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Autism: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about autism?

Around 1 in 68 children in the United States have Autism (CDC). We’ve pulled the best children’s books on the topic for you to enjoy and learn from. Whether you have a family member with Autism or not, these children’s books can help spread awareness and help stimulate empathy and understanding for those with Autism.

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We Could Be Heroes
Written by Margaret Finnegan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Shiloh meets Raymie Nightingale in this funny and heartwarming debut novel about a ten-year-old that finds himself in a whole mess of trouble when his new friend Maisie recruits him to save the dog next door. Hank Hudson is in a bit of trouble. After an incident involving the boy’s bathroom and a terribly sad book his teacher is forcing them to read, Hank is left with a week’s suspension and a slightly charred hardcover–and, it turns out, the attention of new girl Maisie Huang. Maisie has been on the lookout for a kid with the meatballs to help her with a very important mission: Saving her neighbor’s dog, Booler. Booler has seizures, and his owner, Mr. Jorgensen, keeps him tied to a tree all day and night because of them. It’s enough to make Hank even sadder than that book does–he has autism, and he knows what it’s like to be treated poorly because of something that makes you different. But different is not less. And Hank is willing to get into even more trouble to prove it. Soon he and Maisie are lying, brown-nosing, baking, and cow milking all in the name of saving Booler–but not everything is as it seems. Booler might not be the only one who needs saving. And being a hero can look a lot like being a friend.

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A Boy Called Bat
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Charles Santoso
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I absolutely adore this book. Bat is a wonderful, developed character that can really help children reading understand and have empathy for those on the Autism spectrum.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso. For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet. “This sweet and thoughtful novel chronicles Bat’s experiences and challenges at school with friends and teachers and at home with his sister and divorced parents. Approachable for younger or reluctant readers while still delivering a powerful and thoughtful story” (from the review by Brightly.com, which named A Boy Called Bat a best book of 2017).

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Day the World Stopped Turning
Written by Michael Morpurgo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Michael Morpurgo’s The Day the World Stopped Turning is a middle-grade novel about an extraordinary boy who sees the world differently. In the unique landscape of the Camargue (France) during World War II, Lorenzo lives among the salt flats and the flamingos. There are lots of things he doesn’t understand-but he does know how to heal animals, how to talk to them; the flamingos especially. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother. It’s there he meets Kezia, a Roma girl, who helps her parents run their carousel-and who shows him how to ride the wooden horse as the music plays. But then the German soldiers come, with their guns. Everything is threatened, everything is falling apart: the carousel, Kezia and her family, even Lorenzo’s beloved flamingos. Yet there are kind people even among soldiers, and there is always hope. . .

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The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Written by Julia Finley Mosca & illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low, if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should know… Meet Dr. Temple Grandin—one of the world’s quirkiest science heroes!

When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Temple herself!

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Chester and Gus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Critically acclaimed author Cammie McGovern presents a heartwarming and humorous middle grade novel about the remarkable bond that forms between an aspiring service dog and an autistic boy in need of a friend. “Joyful, inspiring, and completely winning, Chester and Gus is unforgettable,” proclaimed Katherine Applegate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Newbery Medal winner The One and Only Ivan.Chester has always wanted to become a service dog. When he fails his certification test, though, it seems like that dream will never come true–until a family adopts him. They want him to be a companion for their ten-year-old son, Gus, who has autism. But Gus acts so differently than anyone Chester has ever met. He never wants to pet Chester, and sometimes he doesn’t even want Chester in the room. Chester’s not sure how to help Gus since this isn’t exactly the job he trained for–but he’s determined to figure it out. Because after all, Gus is now his person.In the spirit of beloved classics like Because of Winn-Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller, Cammie McGovern’s heartfelt novel–told from Chester’s point of view–explores the extraordinary friendship between a child and a dog with a poignant and modern twist.

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  • Who Is Temple Grandin? - Autism did not stop her–in fact, it helped Temple Grandin become a brilliant scientist and inventor. Temple Grandin wasn’t officially diagnosed with autism until she was in her 40s, but she knew at an early age that she was different from her family and classmates. She couldn’t show affection, she acted out when noises or other stimuli overwhelmed her, and she only felt comfortable when spending time with the animals on her aunt’s ranch. But instead of seeing her differences as limitations, Temple used them to guide her education and career in animal science. She has become a leading advocate for the autistic as well as for the humane treatment of animals at meat packing companies. This inspiring biography by Patricia Brennan Demuth shines a light on Temple Grandin’s intellect, creativity, and unique spirit.

  • Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome - When Sam, a young boy who has trouble making friends at school, wanders away from home to the fair alone, his parents take him to the doctor where he is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

  • Mockingbird - Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.

  • All My Stripes - Zane rushes home to tell his mother about problems he faced during his school day, and she reminds him that while others may only see his “autism stripe,” he has stripes for honesty, caring, and much more.

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Planet Earth Is Blue
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

“Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut.” –Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me A heartrending and hopeful story about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish. Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger–it’s the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home. While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can’t express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova’s new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she’s counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she’ll see Bridget again. Because as Bridget said, “No matter what, I’ll be there. I promise.”

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The Space We're in
Written by Katya Balen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ten-year-old Frank has trouble navigating his relationship with his younger brother Max who is autistic.

Frank loves soccer, codes, riding his bike, and playing with his friends. His brother Max is five. Max only eats foods that are beige or white, hates baths, and if he has to wear a t-shirt that isn’t gray with yellow stripes he melts down down down.

Frank longs for the brother he was promised by his parents before Max was born—someone who was supposed to be his biggest fan, so he could be the best brother in the world. Instead, Frank has trouble navigating Max’s behavior and their relationship. But when tragedy strikes, Frank finds a way to try and repair their fractured family and in doing so learns to love Max for who he is.

In her debut novel, Katya Balen uses her knowledge of autism and experience working with autistic people to create an intriguing and intense yet always respectful family story.

For readers of Counting by 7s and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

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Al Capone Throws Me a Curve
Written & illustrated by Gennifer Choldenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Moose has his hands full during the summer of 1936 watching his autistic sister, Natalie, and the warden’s daughter, Piper, and trying to get on a baseball team by proving he knows Al Capone.

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Do You Know Me?
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this sequel to Can You See Me?, Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott return with another heartwarming and eye-opening story of friendship and middle school, inspired by Libby’s own experiences of autism.Everyone else in Tally’s grade seems excited for their class trip… And she knows she is supposed to be too. Ever since her classmates found out she is autistic, Tally has felt more comfortable being herself. But the end-of-year trip will be an entire week – her longest overnight trip ever. How will she sleep? What about all the bugs? What will her dog, Rupert, do without her at home?Though she decides she doesn’t want to miss out, bad news strikes as soon as she arrives: She isn’t bunking with her friend Aleksandra. Instead, she is rooming with her former friends and two girls from a neighboring school – who both reject Tally on day one.Tally isn’t sure she’ll ever make new friends. And how will she survive for so long away from home?Told through a mix of prose and diary entries, this authentic and relatable novel is about finding your people, and learning what it takes to be a true friend.

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How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine
Written by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville & illustrated by Giselle Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Giselle Potter come together to tell the inspiring story of autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin and her brilliant invention: the hug machine. As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn’t like hugs. Temple wanted to be held—but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug? Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn’t receive a hug, she would make one…she would build a hug machine!

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  • Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? - A big-hearted, beautiful, and funny novel told from multiple viewpoints about neurodiversity, friendship, and community from the award-winning author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, Leslie Connor.Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin’s best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn’t talk.Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive–“a big old blurter.” Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn’t make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she’s to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie? At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.Featuring a compelling mystery and a memorable voice, this is a natural next-read after Leslie Connor’s The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. Kids’ Indie Next Pick “Leslie Connor brilliantly depicts a genuine and meaningful friendship between a dynamic girl and her nonvocal friend. By showing the ways Aurora and Frenchie communicate, Connor gives us a blueprint for seeing autistic children in a new light. I loved, loved, loved this book!” –Cammie McGovern, author of Frankie and Amelia and Chester and Gus

  • Ethan's Story - “When Ethan Rice was four years old, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. He decided that he wanted to tell his first grade class that he had autism on his seventh birthday. His parents asked him many questions about what having autism felt like for him and wrote his answers down as a reference for when he told his class. Those answers are now published so more people can understand what it is like to have autism. While each child on the spectrum has unique challenges and strengths, Ethan’s Story; My Life with Autism is Ethan’s own story.”– P. [4] of cover.

