Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to learning disabilities. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about learning disabilities.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about learning disabilities, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Tacos Anyone? An Autism Story to popular sellers like Counting by 7s to some of our favorite hidden gems like A Boy Called Bat.
We hope this list of kids books about learning disabilities can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Ethan's Story - “When Ethan Rice was four years old, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. He decided that he wanted to tell his first grade class that he had autism on his seventh birthday. His parents asked him many questions about what having autism felt like for him and wrote his answers down as a reference for when he told his class. Those answers are now published so more people can understand what it is like to have autism. While each child on the spectrum has unique challenges and strengths, Ethan’s Story; My Life with Autism is Ethan’s own story.”— P.  of cover.
Amadou's Zoo - Amadou has waited…and waited…and WAITED for his class trip to the zoo. But when they arrive, his teacher would rather talk about rules and facts. So, Amadou eagerly explores the zoo in his own special way―by allowing his imagination to lead. As more and more classmates follow him into his irresistible world of adventure, the sepia-toned zoo fills with vibrant color. Only one question remains―will Amadou’s teacher follow, too? At once an ode to childlike wonder and patient teachers, Amadou’s Zoo encourages the child and adult reader alike to find connections with the world around them. Based on her own observations at the Ménagerie in Paris, Rebecca Walsh has delicately captured the feel of both an old-fashioned zoo and the modern, diverse class trip taking place within it.
Al Capone Does My Shirts - A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister Natalie. A Newbery Honor Book & ALA Notable Book. Reprint. Jr Lib Guild & Children’s BOMC.
Marvin's Monster Diary - Meet Marvin, a lovable monster with a twelve-stringed baby fang guitar, a rambunctious case of ADHD, and a diary to record it all. His teachers scold him, his parents don’t know what to do with him, and his sister is convinced he was raised by triple-tailed monkeys. In short, Marvin’s life is feeling out of controle until a secret formula changes everything. In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (And I Win, Big Time). Using the “monstercam” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Marvin’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to be mindful, observe their surroundings, and take time to think about their actions. Marvin’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book on ADHD that kids will actually want to read! Marvin’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.
Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome - When Sam, a young boy who has trouble making friends at school, wanders away from home to the fair alone, his parents take him to the doctor where he is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
Everybody is Different - A book specifically designed to answer various questions that brothers and sisters of young people with autism may have, including “What is autism?”, “Is there a cure?,” and “Why does my brother or sister not look at me?”
Mockingbird - Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.
Sidetracked - If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn’t even be in last place—he’d be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So, he spends most of his time avoiding school bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else. With a new friend and a new team, Joseph finds himself off the sidelines and in the race (quite literally) for the first time. Is he a good runner? Well, no, he’s terrible. But the funny thing about running is, once you’re in the race, anything can happen.
A Friend Like Simon - “When a new boy joins Matthew’s school, he’s just not sure if he wants a friend like Simon. But a school trip to the funfair soon helps to change his mind”—Page 4 of cover.
The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee - Candice Phee isn’t a typical twelve-year-old girl. She has more than her fair share of quirks, but she also has the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to make sure everyone around her is happy—which is no easy feat when dealing with a pet fish with an identity crisis, a friend who believes he came from another dimension, an age-old family feud, and a sick mom. But she is on a mission. Her methods might be unique, but Candice will do whatever it takes to restore order to her world and make sure everyone is absolutely, categorically happy again.
Noah Chases the Wind - A magical adventure that celebrates the wonderful inquisitiveness of all children
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke - The Reverend Lee is suffering from a rare and acutely embarrassing condition: Back-to-Front Dyslexia. It affects only his speech, and he doesn’t realize he’s doing it, but the parishioners of Nibbleswicke are shocked and confused by his seemingly outrageous comments. At last a cure is found and the mild-mannered vicar can resume normal service. Or at least as normal as is possible for a man who must walk backwards to be sure of talking forwards!
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