Special Collections

Middle Grade Novels Featuring Characters with Learning Disabilities

Description: Each novel in this collection is geared towards middle grade readers and features a characters with a learning disability, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and dysgraphia. (Ages 8-12 or Grades 3-7)


Showing 1 through 21 of 21 results

Just Juice

by Karen Hesse

Juice lives with her Pa and Ma and her four sisters way out in the hills. Pa gets a letter saying the town has sold their house. But family has one last chance to pay back taxes they owe. Where will they ever find the money to get their house back?

Date Added: 02/21/2018


The Vicar of Nibbleswicke

by Roald Dahl

The Reverend Robert Lee triumphed over dyslexia as a child. But when he becomes the new vicar of Nibbleswicke, that triumph turns to travesty. For his condition has not resurfaced in its old manner, but in a virulent and highly peculiar form. Without his even being aware of it, the most important words in the sentences he utters mysteriously turn themselves around and come out backwards. A vicar calling on the blessing of Dog Almighty? Drol help the good people of Nibbleswicke!

Once again Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake join forces, spinning a hilarious story of a most remarkable vicar, whose unusual solution to his problem is sure to amuse Dahl's many fans.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Chuck Close, Up Close

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

A biography of the revisionist artist who achieved prominence in the late 1960s for enormous, photographically realistic, black and white portraits of himself and his friends.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Freak the Mighty

by Rodman Philbrick

Two boys - a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces - forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force. (Made into the film, The Mighty. )

Date Added: 02/21/2018


My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

by Samantha Abeel

Samantha Abeel can't tell time, remember her locker combination, or count out change at a checkout counter and she's in seventh grade. For a straight-A student like Samantha, problems like these make no sense. She dreads school and begins having anxiety attacks. When in her thirteenth winter she's diagnosed with a learning disability, she discovers she's stronger than she ever thought possible.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

Date Added: 02/21/2018


The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates

by Susan Shreve

Joshua is devastated to learn that he must repeat third grade. But he manages to survive the taunts of former classmates, learn something important about himself, and make it through the year with the help of a sympathetic teacher.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


May B.

by Caroline Starr Rose

I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return. Something's happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead--just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again.

Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

Date Added: 03/12/2018


Eleven

by Patricia Reilly Giff

Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic above his grandfather Mack's room, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped.

There are lots of other words, but Sam has always had trouble reading. He's desperate to find out who he is, and if his beloved Mack is really his grandfather. At night he's haunted by dreams of a big castle and a terrifying escape on a boat. Who can he trust to help him read the documents that could unravel the mystery?

Then he and the new girl, Caroline, are paired up to work on a school project, building a castle in Mack's woodworking shop. Caroline loves to read, and she can help. But she's moving soon, and the two must hurry to discover the truth about Sam.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Do Bananas Chew Gum?

by Jamie Gilson and Michael Garland

Sam has made it most of the way through sixth grade, barely able to read and write, but now Sam's family have moved again and he is faced with the prospect of attending a new school. How long will he be able to keep his problem secret?

Date Added: 03/08/2018


Adam Zigzag

by Barbara Barrie

Adam Brody is a lucky kid -- he can sing and play the guitar; he's bright, popular, and good-looking. But none of these things can help Adam read. He's severely dyslexic. When he looks at a page, letters and numbers zigzag all over the place. This has been going on ever since he started school, but now that he's a teenager, he's getting desperate. So is his family. What will happen to him if he never learns to read?

Date Added: 03/08/2018


After Ever After

by Jordan Sonnenblick

An amazing sequel to the groundbreaking debut, DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE.

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Niagara Falls, Or Does It?

by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver and Tim Heitz

For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal's office on the very first day of school.

Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on "What You Did This Summer." Hank is terrified-writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he'll show what he did. But when Hank's "living essay" becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life

Lexile Level: 610L

Date Added: 02/21/2018


The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Winner of Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice Intermediate Award

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Fish in a Tree

by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

"Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid." Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there's a lot more to her--and to everyone--than a label, and that great minds don't always think alike.

Winner of the Scheider Family Book Award

Date Added: 02/21/2018


The Junkyard Wonders

by Patricia Polacco

When young Trisha finds out her class at the new school is known as "The Junkyard," she is devastated.

She moved from her old town so she wouldn't be in a special class anymore! But then she meets her teacher, the quirky and invincible Mrs. Peterson, and her classmates, an oddly brilliant group of students each with his or her own unique talent. And it is here in The Junkyard that Trisha learns the true meaning of genius, and that this group of misfits are, in fact, wonders, all of them. Based on a real-life event in Patricia Polacco's childhood, this ode to teachers will inspire all readers to find their inner genius.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Thank You, Mr. Falker

by Patricia Polacco

When Trisha starts school, she can't wait to learn how to read, but the letters just get jumbled up. She hates being different, and begins to believe her classmates when they call her a dummy.

Then, in fifth grade, Mr. Falker changes everything. He sees through her sadness to the gifted artist she really is. And when he discovers that she can't read, he helps her prove to herself that she can--and will!

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Waiting for Normal

by Leslie Connor

Addie is waiting for normal.

But Addie's mom has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, jubilation or gloom, her way or no way. All or nothing never adds up to normal. All or nothing can't bring you all to home, which is exactly where Addie longs to be, with her half sisters, every day. In spite of life's twists and turns, Addie remains optimistic. Someday, maybe, she'll find normal.

Leslie Connor has created an inspiring novel about one girl's giant spirit.

Schneider Family Award Winner

Date Added: 02/28/2018


Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time)

by Margaret Rooke and Catherine Drennan and Loyle Carner

In more than 100 interviews, children and young adults reveal their personal tips and tactics for honing the creative benefits of dyslexia, enabling them to thrive in school and beyond.

Strategies include ways to develop confidence and self-belief. The contributors have outlined specific approaches they feel have helped them, and others that haven't. The book contains stunning illustrations by 8-18 year olds with dyslexia. The first-hand accounts are inspiring in the way they normalise dyslexia and reveal the many success stories.

There is an additional section for professionals who work in education or special learning environments, with advice given by school students themselves.

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Silent Days, Silent Dreams

by Allen Say

James Castle was born two months premature on September 25, 1899, on a farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was deaf, mute, autistic and probably dyslexic. He didn't walk until he was four; he would never learn to speak, write, read or use sign language.

Yet, today Castle's artwork hangs in major museums throughout the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art opened "James Castle: A Retrospective in 2008." The 2013 Venice Biennale included eleven works by Castle in the feature exhibition "The Encyclopedic Palace." And his reputation continues to grow.

Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say, author of the acclaimed memoir Drawing from Memory, takes readers through an imagined look at Castle's childhood, allows them to experience his emergence as an artist despite the overwhelming difficulties he faced, and ultimately reveals the triumphs that he would go on to achieve.

Winner of the 2018 Schneider Family Book Award (Young Children Book)

Date Added: 02/21/2018


The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

by Leslie Connor

From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?

Date Added: 02/21/2018


Snow Lane

by Josie Angelini

By turns harrowing and heartbreaking, this middle-grade novel tells a story of a family of nine kids and one very dark secret.

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 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.

In Snow Lane, Josie Angelini presents a story about a resilient girl who, in spite of many hardships, can still find light in the darkest of places.

Date Added: 02/27/2018



Showing 1 through 21 of 21 results