8 amazing books, and why you should have them in your classroom.

Finding great books can be hard, especially when you have a full schedule. So, where can you find the BEST recommendations? It’s no secret that librarians are a great resource when it comes to discovering fabulous new reads. So, here’s a list of amazing books and why you should have them in your classroom or home library, by your friendly kidlit writer, blogger, and librarian!

Book #1: Four Eyes by ReX oGLE, illustrated by dAVE vALEZA

“An adolescent masterpiece that bravely and honestly expresses the dilemmas of early tween years; from family, to friendships, and everything in between.”

Book details: Middle Grade- Juvenile Graphic Novel, Grades 3-7,

Graphic novels are one of the hottest, fastest selling items in the current literary market- and there’s more than one reason why. Not only are they filled with fun, engaging images to help perk your child’s imagination, they’re often geared to a dialogue filled text that moves quickly from page to page. This fast pace, conversational approach keeps kids interested in reading. They’re especially terrific for kids who are apprehensive to read by nature. So, if you have a child between the ages 8-12 who’s struggling with reading, graphic novels may be the perfect tool for you.


  • Disabilities
  • Navigating family/friend relationships
  • Bullying
  • Coming of age

Buy it here!

Book #2 Fungus Is Among Us! by Joy Keller, illustrated by Erica Salcedo

A lively scientific adventure through the outdoors, told in rhyme!

Book details: Picture Book – Informational Fiction, Grade level 1-2, Reading ages 5-10

Getting kids excited about science at a young age is one of the best ways to educate them about their surroundings. And what better way to grab their interest than by incorporating fun lyrical language, humor, and bright images? If you’re looking for a NON boring romp through science, this book is definitely for you!


  • Bright colored, fun illustrations to grab your child’s attention
  • Incorporates science and education
  • Story told in lyrical rhyme
  • Lots of fun facts about mushrooms

Buy it here!

Book #3 Anglerfish The Seadevil of the Deep, by Elaine M. Alexander, illustrated by Fiona Fog

“A deep dive into the mysterious life of the anglerfish.”

Book details: Non-Fiction Picture Book, Reading age 4-8, Preschool- 3rd grade

How much do you know about the anglerfish? Probably, not that much. And it’s no surprise why. Anglerfish aren’t a hugely common topic. Why? Well, for starters, they live way down at the bottom of the ocean. So, most of us will never come in contact with one. But, for the few who have, there’s still not much written about them. If you’re curious about learning about this mysterious seadevil of the deep, you won’t want to miss this read.


  • Fun fish & ocean facts for animal & nature lovers!
  • Science & life cycles
  • Great vocabulary words and their definitions
  • Dramatic, vivid illustrations

Buy it here!


“A story shrouded in mystery, set in a city library; and a collection of spunky, lovable, and unlikely heroes…”

Book details: Middle Grade, Mystery/Light Fantasy/Fiction, Reading age 10-14, Grade level 5-9

This book was a no brainer for me. My reasons? 1. It’s setting takes place in a library. 2. That title?! I had to know more. 3. Raccoons! and 4. I love Jessixa Bagley. So, those were the beginning reasons as to why I picked this book up. Since the first time I read it, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. I’ve purchased a copy for myself, multiple for my library, and a few for friends. If you love stories shrouded in mystery, with a dash of historic justice, sentimental love of libraries, and spunky heroines and unlikely friendships… pick it up today!

Things you’ll find in this book:

  • Mysteries & unlikely heroes
  • Newly formed friendships
  • Spunky, determined characters
  • A city library setting

Buy it here!

Book #5 cHEF eDNA: Quueen of Southern Cooking, Edna Lewis, by Melvina Noel, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

“A story about following your dreams… perfect for young readers aspiring to become chefs.”

Book details: Youth Picture Book Biography, Ages 4-8, Grades Preschool-3rd

For illustration alone… I don’t know how you couldn’t LOVE this story. But, looking beyond the brilliance of the artwork – and it is brilliant- this book is a beautiful ode to the life of Edna Lewis.


