Books with Characters on the Autism Spectrum

Whether you have someone in your family or school who's on the spectrum or are just looking for a compelling read, these books deliver. Some focus on kids who are dealing with the challenges of having an autistic sibling. In others, a young person on the spectrum drives the action, fighting desperados in the Wild West, solving a mystery in London, or trying to win a basketball game in fifth grade. These novels not only tell riveting stories but also can help build empathy and understanding. And for similar books, try our list of Books That Teach Empathy.

How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine Poster Image
BOOK

How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine

age 4+

Moving tale of Temple Grandin's girlhood pursuit of a hug.

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The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin Poster Image
BOOK

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

age 6+

Upbeat rhymes tell amazing tale of scientist with autism.

By: Julia Finley Mosca (2017)
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A Boy Called Bat Poster Image
BOOK

A Boy Called Bat

age 7+

Gentle tale of animal-loving boy on the autism spectrum.

By: Elana K. Arnold (2018)
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Just My Luck Poster Image
BOOK

Just My Luck

age 8+

Touching fourth-grade story of empathy and kindness.

By: Cammie McGovern (2016)
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A Whole New Ballgame: Rip and Red, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

A Whole New Ballgame: Rip and Red, Book 1

age 8+

Fun, gentle story about kids gaining confidence and empathy.

By: Phil Bildner (2015)
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A girl with curly hair hovers over iconic sites of Barcelona
BOOK

Ellen Outside the Lines

age 9+

Touching story of girl with autism navigating change.

By: A. J. Sass (2022)
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BOOK

A Kind of Spark

age 9+

Powerful book about autism propelled by authentic voice.

By: Elle McNicoll (2021)
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BOOK

The London Eye Mystery

age 9+

Gripping mystery told by kid on the autism spectrum.

By: Siobhan Dowd (2008)
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BOOK

Rain Reign

age 9+

Poignant tale of autistic girl and her dog.

By: Ann M. Martin (2014)
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Rules Poster Image
BOOK

Rules

age 9+

Girl connects with brother who has autism in moving tale.

By: Cynthia Lord (2006)
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BOOK

Anything But Typical

age 10+

Realistic look inside the world of a tween with autism.

By: Nora Raleigh Baskin (2009)
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BOOK

The Someday Birds

age 10+

Unlikely hero of family adventure delivers hopeful message.

By: Sally J. Pla (2017)
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Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Tale from Alcatraz, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Tale from Alcatraz, Book 1

age 11+

Boy stands up for sister with autism in compassionate tale.

By: Gennifer Choldenko (2005)
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P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados: P.K. Pinkerton, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados: P.K. Pinkerton, Book 1

age 11+

Tween boy hunts killers in funny, violent Wild West saga.

By: Caroline Lawrence (2012)
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BOOK

What to Say Next

age 12+

Irresistible story of teens finding unexpected connection.

By: Julie Buxbaum (2017)
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Kids Like Us Poster Image
BOOK

Kids Like Us

age 13+

Stirring, romantic first-love tale of boy with autism.

By: Hilary Reyl (2017)
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The Sound of Letting Go Poster Image
BOOK

The Sound of Letting Go

age 13+

Relatable tale in verse about life with brother with autism.

By: Stasia Ward Kehoe (2014)
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BOOK

Marcelo in the Real World

age 14+

Gorgeously moving story about teen with autism.

By: Francisco X. Stork (2009)
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