Children’s Books With Dyslexic Characters
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Raise a hand if you know someone with dyslexia. You should have your hand up by now. It’s Dyslexia Awareness Month and I am all about spreading awareness!
If you love children’s book as much as I do, you know how important it is for kids to have books where they can identify with the characters. Dyslexia readers are no exception. They need to know they aren’t the only ones having a hard time in school or other life circumstances.
If you are a parent or a teacher, it is CRITICAL for you to step into the shoes of a dyslexic reader to know what they experience. When we do, we build empathy for children, which we could all use a bit more of these days, am I right? SO… I have an amazing list of children’s books which feature dyslexia characters or discuss learning differences.
NOTE: I’m listing them in order by picture book all the way up to more advanced text for older readers. Choose them at your own discretion. Let’s begin!
1. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Kids will love reading about how their brain works in this fabulous picture book. This award winning book will give your kids plenty of food for thought! 😉
2. It’s Called Dyslexia This a picture book from the Live and Learn series. It’s a self help book for younger readers, filled with practical tips that kids can think about and actually USE right away. There’s a nice information section at the end with tips for families.
3. Tom’s Special Talent: People with dyslexia have tons of special talents. Kids need to know that there are real strengths to be found even though they may struggle with reading, etc. This book helps your child find their special talent, recognize it and see the beauty when you share it with others.
4. The Alphabet War: The main character, Adam, struggles with reading. When he is finally diagnosed in third grade, things start to look up for him. Children will identify with Adam’s inner struggles with learning things like the letter of the alphabet.
5. Thank You, Mr. Falker: Written by the beloved dyslexic author, Patricia Polacco, this autobiographical picture book narrative will tug at your heartstrings, but truly get children to see how how painful teasing and bullying can be for someone with any kind of a learning difference. Mr. Falker is a true hero in this book! As a side note, I read this book to my third graders within the first month of school every year. There are life lessons taught in this book that cannot be missed.
6. Hank Zipzer Series: Henry Winkler has created a series of hilarious chapter books featuring the dyslexic character, Hank Zipzer. Kids will love the many mishaps humorous Hank gets into while navigating childhood. Kids can REALLY relate to Hank. Trust me. For younger readers, Winkler has written an early reader series of Hank Zipzer books. I highly recommend both!
7. My Gift Of Difference: “It’s a difference, not a disadvantage.” 12 year old Jordan has written a self help book, fill with tips that will inspire and empower your child on their own journey. Jordan gives inspirational talks all over the country. Be sure to check out her Instagram page!
8.Two Minute Drill: Calling all sports fans! Mike Lupica has written some great sports fiction for kids over the years. Sixth grader, Scott is the new kid in school and faces a lot of challenges, including having to stand up to the team quarterback. Upper elementary and middle school, sports-minded kids will enjoy this one.
9. My Name is Brain Brian: The author takes time to explain what dyslexia is within the context of this upper elementary chapter book, which is so helpful. Kids will make deep connections with Brian. I would recommend siblings of kids with dyslexia read this one to develop their sense of empathy.
10. Fish In A Tree: This book became an instant hit with teachers and students everywhere. I read it with in an online book group with some other Orton-Gillingham teachers and tutors, and we fell in love with it. We feel every one of Ally’s struggles right along with her, but you will triumph at her developing confidence. Keep the tissues handy. This could be a read aloud for kids probably as young as 4th grade.
11. Percy Jackson Series: Rick Riordan’s series of books focused on mythical characters has exploded in children’s literature. Start with The Lightning Thief, the first book if you are new to the series. Percy truly does find out he possesses some unique abilities in the first book. For your adventure seeking kids, this series fits the bill. And he added study of Greek mythology is a bonus.
12. Looking For Heroes: Aidan Colvin was on a mission. Write to 100 successful dyslexics and find out their secrets to success. You will be just as surprised as Aidan is at the amount of replies and the advice he receives! Aidan is sure to share classroom tips with kids as well. Great for middle schoolers, or high schoolers, or college students.
UPDATE! Here’s one I just found.
13. The Wild Book by Margarita Engle. A page fan recommend this one to me recently. Written entirely in prose, this book set in turn of the century Cuba, features, Fefa. She was told she had “word blindness”, a term used for dyslexia years ago, and that she would never learn to read. Read how Fefa beats the odds amidst a time in Cuba filled with trials and uncertainty. Through the use of a notebook, observant Fefa learns how to read. You HAVE to get this one!
And there you have it! What a list of truly inspiring books for children.
Please be sure to read part 2:
And part three! More Children’s Books About Dyslexia!
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Thank you for stopping by today!