13 Books Featuring Characters With Learning Disabilities

Use these books to help you communicate to your child (or anyone's) about learning disabilities.

By Allison McDonald
Oct 13, 2016



13 Books Featuring Characters With Learning Disabilities

Oct 13, 2016

Last month I wrote about seven children's book authors with dyslexia, speaking to my own personal struggles with learning disabilities. Our audience's response was huge, and I think I know why.

So many children with learning disabilities are incredibly intelligent — yet because they learn differently, they easily succumb to feelings of inferiority. I know this firsthand. It doesn’t matter that I may have a 4.0 in graduate work presently — when someone corrects my grammar in a paper, I feel one inch tall.

For children who are still developing coping mechanisms and discovering the best way for them to learn, this is doubly hard. That is why surrounding them with depictions of characters who share their struggles is so important. It's also important for children who do not have their own learning disability, because building empathy and understanding for people who are different helps all children.

By educating more children about learning disabilities — using literature as a strong tool —  we can help prevent someone from bullying others just because they can’t spell, or have a hard time paying attention.

I urge all parents to check out the books on this list, and have your own discussions with your children about learning disabilities.

My Name Is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt

Eagle Eyes: A Child's Guide to Paying Attention by Jeanne Gehret

Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Author: A True Story by Helen Lester

Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan

The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates by Susan Shreve

Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Hank Zipzer) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon by Don M. Winn

Eddie Enough! by Debbie Zimmett

Do you have a book or series to add to this list? We'd love to see it continue to grow. Share your favorite titles that feature characters with learning disabilities on Scholastic Parents Facebook page!

Featured Image: © GlobalStock/iStockphoto


Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.




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