Books to read this summer for kids with ADHD, Learning Differences

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1 of 15

Good books to read this summer

When students with ADHD recognize themselves in fictional characters, something magical happens: they are stimulated by a new sense of purpose.

Elementary school readers can learn about creative problem solving from Rémi the squirrel. Middle schoolers can feel less alone thanks to Ally and her leap of faith. High schoolers can ditch their devices for action and suspense in sky hunter and steel hittertwo science fiction novels that address the themes of disability and prejudice.

Engage your children with these and other fictional characters featured in these books, grouped by grade level below. All are recommended by caregivers and professionals in the ADHD community.

2 out of 15

‘Remi in Overdrive’ by Ashley Bartley

Illustrated by Brian Martin

Rémi the squirrel wreaks havoc, lets his thoughts escape and breaks a little too often. When Remi asks for help, his parents and a friendly school counselor suggest creative accommodations to address some common challenges: organization, sleep, memory, and impulsivity. —Merriam Sarcia Saunders

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3 out of 15

“My Wandering Dreaming Mind” by Merriam Sarcia Saunders

Illustrated by Tammie Lyon

Sadie’s wandering mind drifts to underwater worlds and animal adventures, causing her to miss instructions, forget her homework, and lose things. With the help of her parents, Sadie comes to understand the flip side of her inattentive ADHD: curiosity, kindness and creativity. As a bonus, this book (written by me!) includes self-esteem boosters for girls with ADHD. —SMS

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4 out of 15

‘Thank You, Mr. Falker’ by Patricia Polacco

Her fifth grade classmates call Trisha stupid because she has trouble reading. Trisha believes them until her new teacher, Mr. Falker, identifies her dyslexia. With her encouragement and support, Trisha builds her confidence and reading skills. The author based this story on her own experiences as a young girl. —Melanie Wachsman

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5 out of 15

‘Aaron Slater, illustrator’ by Andrea Beaty

Illustrated by David Roberts

Aaron Slater, illustrator is the last opus of The Interrogators (#CommissionsEarned) series (including Sophie Valdez, Future Prez and Ada Twist, scientist). Aaron loves listening to stories but struggles to read and write them. Will this difference in learning crush his dreams of becoming a storyteller? Printed with a dyslexia-friendly font, Aaron Slater is an engaging story that reminds kids: learning differences don’t define you! —MW

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6 over 15

“The Unteachable” by Gordon Korman

Students placed in SCS-8 (Secondary Special Eighth Grade) exhibit behavioral problems and weak academics. Their apathetic teacher, Mr. Kermit, finally sees that his SCS-8 students are more than their misinformed labels. Readers get a glimpse of living with ADHD, dyslexia and emotional dysregulation in this heart-pounding, laugh-out-loud novel. —MW

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7 out of 15

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

This is the autobiographical story of best-selling graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama, Sisters, and Ghosts (#CommissionsEarned)) as a college student. Initially, Raina faces typical teenage drama. As the story unfolds, she reveals her near-paralyzing anxiety and emetophobia (the extreme fear of vomiting). Through humor and compassion, entrails paints a realistic picture of how childhood anxiety manifests (stomachache, confusion, miscommunication) and shows the importance of therapy. —MW

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8 out of 15

“I Survived…” by Lauren Tarshis

Graphic novels are popular among children who have difficulty reading. Each of the four books of graphic adaptations of the I survived tells the story of a real historical disaster, like the sinking of the Titanic or the shark attacks of 1916, through the eyes of a child. —Kay Marner

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9 out of 15

“Sidetracked” by Diana Harmon Asher

Seventh-grade student Joseph Friedman is the funny, goofy, likable protagonist who joins his school’s new cross-country team at the behest of a teacher — even though he’s terrible at running — and then travels throughout. of the season while navigating school (avoiding bullies), family (grandpa moves in), and friendship (although unlikely, with a new girl). —KM

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10 out of 15

‘Kid Innovators: True Tales of Childhood from Inventors and Trailblazers’

By Robin Stevenson
Illustrated by Allison Steinfeld

Innovative children is the seventh part of the children’s legends (#CommissionsEarned) series of non-fiction books. It tells the stories of successful inventors and changemakers in science, technology, art, entertainment, education and business, with a focus on how whose childhood experiences helped shape their future success. Florence Nightingale, the Wright Brothers, Maria Montessori and Elon Musk are among those featured. —KM

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11 out of 15

“A Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Ally Nickerson would rather misbehave and land in the principal’s office than expose her inability to read. That is, until a substitute teacher helps Ally believe in herself and her determination. Her budding confidence inspires her classmates, who have their own quirks and struggles, to stand up to bullies. fish in a tree will resonate with lonely college kids making them laugh — and, possibly, shed a few tears. —MW

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12 out of 15

“The Edge of Anything” by Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Len knows his photography could lead to a college scholarship, but feels increasingly dominated by his obsessive-compulsive tendencies and anxiety. Sage is a high school volleyball star who searches for meaning in his life after a medical diagnosis threatens his future as an athlete. Poignant and memorable, The edge of anything traces the girls’ unlikely friendship as they face their fears and see their true worth. —MW

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13 out of 15

Abelard and Lily’s Love Letters by Laura Creedle

Lily Michaels-Ryan tries to keep up her grades and stay out of trouble. But when she can’t resist the lure of her impulsiveness, she finds herself in detention with her classmate Abelard. After Abelard published a quote from Letters from Abelard and Héloïse (#CommissionsEarned) online, Lily is convinced that he is the boy for her. Will Lily’s ADHD and Abelard’s autism undermine their love? This tender romance captures the highs and lows of teenage romance and neurodiversity. —MW

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14 out of 15

Ernest Cline’s ‘Ready Player Two’

Loan player one (#CommissionsEarned), made into a movie in 2018, introduced us to teenage Wade Watts, who survives the sadness of life in 2044 by immersing himself in an alternate reality online. In the sequel, Watts must decide the fate of the OASIS – and all of humanity. Both books will appeal to teenagers who enjoy escaping into video games or absorbing pop culture trivia. —KM

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15 out of 15

“Kat and Meg Conquer the World” by Anna Priemaza

Kat and Meg’s friendship grows after they are forced to collaborate on a science project. Kat is anxious, which prevents her from making friends. Meg suffers from ADHD, which makes it difficult for her to keep friends. Together, they learn to deal with the challenges of their circumstances, their high school, their crushes, their relationships, and more. —MW

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Books to read: next steps


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Keywords: Book Reviews, ADDitude Magazine Summer 2022 Issue, Treating Children

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