We're All Different: Neurodivergent Reading for Kids!

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We are all different! This list is especially for kids up to age 12. Check out this list of books for neurodivergent characters. 'Neurodivergent' means different ways of thinking. Sometimes it also means different ways of understanding information and emotions. ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, or mental illness are depicted in these books. You can learn more about their experiences by reading!


Wendy Mass
Description: Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the death of her beloved cat, Mango.
Call Number: J FIC Mas
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott
Description: Eleven-year-old Tally is starting sixth grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism, hypersensitivity to touch, and true self, and trying to act "normal" like her former best friend, Layla, who is distancing herself from Tally and her fourteen-year-old sister, Nell, who is always angry with Tally for being different; but as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder--what is "normal" anyway?
Call Number: J FIC Sco
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Cammie McGovern
Description: Chester, a service dog, is adopted into a family where he becomes a companion to Gus, a ten-year-old boy with nonverbal autism, who initially challenges Chester by requiring a different kind of friendship.
Call Number: J FIC McG
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Description: Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Call Number: J FIC Slo
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Description: "Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: J FIC Hun
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Jack Gantos
Description: To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.
Call Number: J FIC Gan
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Phil Bildner, Tim Probert
Call Number: J FIC Bil
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 4, 2021
Nicole Panteleakos
Description: Autistic and nearly nonverbal, twelve-year-old Nova is happy in her new foster home and school, but eagerly anticipates the 1986 Challenger launch, for which her sister, Bridget, promised to return.
Call Number: J FIC Pan
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Ann M. Martin
Description: Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.
Call Number: J FIC Mar
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham, Jane Poole
Description: Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen's #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top, even if it means bullying others. Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group -- or out?
Call Number: J FIC Hal
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Mike Jung
Description: Best friends Matt and Eric are hatching a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a Giant Amusement Park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idol--a famous comic creator. Without cell phones. Or transportation. Or permission. Of course, their final adventure together is more than just that-really, it's a way for the boys to celebrate their friendship, and their honest love and support for one another. -- Amazon.
Call Number: J FIC Jun
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Piers Torday, Thomas Flintham
Description: "After gathering together the Last Wild, the last animals still alive, Kester Jaynes is faced with a new task--facing the Dark Wild, the animals who live underground and want to destroy humankind"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: J FIC Tor
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 4, 2021
Rick Riordan, Jesse Bernstein
Description: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse -- Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon, a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
Call Number: J FIC Rio
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Dori Jones Yang
Description: When her extreme shyness makes her unable to speak at her new American school, twelve-year-old Jinna, newly arrived from China, retreats into her own fairy tale world.
Call Number: J FIC Yan
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 4, 2021
Cat Patrick
Description: "Things never seem to go as easily for thirteen-year-old Frankie as they do for her sister, Tess. Unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. In her case, that means she can't stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she's easily distracted, she hates changes in her routine, and she has to go see a therapist while other kids get to hang out at the beach. It also means Frankie has trouble making friends. She did have one--Colette--but they're not friends anymore. It's complicated. Then, just weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette unexpectedly shows up at Frankie's door. The next morning, Colette vanishes. Now, after losing Colette yet again, Frankie's convinced that her former best friend left clues behind that only she can decipher, so she persuades her reluctant sister to help her unravel the mystery of Colette's disappearance before it's too late" --Amazon.com.
Call Number: J FIC Pat
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Erin Entrada Kelly
Description: Charlotte, twelve, and Ben, eleven, are highly-skilled competitors at online Scrabble and that connection helps both as they face family issues and the turmoil of middle school.
Call Number: J FIC Kel
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 30, 2021
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: We're All Different: Neurodivergent Reading for Kids!
A Mango-shaped Space
Wendy Mass
J FIC Mas
Rain Reign
Ann M. Martin
J FIC Mar
Can You See Me?
Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott
J FIC Sco
Real Friends
Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham, Jane Poole
J FIC Hal
Chester And Gus
Cammie McGovern
J FIC McG
The Boys In The Back Row
Mike Jung
J FIC Jun
Counting By 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan
J FIC Slo
The Dark Wild
Piers Torday, Thomas Flintham
J FIC Tor
Fish In A Tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
J FIC Hun
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan.
Rick Riordan, Jesse Bernstein
J FIC Rio
Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key
Jack Gantos
J FIC Gan
The Secret Voice Of Gina Zhang
Dori Jones Yang
J FIC Yan
Most Valuable Players
Phil Bildner, Tim Probert
J FIC Bil
Tornado Brain
Cat Patrick
J FIC Pat
Planet Earth Is Blue
Nicole Panteleakos
J FIC Pan
You Go First
Erin Entrada Kelly
J FIC Kel