  • Benji, the Bad Day, and Me - Sammy is having the absolute rottenest, worst day ever. His little brother, Benji, knows exactly what that’s like. Nothing seems to be going right for Sammy today. At school, he got in trouble for kicking a fence, then the cafeteria ran out of pizza for lunch. After he walks home in the pouring rain, he finds his autistic little brother Benji is having a bad day too. On days like this, Benji has a special play-box where he goes to feel cozy and safe. Sammy doesn’t have a special place, and he’s convinced no one cares how he feels or even notices him. But somebody is noticing, and may just have an idea on how to help Sammy feel better.In this tender story about siblings, author Sally J. Pla shares her experience of raising sons with different personality traits and needs. Benji, the Bad Day, and Me embraces the philosophy that we are all part of a wide spectrum of neurodiversity. And on those really bad, rotten days, you can always count on family to be there for you.

  • Everybody is Different - A book specifically designed to answer various questions that brothers and sisters of young people with autism may have, including “What is autism?”, “Is there a cure?,” and “Why does my brother or sister not look at me?”

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It's Hard to Be a Verb!
Written by Julia Cook & illustrated by Carrie Hartman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When Louis has trouble paying attention and sitting still, his mother has a few ideas to help him focus.

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Bat and the End of Everything
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Charles Santoso
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The third book in the funny and joyful series Katherine Applegate has called “tender and important,” by National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold.

Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat) has been the caretaker for Thor, the best skunk kit in the world…but the last day of third grade is quickly approaching, and Thor is almost ready to be released into the wild.

The end of school also means that Bat has to say good-bye to his favorite teacher, and he worries about the summer care of Babycakes, their adorable class pet. Not only that, but his best friend is leaving for a long vacation in Canada.

Summer promises good things, too, like working with his mom at the vet clinic and hanging out with his sister, Janie. But Bat can’t help but feel that everything is coming to an end.

National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold returns with the third story starring an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum.

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Team Players
Written & illustrated by Mike Lupica
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cassie must learn that you can’t “fix” someone else after a girl with Aspergers joins her softball team in the fourth and final book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica.

Cassie Bennett is great at being in charge. She always knows what to do to lead her teams to victory, keep her many groups of friends together, or fix any problem that comes her way. So when Sarah Milligan, an autistic girl with unreal softball skills, joins Cassie’s team, Cassie’s sure she can help her fit in with the team.

But before long it’s obvious that being around so many people is really hard for Sarah, and the more Cassie tries to reach out and involve her, the more Sarah pushes her away, sometimes literally. It doesn’t help that Cassie’s teammates aren’t as interested in helping Sarah as they are in making sure they make it to the new softball All-Star Tournament that’ll be televised just like the Little League World Series.

Soon no one besides Cassie seems to even want Sarah on the team anymore, and the harder Cassie tries to bring everyone together, the worse things seem to get. Cassie Bennett never backs down from a challenge, but can she realize that maybe the challenge isn’t fixing a problem in someone else, but in herself? Or will her stubbornness lead her to lose more than just softball games?

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Scarlet Ibis
Written & illustrated by Gill Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Twelve-year-old Scarlet doesn’t have an easy life. She’s never known her dad, her mom suffers from depression, and her younger brother Red has Asperger’s and relies heavily on her to make the world a safe place for him. Scarlet does this by indulging Red’s passion for birds, telling him stories about the day they’ll go to Trinidad and see all the wonderful birds there (especially his beloved Scarlet Ibis), saving her money to take him to the zoo, helping him collect bird feathers, and even caring for a baby pigeon who is nesting outside his window.But things with her mom are getting harder, and after a dangerous accident, Scarlet and Red are taken into foster care and separated. As Scarlet struggles to cope with the sudden changes in her life and her complex feelings towards her mom, the one thing she won’t give up on is finding Red. Nothing is going to get in her way—even if it might destroy the new possibilities offered to her by her foster family.

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Mighty Jack
Written & illustrated by Ben Hatke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made. In Mighty Jack, what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything…a dragon.

