Recommended Reading for Teens and Children
- How Dyslexic Benny Became A Star: A Story of Hope for Dyslexic Children and Their Parents
A fifth-grader who is frustrated and humiliated because he can’t read as well
as his classmates becomes a star on the football field, and when he is diagnosed with dyslexia, he finds that he has a whole team of people ready to help.
- Thank you, Mr. Falker
Palacco shares her childhood triumph over dyslexia and discovery of reading in an inspiring story. Young readers struggling with learning difficulties will identify and find reassurance in her success.
- The Hank Zipzer Series: Niagrara Falls or Does It? (book series)
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Inspired by true life experiences of Henry Winkler, this award winning series about the world’s greatest underachiever is funny, touching, and deals with learning differences in a gentle and humorous manner.
The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses (book series)
- The Lightning Thief (book series)
On a more personal level, mythology was very helpful to me. Before I wrote The Lightning Thief, my son Haley was struggling in second grade. It turned out he was dyslexic and ADHD. These learning disabilities, by the way, are also a frontier, a way of seeing from the edge. ADHD and dyslexic people are creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. They cannot do things traditionally, so they learn to improvise. Percy Jackson was a myth to help him make sense of who he is. Mythology is a way of explaining something that can’t be explained, except by allegory, and my son’s struggle in school definitely applied. He completely bought in to the idea that ADHD/Dyslexia, taken together, was an almost sure sign that you have Olympian blood.
“A short, empathetic novel for middle-schoolers that addresses learning disabilities and bullying…nicely executed fiction with a neatly resolved ending that will leave readers smiling.”
School is difficult for Jamie—dyslexia not only makes coursework a challenge, but he is often bullied at school. Spurr, a former reading teacher, enters the real-life, day-to-day struggles of kids with dyslexia and shows how friendships and perseverance can change a life. The book is written appropriately for young people, but parents will learn something, too, of both the academic and social challenges kids face. The book offers lots of food for thoughtful discussion between parents and kids.
An inspirational true story of a girl, Helen Lester, who has trouble writing even something as simple as a grocery list and ends up becoming a teacher and then a celebrated children’s book author.
- Tacky the Penguin
Helen Lester & Illustrated by Lynn M. Musinger
This delightful take of an odd penguin that doesn’t fit in with the perfect penguins in his colony is well suited to budding out-of-the-box thinkers who often do things differently from their peers. Stories give children a way to think positively about themselves and Tacky is a hero for children who struggle with differences.
- What is Dyslexia? A Book Explaining Dyslexia for Kids and Adults to Use Together
Alan M. Hultquist & Illustrated by Lydia Corrow
Children with dyslexia can be left “out of the loop” when it comes to discussions about the reason for their struggles at school. What Is Dyslexia? Is designed to help adults explain dyslexia to children aged 8-11. Hultquist offers clear examples and explanations, interactive activities for parents (or other adults) and children to do together, and highlights of the courage and strengths of people with dyslexia.
- My Name is Brain
It’s a new school year and Brian is hoping to have a much better academic year. He’s still joking with friends, and makes them laugh especially hard when he writes his name on the board and “Brain.” But this is no joke, as his new no-nonsense teacher spots Brian’s previously undiagnosed dyslexia. With tutoring and the help of his teacher, Brian starts to see his potential and himself in a whole new light.
- Two Minute Drill: Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids
Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade—the golden-armed quarterback of the football team, and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves daily. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but team up when Scott figures out how to help Chris with his reading problem, while Chris helps him with his football and both boys end up winners.