Books for young people about Dyslexia

The Alphabet War: a Story About Dyslexia – a story book for children about Adam, a young dyslexic boy learning to read. Adam represents the creative, talented and imaginative spirit in all of us and the author expertly describes Adam’s frustration and near defeat as he learns to overcome his shortcomings with the help of his mother and tutor. Its impossible not to cheer him on as he learns to stop pretending and feeling behind and breaks the “code” to win the war against words. The confidence he gains in himself is emphasized by the colourful, life-like illustrations. Recommended for anyone with a child struggling with dyslexia.

 Dyslexia Wonders
Written by 12-year-old Jennifer Smith, Dyslexia Wonders reveals the daily struggles of a child plagued by dyslexia.
Happy-go-lucky until she entered Kindergarten, Jennifer seemed like the other bright children her age. She was energetic, curious and talkative. But when it came time to learn the ABCs, to read or to tie her shoes, Jennifer couldn’t comprehend and her world began to slowly collapse.
As time passed, it became clear to her that she was indeed different from her classmates. She felt alone, afraid and stupid; but most of all, she was ashamed of herself for not being able to learn.

 Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
At first sight, the young hero of this book doesn’t have much going for him. 12-year-old Percy Jackson is dyslexic, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, keeps getting thrown out of schools and hasn’t seen his father for years.
He has a nasty, sneering stepfather. The good news is that he is a Greek demi-god, with supernatural powers…

 ‘My Name is Brain Brian’ – Brian and his fellow members of the Jokers Club hate school. To make it more fun, they create a secret game, winning points for making other people laugh during the day. Brian wins the first point when he writes his name as “Brain” on the blackboard. But it’s no joke. He is dyslexic. The author weaves in a good deal of information on this learning disability, but first and foremost, this is a story. Brian, who narrates, is characterized by more than his problem. Not only must he practice new ways to learn, but he must also deal with his father, also dyslexic; with a childhood friend whose behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing; and with a girl he hates. As readers follow him through the sixth grade and see the changes it makes in his life, he becomes a real person to them. (Grade 4-6)

 ‘So, You Think You’ve Got Problems’‘ – by Rosalind Burkett (Egon Publishers; ISBN 0905858859) – This easy-to-read book is for dyslexic children of all ages. It explains, simply and sympathetically, what is happening to them, and how they can be helped to overcome their problems. It also hopes to show children that they are not alone in their difficulties, and that there are others with the same problems. The aim of this colourful book is to put dyslexia into perspective, particularly for a child, but for parents also

 Thank you, Mr. Falker – by Patricia Polacco. Fans of Polacco’s (Thundercake; Pink and Say) work know well her talent for weaving her colourful family history throughout her picture books. Here Polacco shares her childhood triumph over dyslexia and discovery of reading in an inspiring if slightly formulaic story.
Young Trisha is eager to taste the “sweetness of knowledge” that her grandfather has always revered (here symbolized by drizzling honey onto a book and tasting it, which harkens back to Polacco’s earlier The Bee Tree). But when she looks at words and numbers, everything is a jumble. Trisha endures the cruel taunts of classmates who call her “dumb,” and falls behind in her studies. But finally the encouragement and efforts of a new fifth grade teacher, Mr. Falker, trigger a monumental turning point in Trisha’s life. She begins to blossom and develop all of her talents, including reading. Polacco’s tale is all the more heartfelt because of its personal nature. Young readers struggling with learning difficulties will identify with Trisha’s situation and find reassurance in her success. Polacco’s gouache-and-pencil compositions deftly capture the emotional stages – frustration, pain, elation – of Trisha’s journey. Ages 5 and above.

 How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star – Benny’s story changed my son’s life. It’s the first book he ever read twice. Unfortunately, I was too much like Benny’s father. Seeing myself portrayed changed my attitude. Now I know why it’s important to support my son instead of badgering him.

 Dyslexia (Talking It Through‘ – by Althea – aimed at 7-11 years olds, telling the story of a group of children with dyslexia.
‘I first came across this book four years ago and have since used it constantly as a starting point to explain dyslexia to parents and their child. The book is very short but filled with factual based material that explains the symptoms and effects of a learning difficulty in a very clear way. The text is matched by excellent illustrations and graphics and a dyslexic child will find it easy to follow and comprehend. Would strongly recommend it to parents and teachers as an excellent explanatory resource.’ (A Bohan).

I have by no means checked all these out – let me know if you recommned any of them.

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