haycraft is in a similar position to Daugherty’s with a girl diagnosed with periventricular leucomalacia (PVL). She said she liked the book.

“I think it helps all the kids, including my kids, realize that people are different and that everything is fine and that you love them no matter what,” said Haycraft. “If they have a different colored leg or skin, that’s okay and this book certainly helps with that.

Daugherty said she is now working on her second project after selling more than 100 copies so far. She plans to continue writing children’s books making sure she always has characters who can have something to do, while promoting inclusiveness through it all.

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