  • Biography of Edna Lewis’s life
  • Food and cooking
  • History & traditions
  • Beautiful illustrations

Book #6 Mara Hears in Style, by Terri Clemmons, illustrated by Lucy Rogers

“An inclusive picture book that represents a young child with a hearing impairment.”

Book details: Picture Book, ages 4-8

There’s no way I could NOT be excited about sharing this book. And not just because the author is none other than one of my *amazing* critique partners, Terri Clemmons! But, this book is deeply special to me, as someone who has deaf family members. Growing up, it’s hard to remember seeing stories told from the perspective of children with disabilities- least of all with beautiful illustrations like this! Having inclusive stories in the classroom and in libraries is SO important for children to be able to see themselves in books. While we’re on the topic of inclusive children’s literature, that brings me to my next highly recommended read…

**This book is scheduled to release on February 27th of 2024, but is available for pre-order now. Keep your eyes peeled for the March Feature Interview. I’ll be interviewing the author about her books, writing journey, and tips on how to keep busy and stay sane as a kidlit writer. **


  • Children with disabilities, hearing impairments
  • Building new friendships at school
  • Inclusive perspective & diverse characters
  • Lovely illustrations

Buy it here!

Book #7 ADHD AND ME, by Chelsea DiCicco

“A neurodiverse story about appreciating your differences for what they are… gifts.”

Book details: Picture Book, ages 4-8

Being on the neurodivergent spectrum with A.D.H.D. I of course love seeing literature on the shelves that embrace learning differences in kids across all spectrums. This book is an excellent resource for classrooms and family discussion for a multitude of different reasons. One thing I love about this story is that it’s told from the perspective of a neurodiverse eight-year-old girl. Throughout the story, she expresses the thoughts and feelings she experiences inside her mind, as well as what she observes of others and how they feel – recognizing not just her own set of challenges, but those of her peers, teachers, and family members.

Something that makes this book an especially great resource for classrooms is the added bonus material, author’s note, and resources available at the end of the book, designed for parents and educators, that discusses how to help your child have a successful support system. And don’t forget the extra free educational downloads, like the coinciding lesson plan, coloring sheets, spot the difference pages, and much more on the author’s website, under teacher corner. (Yes, that’s MY website!)


  • Building empathy & understanding toward yourself & others
  • Neurodiverse characters, ADHD & AUTISM SPECTRUM
  • Caring for physical, emotional, and mental health
  • Family relationships & friendships

Buy it here!

Book #8 Me And Marvin Gardens, by Amy Sarig King

“An imaginative, eco-friendly story for nature and animal lovers; with a nice nod to history and science.”

Book details: Middle Grade Fiction, Reading age 8-11, Grade level 3-7

This was such an interesting read. New species discovered. Love of science and history of land, heritage, and rocks. Lots of perspectives shown between family relationships and growth of friendship. Truly a wonderful adolescent coming of age story for boys. (Overall, a great read for everyone!)

I loved hearing Obe’s story about his Devlin family farm and getting to enjoy the creek with him. I especially enjoyed being a part of his friendship with Annie. And I thought the author did an AMAZING job of weaving history into this story and adding just the perfect touch of world building. The tender scenes on the school bus and out in nature were just the cherry on the cupcake of this for me. It was so refreshing to see so many angles of perspectives from different families and how each person deals with loss, embarrassment, and shame differently. Just a really powerful story to make you think about more than just yourself… but the bigger part you can play in making a positive difference.

This book would be especially wonderful for classrooms for it’s exploration of science and history.


  • Ecosystems, planet health & recycling
  • Family relationships
  • Friendships & bullying
  • Science & history

Buy it here!

AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH: book recommendations!

Hello, hello!

As many of my neurodiverse friends know, April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH. 

Being neurodiverse myself, and being a librarian, of course, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by… I just had to come up with a list of wonderful books for the occasion. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I decided to branch out on all spectrums of neurodiversity.

