The following is a list of great books for kids in which the main character struggles with some aspect of learning. The characters often appeal to kids with LD and or ADHD as they can relate to the characters and learn from their development. Note that many kids may benefit from having the books read to them or hearing them on tape.
by Katherine Denison, illustrated by Tanya Weinberger
This is the story of Chic L. Dee, a bird with learning disabilities who flip-flops when he tries to fly. While he struggles to accept his limitations, he begins to discover his talents, trust his intuition, and find his own way. Perhaps most importantly, he learns about making room for differences. This is fun reading for children who also struggle with learning disabilities.
by Debbie Zimmett, illustrated by Charlotte Murray Fremaux
Meet Eddie Minetti, human whirlwind and third-grader. He thinks, moves, and speaks quickly and it often gets him into trouble. For anyone who is the parent, friend, or teacher of a child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Eddie Enough! rings true. Share this book and its happy ending with grade school children with AD/HD, their siblings, and playmates.
by Gary L. Fisher, Rhoda Woods Cummings
First published in 1990, this survival guide has helped countless young people labeled “learning disabled” — and the adults who care about them. Meanwhile, laws have changed and technology has advanced. This revised and updated edition retains the best of the original edition: the warmth, affirmation, and solid information kids need in order to understand that they’re smart and can learn, they just learn differently.
by Diane Burton Robb, illustrated by Gail Piazza
Adam starts school, and although he loves stories, he can't seem to get the words to make sense. Over the next few years, he slowly despairs of ever learning to read. Instead, he imagines that he is being held captive by an evil king who torments him with vowels. His parents hire tutors to help, but it isn't until a specialist comes in at the beginning of third grade and diagnoses him as dyslexic that things start to look up.
by Jeanne Gehret
A children's book with much needed encouragement for kids with LD or ADHD. Describes a young boy with dyslexia and how he learns to cope with it.
by Jack Gantos
Joey is a kid who bounces off the wall, sometimes literally. He just can’t seem to get a grip on his behavior. Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right? A National Book Award Finalist, this book paints and realistic and hopeful picture of life with ADD.
by Laura Dwight
"We can do lots of things." So proclaim the five preschoolers that we meet in this book. Gina has spina bifida, David has Down syndrome, Sarah is blind, and Jewel and Emiliano have cerebral palsy. But that doesn't stop any of them from playing, learning or laughing. A glossary and resource list included, and it's also available in Spanish. We Can Do It! is a wonderful resource for children and their parents and teachers who are learning about the special needs of their classmates.
by Patricia Polacco
Little Trisha is overjoyed at the thought of starting school and learning how to read. But when she looks at a book, all the letters and numbers just get jumbled up. Her classmates make matters worse by calling her "dummy." Only Mr. Falker, a stylish, fun-loving new teacher, recognizes Trisha’s incredible artistic ability and her problem, and takes the time to lead her finally and happily to the magic of reading. This autobiographical story is close to author Patricia Polacco’s heart. It is her personal song of thanks to teachers like Mr. Falker, who quietly but surely change the lives of the children they teach.
by Lin Oliver, Henry Winkler
This fourteen book series was inspired by the true-life experiences of Henry Winkler. The main character, Hank Zipzer, is the world's greatest underachiever. His experiences are funny and touching, and the authors deal with learning differences in a gentle and humorous manner. Boys who struggle in school will especially appreciate the story, but this enjoyable, fast-paced novel will draw other children as well.
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. more...
About Jill Lauren
Jill Lauren has been teaching LD students of all ages for twenty-five years. Known as an expert in the area of reading and writing, Jill has trained teachers around the country to utilize a variety of structured, multi-sensory approaches to the instruction of written language. As a result of the publication of Succeeding with LD, Jill speaks to children and adults about the important lessons learned from success stories. A third edition of Succeeding with LD is now available, which includes a special "Where Are They Now" section that provides a look at each person profiled, ten years later.
Newest book lists
All our categories