Last month I wrote about seven children's book authors with dyslexia, speaking to my own personal struggles with learning disabilities. Our audience's response was huge, and I think I know why.
So many children with learning disabilities are incredibly intelligent — yet because they learn differently, they easily succumb to feelings of inferiority. I know this firsthand. It doesn’t matter that I may have a 4.0 in graduate work presently — when someone corrects my grammar in a paper, I feel one inch tall.
For children who are still developing coping mechanisms and discovering the best way for them to learn, this is doubly hard. That is why surrounding them with depictions of characters who share their struggles is so important. It's also important for children who do not have their own learning disability, because building empathy and understanding for people who are different helps all children.
By educating more children about learning disabilities — using literature as a strong tool — we can help prevent someone from bullying others just because they can’t spell, or have a hard time paying attention.
I urge all parents to check out the books on this list, and have your own discussions with your children about learning disabilities.
My Name Is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt
Eagle Eyes: A Child's Guide to Paying Attention by Jeanne Gehret
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
The Alphabet War: A Story about Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates by Susan Shreve
Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Hank Zipzer) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon by Don M. Winn
Eddie Enough! by Debbie Zimmett
Do you have a book or series to add to this list? We'd love to see it continue to grow. Share your favorite titles that feature characters with learning disabilities on Scholastic Parents Facebook page!
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