Celebrate Dyslexia!: Books Featuring Characters with Dyslexia

Celebrate Dyslexia!: Books Featuring Characters with Dyslexia


Everyone needs books that can act as mirrors, allowing them to see themselves, or windows, allowing them to see the world through someone else’s point of view. Whether these books featuring characters with dyslexia are mirrors or windows for you, they are sure to deepen your understanding of this common language processing condition!

Compiled by:
Kim B.

Picturebooks and Younger Elementary

Back to Front and Upside Down

Claire Alexander
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ale)

While the rest of the class makes birthday cards for the principal, Stan struggles with his words and letters. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Emiline: Knight in Training

Kimberli Johnson
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN Johnson Emiline Knight In Training)

Emiline is learning how to be a knight. There are many skills that knights need: sword fighting, unicorn riding, and PB&J eating! While Emiline is very good at these, she has a hard time reading. But when fixing a dangerous situation means Emiline must read some magic words, she discovers that with practice, curiosity, and help from her friends, she can improve at reading and save the day. Recommended for ages 6-9.

If You’re So Smart, How Come you Can’t Spell Mississippi

Barbara Esham
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Esh)

Introduces the mainstream student and educator to the world of the child who struggles academically. The main character discovers her father is dyslexic, as is one of her classmates—and she tries to make sense of it. Recommended for ages 6-9.

It’s Called Dyslexia

Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 616.8553 Moo)

A young girl is unhappy with school because she often mixes up the letters of the alphabet or writes them backwards until her teacher explains that she has dyslexia and with special help, she can overcome her difficulties with language. Recommended for ages 6-9.

My Friend Has Dyslexia

Amanda Doering Tourville
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 616.8553 Tou)

A story of a girl who has dyslexia and her friend. The story is accompanied by information about topics related to dyslexia. Recommended for ages 6-9.

Thank you, Mr. Falker

Patricia Polacco
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Po)

At first, Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem. Recommended for ages 6-9.

Older Elementary

6th Grade Can Really Kill You

Barthe DeClements
(Juvenile Fiction - J De)

Helen fears that lack of improvement in her reading may leave her stuck in the sixth grade forever, until a good teacher recognizes her reading problem. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Woo)

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Close to Famous

Joan Bauer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Bauer)

Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother escape from her mother’s abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where Foster is determined to not let her inability to read keep her from achieving her dreams! Recommended for ages 8-12.

Double Dutch

Sharon M. Draper
(Juvenile Fiction - J Draper)

Three eighth-grade friends, preparing for the International Double Dutch Championship jump rope competition in their home town of Cincinnati, Ohio, cope with Randy's missing father, Delia's inability to read, and Yo Yo's encounter with the class bullies. Recommended for ages 8-12

Fish in a Tree

Lynda Miller Hunt
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hunt)

Sixth-grader Ally excels at covering the fact that she cannot read, but at her seventh school in as many years she is challenged to admit she needs help. Recommended for ages 8-12.

How Many Days Until Tomorrow?

Caroline Janover
(Juvenile Fiction - J Ja)

Josh, who has dyslexia, spends the summer on an island off the coast of Maine and finds that he has much to prove to his gruff grandfather and his older brother. Recommended for ages 8-12

Knees: The Mixed Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia

Vanita Oelschlager
(Juvenile Fiction - J Oelschl)

A fourth grade boy struggles with his learning disability, dyslexia, but he earns the respect of his peers when he discovers he is good at basketball and makes the school team. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Riordan)
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians

After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Recommended for ages 8-12.

May B

Caroline Starr Rose
(Juvenile Fiction - J Rose)

When a failed wheat crop nearly bankrupts the Betterly family, Pa pulls twelve-year-old May from school and hires her out to a couple new to the Kansas frontier. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Niagara Falls, or Does it?

Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver
(Juvenile Fiction - J Winkler)
Series: Hank Zipzer, the mostly true confessions of the world’s best underachiever

Fourth-graders Hank, Ashley, and Frankie are excitedly preparing for a magic show at the Rock 'N Bowl when Hank's creative alternative to an English essay lands him in detention and grounded the week of the show. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Snow Lane

Josephine Angelini
(Juvenile Fiction - J Angelin)

Fifth grader Annie is just like every other girl in her small suburban town. Except she's starting to realize that she isn't. Annie is the youngest of nine children. Instead of being condemned to the bottom of the pecking order, she wants to carve out a place for herself in the world. But it's hard to find your destiny when the only thing you're good at is being cheerful. Annie is learning that it's difficult to be Annie, period, and not just because her clothes are worn-out hand-me-downs, and she suffers from a crippling case of dyslexia, but also because there are secrets in her life no one in her family is willing to face. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Two-Minute Drill: A Comeback Kids Novel Mike Lupica

Mike Lupica
(Juvenile Fiction - J Lupica)
Series: Comeback Kids; 2

Brainy Scott, a great kicker who otherwise struggles with football, and star quarterback Chris, who has dyslexia, team up to help each other succeed in both football and school. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Wild Book

Margarita Engle
(Juvenile Fiction - J Engle)

In early twentieth-century Cuba, bandits terrorize the countryside as a young farm girl struggles with dyslexia. Based on the life of the author's grandmother. Recommended for ages 8-12.