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  • Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! - In this perfectly pitched novel-in-letters, autistic eleven-year-old Vivy Cohen won’t let anything stop her from playing baseball–not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal. Vivy Cohen is determined. She’s had enough of playing catch in the park. She’s ready to pitch for a real baseball team. But Vivy’s mom is worried about Vivy being the only girl on the team, and the only autistic kid. She wants Vivy to forget about pitching, but Vivy won’t give up. When her social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone, Vivy knows exactly who to choose: her hero, Major League pitcher VJ Capello. Then two amazing things happen: A coach sees Vivy’s amazing knuckleball and invites her to join his team. And VJ starts writing back! Now Vivy is a full-fledged pitcher, with a catcher as a new best friend and a steady stream of advice from VJ. But when a big accident puts her back on the bench, Vivy has to fight to stay on the team.

  • Tournament of Champions - The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It’s spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn’t like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn’t seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he’s never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He’s supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert’s cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert’s energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children’s Book Council

  • A Whole New Ballgame - Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn’t believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more “off” the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other—and find ways to make a difference—in the classroom and on the court. With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.

  • Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes - Profiles twenty famous individuals who may have been autistic, including Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, Dian Fossey, and Glen Gould.

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The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family
Written by Sarah Kapit
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Fans of the Penderwicks and the Vanderbeekers, meet the Finkel family in this middle grade novel about two autistic sisters, their detective agency, and life’s most consequential mysteries. When twelve-year-old Lara Finkel starts her very own detective agency, FIASCCO (Finkel Investigation Agency Solving Consequential Crimes Only), she does not want her sister, Caroline, involved. She and Caroline don’t have to do everything together. But Caroline won’t give up, and when she brings Lara the firm’s first mystery, Lara relents, and the questions start piling up. But Lara and Caroline’s truce doesn’t last for long. Caroline normally uses her tablet to talk, but now she’s busily texting a new friend. Lara can’t figure out what the two of them are up to, but it can’t be good. And Caroline doesn’t like Lara’s snooping–she’s supposed to be solving other people’s crimes, not spying on Caroline! As FIASCCO and the Finkel family mysteries spin out of control, can Caroline and Lara find a way to be friends again?

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Slider
Written by Pete Hautman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Competitive eating vies with family expectations in a funny, heartfelt novel for middle-grade readers by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman. David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.

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Too Sticky!: Sensory Issues with Autism
Written by & illustrated by Jen Malia and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Holly loves doing experiments and learning new things in science class! But when she finds out the next experience is making slime, she’s worried. Slime is made with glue, and glue is sticky. Holly has sensory issues because of her autism and doesn’t like anything sticky! With help from family and her teacher, Holly receives the accommodations and encouragement she needs to give slime a try.

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Rules
Written & illustrated by Cynthia Lord
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.

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The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee
Written by Barry Jonsberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Candice Phee isn’t a typical twelve-year-old girl. She has more than her fair share of quirks, but she also has the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to make sure everyone around her is happy—which is no easy feat when dealing with a pet fish with an identity crisis, a friend who believes he came from another dimension, an age-old family feud, and a sick mom. But she is on a mission. Her methods might be unique, but Candice will do whatever it takes to restore order to her world and make sure everyone is absolutely, categorically happy again.

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  • Looking After Louis - When a new boy with autism joins their classroom, the children try to understand his world and to include him in theirs.

  • After the Worst Thing Happens - Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident, 12-year-old Army Morand channels her grief to help someone in need. Army Morand feels like her life has been blown to bits when the worst thing imaginable happens–her beloved dog dies. It was an accident, but it was also Army’s fault. She can’t seem to stop hiding from everything and everybody including her best friend JennaLouise. But then Army sees Madison, the little girl who moved in across the way, climbing a tree and walking down the street unsupervised. Her family is not neglectful, just overwhelmed. Army finds herself overcome with the need to help Madison’s family to make sure another worst thing doesn’t happen–which becomes even more challenging when a big storm threatens her town. After the Worst Thing Happens is a bittersweet story about a girl surprised by the force of a growing need inside her to reach out and lend a hand while trying to escape the swirling sadness of her own sudden loss. In the end, it is about finding love and hope and friendship in very surprising places.

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - A bestselling modern classic–both poignant and funny–about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor’s dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world.Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

  • Anything But Typical - Told from the first-person perspective of an autistic boy, Nora Raleigh Baskin’s novel is an enlightening story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in. Jason Blake is an autistic twelve-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is. By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy’s struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

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Slug Days
Written by Sara Leach & illustrated by Rebecca Bender
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

A charismatic illustrated novel about the ups and downs of school and home life for one little girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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A Friend for Henry
Written by Jenn Bailey & illustrated by Mika Song
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
I love the unique perspective this story is told from and the way that both the text and illustrations convey that perspective in a way that's relatable and creates empathy for Henry's point of view, and the opportunity it provides to teach other children how it may feel to have autism. Plus it's a great little story about making friends!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.

