Learning Disabilities

If a child has difficulty reading, suggest that parents read these books aloud.

The Don't-Give-Up Kid; Jeanne Gehret; 1996; ages 5 to 10; fiction. Alex learns about different learning styles and realizes that even famous and successful people have had learning disabilities.

Charlie's Challenge; Ann Root and Linda Gladden; 1995; ages 7 to 12; fiction. A third grader learns why he can design an award-winning castle, but has trouble reading and spelling.

Josh: A Boy With Dyslexia; Caroline Janover; 1997; ages 8 to 11; fiction. Despite the dull title, a well-written, heartwarming chapter book about a fifth grader who has trouble reading.

The Baby-sitters' Club #101: Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout; Ann M. Martin; 1996; ages 8 to 12; fiction. One of a series of very appealing chapter books for middle school-age children. An artistic teen who has learning problems is sent back to seventh grade.

Do Bananas Chew Gum?; Jamie Gilson; 1980; ages 8 to 12; fiction. Humorous adventures, caring adults, and new friends convince 12-year-old Sam to get help for his reading problem.

When Learning Is Tough: Kids Talk About Their Learning Disabilities; Cynthia Roby; 1994; ages 8 to 15; nonfiction. Culturally diverse children of various ages discuss their personal experiences. Photos; candid prose.

The Mighty (formerly: Freak the Mighty); Rodman Philbrick; 1993; ages 10 to 14; fiction. This award-winning book follows Maxwell Kane, a giant-sized kid who has a gentle soul and whose biggest secret is that he cannot read. Wonderful story of triumph over imperfection.

The Survival Guide For Kids with LD; Rhoda Cummings and Gary Fischer; 1990; ages 10 to 14; nonfiction. In this book, LD stands for "learning differences." Practical guide; information bite format.

All Kinds of Minds: A Young Student's Book About Learning Disabilities and Learning Disorders; Mel Levin; 1993; ages 10 to 14; fiction. This chapter book follows five friends who have six learning problems: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reading problems, memory problems, a language disorder, motor skills, and problems with social skills. Very appealing; self-esteem builder; needs to be read over time.

Living With Learning Disabilities: A Guide For Students; David Hall; 1993; ages 12 to adult; nonfiction. A sophisticated discussion of issues faced by students confronting a learning disability.

Adapted from: Ellen C. Perrin, MD Susan Starr, MEd Addressing Common Pediatric Concerns Through Children's Books. Pediatrics in Review. 2000;21:130-138. © 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics

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