2e Resources: Books for Kids

This is the place to find out more about books mentioned or reviewed in 2e Newsletter. See a booklist for adults here. See our book reviewer Bob Seney's list of his favorite kids' books for the year here.




The Absolute Value of Mike

Kathryn Erskine

The story of the complex relationship between Mike, a 14-year-old with dyscalculia, and the father that Mike so desperately wants to please, a mathematical genius who finds it hard to forge a close bond with his son

Adam and the Magic Marble

Adam Buehrens

An adventure/fantasy story that gives a clear picture of the difficulties individuals with Tourette Syndrome and cerebral palsy face and of the courage and insight that children with disabilities can have; written by a 10-year-old boy with TS


Eoin Colfer

A fast-paced tale with adventure and an interesting story line for grades 7 and up; may be challenging for some readers

All Kinds of Minds

Mel Levine

The story of a fictitious group of five friends who discover their own learning strengths and weaknesses and come to appreciate all kinds of minds; aimed at children from 7-11 years old

An A From Miss Keller

Patricia Polacco

An autobiographical book that tells the story of how a teacher inspired Patricia Polacco to become the writer and storyteller she is today

Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and  Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum

Stephen M. Shore (ed.)

A guide to self-advocacy for children and adults at school and work, and in personal life, written by people with autism

Baj and the Word Launcher

Pamela Victor

The story of an extraterrestrial with Asperger's who receives a magical communication kit that helps him learn the complex rules of the social world

Battle of the Labyrinth

Rick Riordan

Book 4 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians adventure series, which places a new twist on dyslexia and Greek mythology

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

The story in verse of the author’s growing up in both the North and the South of the 1960’s and 1970’s  


Patricia Polacco

The author addresses several forms of bullying, including electronic bullying, in a story about a middle schooler who gets caught up with girls who do the bullying only to become bullied herself.

Clara and Davie, The True Story of Young Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross

Patricia Polacco

Polacco shares true family stories about the young Clara Barton, a past relative of hers, including the speech difficulties she struggled with.

College Planning for Gifted Students: Choosing and Getting Into the Right College

Sandra Berger

Guides readers through the college-planning process, moving from self-exploration, to college matching, to applying; includes useful timelines for grades 7 through 12. [Especially note the section on underachieving students, pp 36 – 45.]

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD

Peterson’s Guides

A guide to more than 750 institutions in the U.S. and Canada that offer programs for special needs students; includes information on how to gain entrance to the learning disability programs

Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You’re Not a Straight-A Student

Loren Pope

Focuses on schools that are often a good fit for students who are “outside the box” [Note the chapter titled “The Learning Disabled of Today will Be the Gifted of Tomorrow.”]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon

A novel that does an excellent job of offering readers insight into the mind of Christopher, an intelligent 15-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome (AS); better suited to teen and adult readers

Dawn of Fear

Susan Cooper

A novel set in London during World War II that can help middle schoolers in their efforts to develop a sense of identity

The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt

A boy's box of crayons can teach readers about relationships, understanding their friends and classmates, and putting themselves into someone else’s shoes

El Deafo

Cece Bell

A graphic novel based on the author's loss of hearing as a child and how she coped with it

The Farmer and the Clown

Marla Frazee

An ALA Notable Book that tells the story through images of a growing and wonderful relationship between the two characters

Father’s Arcane Daughter

E. L. Konigsburg

A sophisticated mystery for middle schoolers

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Lindsay Mattick

A 2016 Caldecott Medal Winner that tells the true story of Winnie-the-Pooh with humor, love, and historical facts

Fish in a Tree

Lynda M. Hunt

The novel that deals with relationships, loneliness, family, bullying, friendships, and courage as it tells the story of Ally, a math whiz with dyslexia

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E. L. Konigsburg

A sophisticated mystery and Newbury award-winner for middle schoolers

From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears

Dan Peters, Ph.D.

