Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dyslexia: Books to help children enjoy reading

To celebrate the upcoming World Book Day on 23rd april, so what better day than this to focus on books that can help children understand dyslexia and also books that might help dyslexic children experience the joy of reading.

What to look for when choosing books for young dyslexic readers;

• for younger children, look for colourful and engaging illustrations. It breaks up the text into more manageable pieces.

• short sentences are best

• as is clear and bold fonts

• look for chapters or stories that aren’t too long

• a subject that will engage the children and encourage them to visualise

Books that help explain dyslexia to children

It’s Called Dyslexia (Live and Learn Series) by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

This book is an illustrated picture storybook told from a child’s point of view, that encourage kids never to be afraid of a challenge. The child in this story knows the alphabet, but she sometimes has trouble putting all the letters together to read words.

No matter how hard she tries, she often mixes up the letters or writes them backwards. She’s unhappy until her teacher explains that she has dyslexia, and that she can be helped to read and write correctly. There is also a parent’s section at the back of the book.

My Name Is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt

The story that sets out of offer hope to dyslexic children through the central character of Brian, Brian is really smart he just learns differently. The book starts by telling the story of a boy who has dyslexia but does not know it. The other children at Brian’s school make fun of him because he makes many mistakes when reading aloud and while writing on the board.

His parents believe that he is just lazy. However a caring teacher recognises the symptoms of dyslexia and sets out to get Brian the help he needs. Brian is embarrassed that he needs the extra help in school. After Brian’s teacher begins to explain dyslexia more to him, he begins to understand that he needs the extra help simply because his brain learns differently.

So You Think You’ve Got Problems? by Rosalind Birkett

This easy-to-read book is for dyslexic children of all ages. It explains, simply and sympathetically, what is happening to them, and how they can be helped to overcome their problems. It also attempts to show children that they are not alone in their difficulties, and that there are others with the same problems. The aim of this colourful book is to put dyslexia into perspective, particularly for a child, but for parents also.

Books that dyslexic children may enjoy reading

Chrysalis Book series

Chrysalis Children’s Books has introduced READ™, a special new typeface used in educational books that makes reading more accessible to children. READ’s specially designed letter shapes and even letter spacing make books more inviting for all children. READ™ is particularly helpful for young readers, reluctant readers and of course readers with dyslexia.

Books include series on Wild Animals, How Things Have Changed, The Senses, A First Look at Art, Sing and Play, Everyday Food, and Little Hands.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss Geissel

Written in buoyant easy-to-read prose. This book uses phonics and rhyming in a way children find fun and enjoyable. It can raise the confidence in reluctant readers, as they are small books they can read all the way through all by themselves.

Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson is one of the most popular childrens' authors ever. Her genius lies in getting inside children’s heads, convincingly capturing their voices and feelings.

Nick Sharratt’s simple illustrations punctuate the chapters and help explain the story.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

In this book, the narrator is involved throughout the gripping story which makes an interesting read. It is well written and action-packed. It’s not a long book, so it’s great for reluctant readers.

Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon

Funny books reluctant and struggling readers respond well to. The adventures of that most horrible kid, Horrid Henry have short and easy to manage chapters, and brilliantly illustrated.

Slam by Nick Hornby

This book is a good coming of age novel, especially for boys. An excellent story with some hilarious moments. The central character Sam loves music and skateboarding and has met a girl, things in which the reader can relate to.

There is also the adventure book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians written Rick Riordan, in which the central character is dyslexic and a superhero.

The first book The Lightning Thief has recently been made in to a blockbuster movie, making it the perfect time to introduce the stories to your children.

Click on the picture to play the video trailer and go to the Percy Jackson webpage.

I hope you and your family enjoy reading together and that this list helps you.

NB: The links on this page are mainly to Amazon's online bookstore and other third party sites, this is not in any way a recommendation for Amazon or any other sites, but simply a matter for convenience, for both myself and you, the reader.


  1. Great list of books! I teach children with dyslexia and agree with your choices. May I suggest another book? It's called Words Aren't Fair by Martha Biery and it was written to help kids with dyslexia understand the funky nature of English as it relates to reading, especially helping kids understand the hard words. My students have found the book very encouraging.
    Check it out on Amazon. M.Biery