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Al Capone Does My Shirts
Written & illustrated by Gennifer Choldenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister Natalie. A Newbery Honor Book & ALA Notable Book. Reprint. Jr Lib Guild & Children’s BOMC.

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My Brother Charlie
Written by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

“Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.” But as his big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty more things that he’s good at. He knows the names of all the American presidents. He knows stuff about airplanes. And he can even play the piano better than anyone he knows.

Actress and national autism spokesperson Holly Robinson Peete collaborates with her daughter on this book based on Holly’s 10-year-old son, who has autism.

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Ian's Walk: A Story about Autism
Written by Laurie Lears & illustrated by Karen Ritz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

When her autistic little brother, Ian, wanders off while on a walk to the park, Julie must try to see the world through his eyes in order to find him. Full color.

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  • The Prince Who Was Just Himself - Lacking the athletic and reading skills of his older brothers, Prince Noah uses love and compassion to save the kingdom from the Black Knight.

  • Cooper and the Big Apple - Follow Cooper and his adventurous companion Jennifer as they travel from the Texas Hill Country to the Big Apple! Cooper the cat is purrfectly content with his life in Texas. So when his best friend Jennifer tells him they’re taking a trip to New York City, he’s not really sure what all the fuss is about. But, like a good friend, he embarks on the new adventure with her. Jennifer takes Cooper to climb the Statue of Liberty, to visit the Stock Exchange, and to attend a Broadway musical, and to see many other New York City landmarks. At each new location, Cooper realizes the Big Apple is not what he expected and even more than he imagined!

  • We're Amazing 1, 2, 3! - This story stars Elmo, Abby, and their friend Julia, who has autism. Together, the three pals have a delightful playdate.

  • A Friend Like Simon - “When a new boy joins Matthew’s school, he’s just not sure if he wants a friend like Simon. But a school trip to the funfair soon helps to change his mind”–Page 4 of cover.

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I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism
Written & illustrated by Pat Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“This book will help children understand what autism is and how it affects someone who has it.”

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Tacos Anyone? An Autism Story
Written by Marvie Ellis & illustrated by Jenny Loehr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Summary: Michael is a four year old boy with autism. His older brother, Thomas, doesn’t understand why Michael behaves the way he does. The therapist teaches Thomas how to play with Michael, making sibling time fun again. This fully color illustrated, bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s book is written for young readers, parents, siblings, family members, and professionals who work with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Recipient of the 2005 Barbara Jordan Media Award.

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My Brother Otto
Written by Meg Raby & illustrated by Elisa Pallmer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This engaging picture book shows everyday life with little crow siblings when one of them is on the autism spectrum. My Brother Otto is a child-friendly, endearing, and fun picture book for children about the love, acceptance, and understanding a sister, Piper, has for her little brother Otto, who is on the autism spectrum. The book provides explanations for Otto’s differences and quirkiness in an easy-to-understand language, and highlights Otto’s desires for adventure and love–just like his peers. To be more specific, My Brother Otto is a sweet story about a sister and a brother who engage in common, everyday experiences in their own unique way with the idea that kindness and understanding always win! Meg Raby holds a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology with a certification in Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and has several years of experience working with children ages 2-17 on the autism spectrum. Meg recently started a booming handle on Instagram, called @bedtime.stories.forevermore, promoting literacy and highlighting only the best in children’s books. This is her first book. Elisa Pallmer studied design at Escuela de Diseño del INBA and English Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her focus is on illustrations for children, and she lives in Mexico City.

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My Friend with Autism
Written by Beverly Bishop & illustrated by Craig Bishop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Children describe what makes their autistic friend different but also explain the activities at which he excels, in a book with coloring pages and resources for parents and educators on a CD-ROM.

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Most Valuable Players
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

With their fifth grade graduation only weeks away, Rip, Red, and the rest of their classmates must decide if boycotting a test is worth forfeiting their graduation gala and the opportunity to play with Hoops Machine, a Harlem Globetrotters-like team.

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