A children’s guide that uses clear, straightforward language along with vignettes that show how other kids have successfully challenged the worry monster (anxiety)

The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide

Judy Galbraith & James Delisle

A guide to help gifted young people understand their giftedness, value it, and use it make the most of who and what they are

The Gospel According to Larry

Janet Tashjian

A novel for teens that considers big questions – materialism and idealism, celebrity worship and privacy, alienation and family loyalty – plus offers a complex plot and intelligent humor


Gloria Whelan

The story of a blind girl living in northern Michigan in the 1880s, for grades 3 through 5

Hard Gold: The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859  


Historical fiction that offers readers fast-paced action and adventure along with quality writing in a format that will keep even struggling readers involved; aimed at readers aged 9-12 

Hattie Big Sky

Kirby Larson

A 2007 Newbury Honor book that tells the story of an orphaned 16-year-old girl who becomes a homesteader in early 20th century Montana


Kathy Hoopmann

A mystery story about a teenage boy with undiagnosed Asperger’s who’s advanced computer skills and knowledge lead him to become suspected of international computer fraud

The Hello, Goodbye Window

Norton Juster

A 2006 Caldecott Medal winner that tells the story from a child’s point of view of the everyday, but wonderful, visits to her grandparents’ house

The Horse Boy: A Memoir of Healing

Rupert Isaacson

A true account of how a family's search for both traditional and non-traditional treatments for their autistic son leads them to Outer Mongolia and healing

House of Stairs

William Sleator

A science fiction classic in which five sixteen-year-olds are involuntarily placed in a house of endless stairs as subjects for a psychological experiment on conditioned human response

How Many Days Until Tomorrow?

Caroline Janover

A story for grades 4-8 about a boy with dyslexia and an older gifted brother who keeps reminding him of his learning problems; offers character development and story line that will capture readers’ interest and short chapters that will appeal to struggling readers

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

An exciting award-winning  science fiction tale for older readers in which two teen-aged girls must make decisions that pit their survival against humanitarian ideals and love

The Incredible Magic of Being

Kathryn Erskine

The story of nine-year-old Julian, a highly gifted boy with some extreme emotional overexcitabilities and super-sensitivities, who sees his mission in life as helping people find magic in the world; a book whose “many themes and sub-themes make it a possible text for a philosophy class,” according to reviewer Bob Seney

Joey Pigza Looses Control

Jack Gantos

One of three delightful novels that describe the adventures and misadventures of a wonderful little guy who takes control of his life while attempting to deal with AD/HD and a rather dysfunctional family

Inside Out &
Back Again

Thanhha Lai 

A National Book Award Winner and a 2012 Newbery Honor Book written in eautiful free verse that tells of the author's struggles with losing the good life she had in Saigon and adapting to the strange new life and customs of a small Alabama town in the 1970s

It’s Okay to Be Different

Todd Parr

A book that affirms for children that it's not only okay but essential to be yourself and to celebrate both your own differences and the differences in others 

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Jack Gantos

One of three delightful novels that describe the adventures and misadventures of a wonderful little guy who takes control of his life while attempting to deal with AD/HD and a rather dysfunctional family

Keeping A Head in School

Mel Levine

A book that helps children 11 years and up understand and appreciate their own distinct learning profiles


Cynthia Kadohata

A Newbery Medal winner set in the 1950s about a girl of 12 who moves with her Japanese-American family to Georgia in order for her father to find work

Kissing Doorknobs

Terry Spencer Hesser

A story, based on the author's life, of a bright girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder that helps readers focus on the person first and the label only very secondarily

The Knuffle Bunny series:

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion

Mo Willems

The work of an award-winning author/artist made "truly significant," according to newsletter book reviewer Bob Seney, not just because of his characteristic artwork, but due to "the poignant messages found in both text and illustration"

Last Stop on Market Street

Matt De La Peña

A Newbery Medal award winning picture book that tells the story of a grandmother and grandson on their weekly outing to help out at a food kitchen

Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students With Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution

Jonathan Mooney and David Cole

An inside account of what it takes to succeed at a prestigious university when you’re a twice-exceptional student; offers plenty of learning tips and strategies that are useful to younger students as well.

Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer

Robert Byrd

A lush presentation of the life of Leonardo da Vinci for children from seven to ten

The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

Book 1 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians adventureseries, which places a new twist on dyslexia and Greek mythology

The London Eye Mystery

Siobhan Dowd

A classic mystery tale told from the point of view of Ted, a boy with “a funny brain that runs on a different operating system from other people”

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey

Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes

The story of a refugee family who loses their beloved cat during their flight from war and the compassionate people who work to reunite them

Louise Loves Art!

Kelley Light

A picture book in which the illustrations play a key role as elements in a storythat looks at the importance of art and of relationships

Marcelo in the Real World

Francisco W. Stork

A novel about a 17-year-old boy with high-functioning autism that treats disability with sensitivity and intimacy; best suited to older teen readers 

The Marvels

Brian Selznick 

A remarkable book centered around family, relationships, and belonging told as two stories: one in illustration and one in narrative, leaving the reader to find the connection between the two

Millicent Min, Girl Genius

Lisa Yee

The story of Millie, a profoundly gifted 11-year-old girl who learns that being smart is not the only important thing in her life; she must make room for friendship as well

Miranda’s Last Stand

Gloria Whelan

Historical fiction for grades 3 to 5 that suggests questions about how friendships are made


Suzy Lee

A picture book in which the award-winning author/illustrator tells the story of a little girl who learns that actions have consequences

Mr. Wuffles!

David Wiesner

A “nearly textless” story, told mostly in vibrant Illustrations, of Mr. Wuffles, a cat with a very peculiar “toy” — an alien space ship, complete with ant-size aliens


Kathryn Erskine

An award-winning story of Caitlin, a girl with Asperger’s, whose beloved brother dies in a school shooting, and her struggle to deal with her loss and with a world of emotions she doesn't understand

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Trenton Lee Stewart

A delightful, often humorous, adventure story of four highly gifted misfits that literally swims in mystery, danger, spies, and the threat of a world takeover

N.E.R.D.S. – National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society

Michael Buckley

A group of fifth-grade gifted misfits work under cover as a secret-agent team that takes care of situations adults just can’t handle, foiling evil plots and confronting bullies in the process

Niagara Falls, or Does It?

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

One of an entertaining series of children's books that feature Henry Zinzer, the "World's Best Underachiever"

The Night the Moon Ate My Room!

Jesse Wilson

A story about a young boy's strange experience with the moon in which the author shares a number of life lessons with readers, focusing on issues such as the importance of taking risks, of dreaming and turning dreams into reality, of self-discovery, and of not giving up

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Jennifer Berne

A beautifully illustrated picture book for all ages that provides a great introduction to Einstein’s work, thoughts, and inspirations

Out of My Mind

Sharon M. Draper

The story of a 10-year-old girl whose cerebral palsy masked her abilities until assistive technology gives her a voice and an opportunity to show the bight and capable person within the physically challenged body

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

E. L. Konigsburg

A prequel to Silent to the Bone for upper elementary and older readers


Vince Vawter

The story of a summer in an 11-year-old boy's life in which, with the help of a mentor, he faces up to a number of challenges, including his stuttering, and gains insight into his own identity

Rain, Reign

Ann M. Martin

A winner of multiple awards that enables readers to walk in the shoes of Rose, a girl with Asperger’s who risks everything to find her dog when it goes missing in a storm

Ramona the Brave

Beverly Cleary

A book for children in grades K through 2 that parents might use to explore the issues of  peers and friendship and, for girls, spunkiness and independence


Cynthia Lord

A Newbery Honor Book in which the 12-year-old protagonist wants a normal life but feels it's impossible because of her brother's autism

