Books with Characters Who Have Learning and Attention Issues

Dyslexia can make reading really challenging, but it can't stop a kid from being a hero. Just ask Percy Jackson! And having ADHD can make school tough, but Joey Pigza manages to navigate his academic and family troubles with humor and courage. These books about kids and teens with learning disabilities can mirror the reader's experience or help readers understand what friends, classmates, and relatives may be going through. For other compassionate stories, check out our lists of Books That Teach Empathy, Books with Characters Who Have Physical Disabilities, and Coming-of-Age Books.

Ben and Emma's Big Hit Poster Image
BOOK

Ben and Emma's Big Hit

age 4+

Empathy, friendship for baseball-loving kid with dyslexia.

See full review
Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1

age 6+

Boy finds smart ways to overcome challenges in fun story.

See full review
May B. Poster Image
BOOK

May B.

age 8+

Riveting and moving account of girl's struggle for survival.

By: Caroline Starr Rose (2012)
See full review
Eleven Poster Image
BOOK

Eleven

age 9+

Poignant tale of dyslexic boy seeking clues to his past.

See full review
Freak the Mighty Poster Image
BOOK

Freak the Mighty

age 9+

Outcasts join forces and conquer readers' hearts.

By: Rodman Philbrick (1993)
See full review
The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

age 9+

Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.

By: Rick Riordan (2005)
See full review
Fish in a Tree Poster Image
BOOK

Fish in a Tree

age 10+

Big-hearted book about overcoming dyslexia inspires.

By: Lynda Mullaly Hunt (2015)
See full review
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Poster Image
BOOK

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

age 11+

Sympathetic, realistic portrait of boy with ADHD.

By: Jack Gantos (1998)
See full review
My Thirteenth Winter Poster Image
BOOK

My Thirteenth Winter

age 13+

Honest story of life with learning disability.

By: Samantha Abeel (2005)
See full review
Fangirl Poster Image
BOOK

Fangirl

age 14+

Beautiful coming-of-age story about fandom and first love.

By: Rainbow Rowell (2013)
See full review
Dying to Know You Poster Image
BOOK

Dying to Know You

age 14+

Compelling friendship carries tale of author and teen boy.

By: Aidan Chambers (2012)
See full review