Learning Challenges

10 Riveting Reads for Spirited Kids

Nothing stimulates the brain like reading, especially when our kids see themselves in the main character. Here’s our short list of great reads that help children with ADHD feel connected and less alone.

A girl reads books for kids with ADHD in the library
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Reading Rocks!

When ADHD symptoms make them feel different or misunderstood, our children can benefit tremendously from connections with likeminded kids — even if they're fictional characters. Here is a collection of books for kids with ADHD and learning differences, for children of all ages. Read on!

Hank Zipzer is a great series for ADHD children to read
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Hank Zipzer series, by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Henry Winkler (of "Happy Days" fame) brings his childhood to life in the Hank Zipzer books. Like Henry, Hank is a young boy growing up with ADHD and dyslexia who constantly finds himself in outrageous situations — like the time his report card ended up in a salami! The books are full of humor for adults and children alike, and any kid who learns differently will really identify with Hank.

Buy Hank Zipzer.

Taking Dyslexia to School is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Taking Dyslexia to School, by Lauren Moynihan

This book, a cousin to Taking A.D.D. to School, explains what’s going on inside a child with dyslexia. The main character, Matt, is a great role model for kids. Throughout the story, he explains his difficulties with reading and math, and describes the steps he took to learn about the nature of his learning challenges and to get help at school.

Buy Taking Dyslexia to School.

[Free Resource: Overcoming Common Learning Challenges]

Ellie Bean is a great book for ADHD children to read about sensory processing disorder
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Ellie Bean the Drama Queen, by Jennie Harding

Ellie Bean is the latest children’s book about sensory processing disorder (SPD), a condition that affects at least 40 percent of kids with ADHD and/or autism. Ellie Bean seems to get scared over nothing, and can’t handle simple tasks because of her SPD. Her mother takes her to an occupational therapist, who helps her put her feelings into words and feel better. This book is a good introduction to SPD for young children.

Buy Ellie Bean.

Free Association's Where My Mind Goes During Science Class is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Free Association: Where My Mind Goes During Science Class, by Barbara Esham

Emily is smart, but can’t focus in class. Her teacher tries to keep Emily’s thoughts on track, but soon changes her tune when she learns Emily is most creative when distracted. Free Association targets “twice-exceptional” kids: children with gifted levels of intelligence along with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. It celebrates their unique gifts while acknowledging the difficulties they face.

Buy Free Association: Where My Mind Goes During Science Class.

This Morning Sam Went to Mars is a great book for ADHD children to read
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This Morning Sam Went to Mars: A Book About Paying Attention, by Nancy Carlson

Though ADHD is never mentioned in This Morning Sam Went to Mars, 8-year-old Sam often struggles to pay attention or follow instructions. The book focuses on lifestyle changes that should be considered before a formal diagnosis or a decision to medicate is made. It’s a fun, engaging story that young children will love, and a note at the end has strategies parents can use to help kids improve their attention.

Buy This Morning Sam Went to Mars.

Cory Stories is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book About Living with ADHD, by Jeanne Kraus

Cory has ADHD. In short stories and poems, he describes how it affects his day-to-day life, his relationships, and his schoolwork. Cory Stories offers age-appropriate introductions to ADHD treatments like medication, counseling, and behavior modifications. If your child has difficulty coming to terms with his ADHD or his treatment plan, this is a great book to help him understand he isn’t alone.

Buy Cory Stories.

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Joey Pigza is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Joey Pigza series, by Jack Gantos

There are two sides to every story — especially when the stories are about Joey Pigza, a kind, impulsive boy, who often lands knee-deep in trouble. The books handle tough topics like feeling left out, taking medication, and more. Parents should read these books before reading them to their children, because they deal with some heavy topics like divorce and alcoholism — and you want to be sure your child is ready for them.

Buy Joey Pigza.

Pay Attention Emily Brown is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Pay Attention, Emily Brown, by Linda Burton

Author Linda Burton approaches the subject of inattention with grace, humor, and love. The narrator’s over-the-top (and rhyming!) efforts to get her daughter’s attention will have any family smiling and laughing. Pay Attention, Emily Brown! ends on a reassuring note, setting the perfect tone for a non-threatening discussion about paying attention.

Buy Pay Attention, Emily Brown!

Aloha Island is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Aloha Island: The Story of the Stones, by Frank South

Main character Eddie Akamai struggles with a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to read. But with the help of his friends, family, and some fun alphabet-bearing plants, he overcomes his fears and saves the magical Aloha Island. Children struggling with learning disabilities will recognize themselves in Eddie, and grow in confidence as he does in Aloha Island.

Buy Aloha Island.

Get Ready for Jetty is a great book for ADHD children to read
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Get Ready for Jetty! My Journal About ADHD and Me, by Jeanne Kraus

This is an engaging, visually appealing approach to ADHD, told through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl — perfect for girls aged 9 to 13. Get Ready for Jetty is a non-threatening, true-to-life introduction to living, learning, and succeeding with ADHD.

Buy Get Ready for Jetty.

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