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Recommend books that have protagonists with learning disabilities

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ShannonH

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Could you list the novel and the type of learning diability. Thanks!
#1 - June 21, 2010, 08:39 AM

Jack Gantos JOEY PIGZA books are about a spunky boy with ADHD (and it runs in his family).

Sara Pennypacker's CLEMENTINE books feature a spunky girl with ADHD, but it does NOT run in her family.

Rick Riordan's PERCY JACKSON books feature a boy who has dyslexia and is also ADHD, who learns that he's the son of the Greek god, Poseidon.
#2 - June 21, 2010, 09:03 AM

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Emily, So Good ... I'm blanking on the exact title and the author's name but it's a first person narrative about a girl who is mentally disabled. Great voice.

Vijaya
#3 - June 21, 2010, 10:45 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
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I have not read these books so I cannot recommend them, but Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonz) and Lin Oliver have co-authored a MG series about a character named Hank Zipzer, based on Winkler's own struggles as a kid with dyslexia. Might be worth checking out.
#4 - June 21, 2010, 11:02 AM
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More of a YA, "Marcelo in the Real World."  Marcelo has a form of Asperger's.  Great book. 
#5 - June 21, 2010, 12:12 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, EMERGENCY KITTENS!
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I read one of the Hank Zipzer books and thought it was great.
#6 - June 21, 2010, 04:51 PM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

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Jordan Sonnenblick's AFTER EVER AFTER stars an enchanting 8th grader who struggles with his schoolwork (esp math) because of brain damage incurred from the methotrexate he took when he had leukemia several years earlier. It's the first anti-standardized testing book I've read.
#7 - June 21, 2010, 05:53 PM

Andypar2

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I read Flowers for Algernon in ninth grade and was very moved by the character's journey. The protagonist begins with an IQ around 70, then through a scientific experiment slowly becomes a genius. Eventually, the effects diminish until he is back to his original IQ.
#8 - June 21, 2010, 08:24 PM

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I read Flowers for Algernon in ninth grade and was very moved by the character's journey. The protagonist begins with an IQ around 70, then through a scientific experiment slowly becomes a genius. Eventually, the effects diminish until he is back to his original IQ.

Oh, just reading your summary makes me feel the heartbreak all over again.
Vijaya
#9 - June 21, 2010, 10:47 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
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SAHARA SPECIAL - the mc is in special ed at school

THE INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME - asperger syndrome (structured learning at school)

I also suspect Asperger Syndrome in a few other MCs (but it is not mentioned in text and I am not qualified to diagnose literary characters!!)

I feel like I'm forgetting a few titles...need to sleep on it!

#10 - June 22, 2010, 03:22 PM
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ShannonH

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Thanks! There seems to be quite a bit of dyslexia and asperger syndrome. I'm looking forward to diving in to the suggestions.
#11 - June 24, 2010, 12:56 PM

Not sure if anyone mentioned Patricia Reilly Giff, but her book Eleven has a m.c. with dyslexia... and some of her older ones, like the series about Richard Best (The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room, et al) also deal with kids who struggle with reading.
#12 - July 03, 2010, 02:46 PM

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THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS (by Jacqueline J. Houtman) is a middle-grade novel in which the main character seems to be dealing with a form of autism (I don't think it's ever specifically labeled.) He's quite good at science, but his difficulties are in reading social and emotional cues, and dealing with sensory overload. Great book.
#13 - July 03, 2010, 04:48 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard
www.jenniferhubbard.com

Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
Until It Hurts to Stop
Try Not to Breathe
The Secret Year

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass is about a girl with synesthesia, and the difficulties it causes her in school, with friendships, etc.
#14 - July 04, 2010, 02:35 AM
critically-yours.blogspot.com

blythe

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Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley. Autism. In addition to Livvie herself, her classmates are characters who are not neurotypical.

Harmonic Feedback. Tara Kelly.  Asperger.

One thing that makes these books stand out is that the authors are drawing on experience. I agree that there are a lot of new books about asperger and autism--but as a mom with kids on the spectrum I can tell you similar books were hard to find a few years ago.

Another book I would recommend is The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. It is sci-fi and not explicitly for young readers, but it is a masterpiece.
#15 - July 04, 2010, 06:15 AM

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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. He was either autistic or aspergers. Can't remember which any more. Great voice, and gave a great feeling for how the character thought and why.

Really good book. It was a required reading book for our son's class in high school.

edited to add*** Didn't notice that this was a middle grade thread. Curious Incident... is YA, I would think.

anita
#16 - July 04, 2010, 08:40 AM
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 08:42 AM by anita »

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DORP DEAD by Julia Cunningham.  The protagonist has dyslexia.
#17 - July 04, 2010, 09:12 AM
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RULES
by Cynthia Lord (autism)
#18 - July 04, 2010, 08:14 PM

RyanBruner

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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. He was either autistic or aspergers. Can't remember which any more. Great voice, and gave a great feeling for how the character thought and why.

Really good book. It was a required reading book for our son's class in high school.

edited to add*** Didn't notice that this was a middle grade thread. Curious Incident... is YA, I would think.

anita

Absolutely wonderful book...but I don't think it was YA nor MG, but simply considered part of the adult market. I can easily see it appealing to the YA, though, since the MC is fifteen with Asperger's.   
#19 - July 06, 2010, 08:47 AM

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Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin.   (Autistic MC)
#20 - July 06, 2010, 11:06 PM

jenniferfisher

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Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman. The MC has cerebral palsy, not a learning disability, but the pov is one of a kind.

#21 - September 18, 2010, 06:10 PM

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Asperger's and autism are not learning disabilities and as Jennifer noted, neither is cerebral palsy.

Asperger's and autism are developmental disorders.
#22 - September 18, 2010, 06:50 PM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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Asperger's and autism are not learning disabilities and as Jennifer noted, neither is cerebral palsy.

Asperger's and autism are developmental disorders.

Right but I mentioned it because the title I gave the student had structured learning for social interactions at school.

As Am pointed out ... NOT learning disabilities...

I've know many kiddos with these dx (CP and ASD) that are in gifted ed at school!
#23 - September 19, 2010, 12:09 PM
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a wonderful book. Although the protagonist has Asperger's (rather than a learning disability), it's still definitely worth a read.

We studied it in English class and it has stayed with me much more than other books I studied in High School. I think it's important that the protagonist is written as a real person to whom we can relate -- not just a stereotype.

However, I don't think I would classify it as a MG book. As others have noted, it is a YA/ adult novel.
#24 - December 06, 2010, 02:05 AM
MG/ YA Fantasy from PRH (Aus):

* ƇᕼAᔕIƝG ƬHƐ ѴALLƐƳ trilogy (2013-2014)
* Tɧe HµSɧ (2015)
* Aℊeηt NøмAⅾ series (2017)

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I'm not sure if there are any that haven't already been mentioned here, but Amie Borst at From the Mixed-Up Files wrote an entire post about these kinds of books, and added her list of go-to titles.  There are some suggestions in the comments, too.

http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/2010/09/learning-differences-in-middle-grade/
#25 - December 06, 2010, 07:01 AM

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Neither is synesthesia a learning disability.
#26 - December 06, 2010, 12:48 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
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 My Name Is Brain/Brian. Dyslexia.
#27 - December 08, 2010, 05:48 PM
Stacy Barnett Mozer
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http://sportygirlbooks.blogspot.com

This came out a while ago but it deals with a high schooler who is "special ed" in a mainstream school (I can't recall his specific disability). It's called Probably Still Nick Swansen and it's by Virginia Euwer Wolff.
#28 - December 08, 2010, 06:41 PM

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