Available Now
MetroKids

Kids' Books About Special Needs

Picture and chapter books that teach kids what it's like to have a special need

The cover of Leah's Voice, the award-winning picture book by a local girl with autism

The cover of Leah's Voice, the award-winning picture book by a local girl with autism

(page 1 of 3)

Leah's Voice
Chester County 12-year-old Lori DeMonia doesn't let the fact that she has autism affect her creativity. Though she has trouble verbalizing her feelings, she speaks loudly through her art, drawing the friends she'd like to have. Her artwork has garnered five arts grants and inspires the heart of Leah's Voice, a picture book based on her real-life relationship with her younger sister. Leah's Voice has just been awarded the 2014 Temple Grandin Outstanding Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America. Click here to read more about Lori and her inspiring book.

Interest in kids’ books about special needs has never been higher. Recent bestsellers like John Green’s “cancer kids” opus The Fault in Our Stars, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, whose teen narrator/sleuth is on the autism spectrum, and RJ Palacio’s Wonder, about the mainstreaming of a boy with an extreme facial deformity, are now widely taught in area middle school reading classes. Younger children connect with the topic through popular picture books like Hooway for Wodney Wat and grade school–skewing fiction like Jack Gantos’ five-book Joey Pigza ADHD series. This trend not only gives kids who share the hero’s challenges a cultural touchstone; it also means that more youngsters than ever are getting a crash course in empathy, as special needs stories and fiction tend to engagingly illuminate the physical challenges, emotional issues and social bullying kids with special needs often grapple with. Here are a few titles worth reading.

Picture books

Chapter books

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Special Needs Parenting

Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia (aka childhood apraxia of speech) is difficult to diagnose. Learn about the symptoms and treatments.

"What's Wrong With Me?"

"What's Wrong With Me?"

A guide to discussing a child's special needs diagnosis

Special Needs Cheerleading

Special Needs Cheerleading

Special needs cheerleading lets kids with autism, Down syndrome and various physical disabilities be part of a team.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Book Reviews

Kids Books: 2015 Caldecott & Newbery Winners

Kids Books: 2015 Caldecott & Newbery Winners

All about the kid lit winners of the 2015 Caldecott and Newbery Medals