Say What?
The Weird and Mysterious Journey of the English Language

Gena K. Gorrell

A humorous history of the development of the English language


Gordon Korman

A story of middle-school life told with sensitivity and humor in which issues like homeschooling, bullying, acceptance, and friendship play a part

The Sea of Monsters

Rick Riordan

Book 2 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians adventureseries, which places a new twist on dyslexia and Greek mythology


Suzy Lee

A picture book in which the award-winning author/illustrator makes the format of the book part of this story about shadow games

Silent to the Bone

E. L. Konigsburg

A New York Times Notable Book and American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults

The Survival Guide for Teenagers with LD* (*Learning Differences)

Rhoda Cummings and Gary L. Fisher

Provides information especially useful to younger 2e adolescents in the first three chapters: “Understanding LD,” “The Law and Your Rights,” and “How to Advocate for Yourself”

Surviving the Applewhites

Stephanie Tolan

The story of how two young teens search for their own worth and identity amid the chaos of an artistic, temperamental, and wacky homeschooling family

The Teenagers’ Guide to School Outside the Box

Rebecca Greene

An eye-opening guide to alternative learning experiences for high schoolers, from mentorships to internships to study abroad programs; described as a book for kids “feeling boxed in by high school”

Thank You, Mr. Falker

Patricia Polacco

A book for ages 5 and up that recounts the author's own experiences with dyslexia

There Are No Words

Mary Calhoun Brown

The unique story — part historical fiction, part fantasy, and part realistic novel — of a bright girl, both autistic and mute, who finds herself drawn back in time for a special purpose

The Three Questions –
Based on a Story by Leo Tolstoy

Jon J. Muth

A picture book, based on a short story by the author of War and Peace, in which a young boy, with the help of his friends, seeks the answers to three questions that he believes are the keys to becoming “a good person”

The Titan’s Curse

Rick Riordan

Book 3 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians adventureseries, which places a new twist on dyslexia and Greek mythology

The Unfinished Angel

Sharon Creech

A magical story aimed at readers in grades 4-6 with short chapters and a fast moving pace suitable for reluctant or struggling readers

The View From Saturday

E. L. Konigsburg

A Newbery award-winning book for upper elementary and older readers


Eileen Christelow

An appealing cartoon presentation of the election process for children from 4 to 8


Suzy Lee

A picture book in which the award-winning author/illustrator tells the story of a little girl and her day at the beach

We’re All Wonders

R. J. Palacio

A “prequel” to the author’s 2012 novel, Wonder, the story of a gifted boy born with extreme facial abnormalities who believes that while he can’t help the way he looks, he may be able to change the way people see

What Do You Do with a Problem?

Kobi Yamada

A picture book that serves as a guide to meeting and responding to problems as opportunities

What Would Joey Do?

Jack Gantos

One of three delightful novels that describe the adventures and misadventures of a wonderful little guy who takes control of his life while attempting to deal with AD/HD and a rather dysfunctional family

When You Reach Me

Rebecca Stead

A Newbery award-winning book for middle schoolers with a sophisticated plot and characters that challenge and engage readers


Alan Armstrong

A barnyard fantasy and Newbery Honor book that also tells the story of eight-year-old Ben’s struggle to learn to read


R. J. Palacio

The story of a ten-year-old gifted boy born with extreme facial abnormalities who just wants just to be a normal boy and to be accepted as such, and a teacher who helps his students learn about kindness and strength

The Worry Web Site

Jacqueline Wilson

Connected short stories for the middle elementary grades that focus on a much loved teacher and the way he helps his students deal with their worries

Yolonda’s Genius

Carol Fenner

A book that provides middle schoolers with a chance to explore aspects of giftedness beyond academic ability

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the National Gallery

Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser

A visual tale with a clever story-line about a young girl who visits the National Gallery in Washington D.C. with her grandmother and little brother; one of a series of three books that includes You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum and You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Museum of Fine Arts

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