So, without further ado, here are over 100 book recommendations, ranging from children's picture books and middle-grade stories, teen and young adult fiction and adult reads!
For Children’s Picture Books 

1.	Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata
2.	ADHD and Me by Chelsea DiCicco
3.	All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer
4.	How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
5.	It Was Supposed to Be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill
6.	Juan Has the Jitters! by Aneta Cruz
7.	The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
8.	Big Truck Play Date by Laurie Carmody
9.	Rowdy in the Library by Yvonne Fletcher
10.	Cory Stories: A Kid's Book About Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus
11.	The Playground Problem: a Book about Anxiety by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
12.	The Perfect Project: a Book about Autism by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
13.	The Classroom Mystery: a Book about ADHD by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway
14.	My Friend has Autism by Amanda F. Doering
15.	Some Kids Have Autism by Martha Rustad
16.	Aurora's Gift: Children's Autism Awareness Book for Kids by Emily Bunny
17.	A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey
18.	Dyslexia (A True Book: Health) (Library Edition) by Ann O. Squire
19.	Balloons by Rainbow Mosho
20.	Dyslexia: My Health Series by Alvin Silverstein
21.	The Abilities in Me: ADHD by Gemma Keir
22.	Dyslexic Brains Are Beautiful Brains by Kaitlin McCartny
23.	My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders
24.	A Walk in the Words by Hudson Talbott
25.	Different- A Great Thing to Be! By Heather Avis
26.	When Things Get Too Loud: A Story About Sensory Overload by Anne Alcott
27.	When Oliver Speaks by Kimberly Garvin
28.	Me is Awesome: The Story of my Dyspraxic World (Dyspraxia) by Terri Lamberton
29.	My Friend Josh has DCD: A Picture Book to Help Your Child Understand Developmental Coordination Disorder by Christine R Draper
30.	What Your Friend With Apraxia Wants You To Know by Laura T Bruno
31. Masterpiece: An Inclusive Kids Books Celebrating a Child on the Autism Spectrum by Alexandra Hoffman
32.	Beyond Words: A Child's Journey Through Apraxia by Dana Hall
33.	My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete
34.	Dyslexic Legends Alphabet by Beck Feiner
35.	Mindfulness Workbook for Kids with ADHD: Engaging Activities to Help Children Clam, Focus, Self-Regulate, and to Promote Health and Wellness in Children by Jennie Miller
36. Finding My Superpower: A book for dyslexic thinkers by Sarah Prestidge
For Children’s Middle-Grade

1.	The Spaghetti Detectives by Andreas Steinhöfel
2.	A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin
3.	The Brave by James Bird
4.	Tune it Out by Jamie Sumner
5.	The Summer of June by Jamie Sumner
6.	Roll With It by Jamie Sumner
7.	One Kid's Trash by Jamie Sumner
8.	Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught
9.	Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Twenty-First Century Medical Library) by Bruce Hyman
10.	The Autism Acceptance book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin
11.	Best Kept Secret : The Third Generation by Ann M Martin
12.	Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery
13.	Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor by Temple Grandin
14.	Get a Grip by Cohen Vivy 
15.	Real by Carol Cujec
16.	Bad Best Friend by Rachel Vail
17.	The Someday Birds by Sally Pla
18.	The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
19.	Can you see me? by Libby Scott
20.	A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll
21.	Nobody's perfect by Marlee Matlin
22.	Superstar by Mandy Davis
23. Focused by Alyson Gerber
24. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
25. Wonder
 by R. J. Palacio 
26. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
For Young Adult/Teens

1.	Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe
2.	Stuff That's Loud: A Teen's Guide To Unspiraling When Ocd Gets Noisy Ben Sedley
3.	Obsessed: A Memoir Of My Life With OCD by Allison Britz
4.	Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
5.	Six goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger 
6.	The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
7.	Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
8.	The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Wones Tomp
9.	The Anxiety Survival Guide For Teens : CBT Skills To Overcome Fear, Worry & Panic by Jennifer Shannon
10.	Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
11.	A List of Cages by Robin Roe
12.	Slider by Pete Hautman
13.	Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer
14.	Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl
15.	The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide : How to Grow up Awesome and Autistic by Siena Castellon
16. The Social Survival Guide for Teens on the Autism Spectrum: How to Make Friends and Navigate Your Emotions 
by Lindsey Sterling 
17. The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens
 by Yenn Purkis
For Adults

1.	A Thorn In My Pocket: Temple Grandin's mother tells the family story by Eustacia Cutler 
2.	Down Syndrome by Salvatore Tocci
3.	Just This Side of Normal by Elizabeth Gerlach
4.	Unraveling The ADD/ADHD by Fiasco: Successful Parenting Without Drugs by David Stein
5.	Finding Ben : A Mother's Journey Through the Maze of Asperger's By Barbara LaSalle
6.	Louder than Words : A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism by Jenny McCarthy,
7.	The Asperger's Answer Book : The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask by Susan Ashley
8.	Thinking in pictures : And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin
9.	Visual Thinking : The Hidden Gifts Of People Who Think In Pictures, Patterns, And Abstractions by Temple Grandin
10.	Unraveling The Mystery Of Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorder : A Mother's Story Of Research And Recovery by Karyn Seroussi
11.	With the Light : Raising An Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe
12.	Neurotribes : The Legacy Of Autism And The Future Of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
13.	Getting the Best for Your Child With Autism: An Expert's Guide To Treatment by Bryna Siegel
14.	ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says by Russell Barkley
15.	The Autism Sourcebook: Everything You Need To Know About Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping, And Healing by Karen Siff Exkorn
16.	OCD : A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Michael A. Tompkins
17.	Against Medical Advice : A True Story by James Patterson
18.	The Brain That Changes Itself : Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
19.	Asperger's Syndrome : A Guide For Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood
20. LIVING WITH OCD: Triumph over Negative Emotions, Obsessive Thoughts, and Compulsive Behaviors (The OCD Breakthrough Series) by CROSS BORDER BOOKS
21.	Developing Talents : Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-Functioning Autism by Temple Grandin
22. Talking ADHD - The Breakthrough Guide To Understanding, Empowering, and Communicating Without Judgement 
by Esther Goldberg 
23.	Dyspraxia Developmental Co-ordination Disorder by Dr. Amanda Kirby
24. Mindful Parenting for Autistic Children: Understand ASD, Overcome the Challenges, and Successfully Parent Children with Autism Through Practical DBT Skills and Mindfulness Activities
 by Catherine L. Abbott 
25. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Simple Techniques to Instantly Be Happier, Find Inner Peace, and Improve Your Life
 by Olivia Telford 
26. Unlocking Happiness with ADHD: Learning to Thrive with Practical Exercises; Developing A Healthy and Fulfilling Life Style 
by D.W. Sawyer
27. Women with ADHD: The Complete Guide to Stay Organized, Overcome Distractions, and Improve Relationships. Manage Your Emotions, Finances, and Succeed in Life 
by Sarah Davis

A few other honorable mentions:

1. Listening to My Body: A guide to helping kids understand the connection between their sensations (what the heck are those?) and feelings so that they can get better at figuring out what they need by Gabi Garcia
2. Find Your Calm: A Mindful Approach To Relieve Anxiety And Grow Your Bravery (Growing Heart & Minds) by Gabi Garcia
3. Acceptance is my Superpower: A children’s Book about Diversity and Equality (My Superpower Books) by Alicia Ortego
4. Teen Girls Anxiety Survival Guide: 10 Techniques to Overcoming Teen Girls Anxiety, Worries, Social Stress, Academic Pressures and Social Media by R ROBINSON 
5. The Highly Sensitive: How to Find Inner Peace, Develop Your Gifts, and Thrive by Judy Dyer 
Interested in learning more about Autism Awareness Month and what it means? 
Check out some of these cool articles below!

Autism Awareness Month Highlights Connection Between ASD and ADHD

World Autism Awareness Day 2023: History, Significance, Theme and Important facts on Autism

World Autism Awareness Day

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