Actor, director Henry Winkler uses his own childhood spent struggling as a dyslexic to inspire the stories in the Hank Zipzer series. Hank, a fourth grader lovingly known as an ‘underachiever,’ gets into his fair share of scrapes, but by embracing his differences he always figures out how to save the day.
Patricia Polacco was a young girl growing up in a Ukranian family who struggled to read until the age of 14. Finally, a teacher helped her both identify and work with her disability: dyslexia. After getting her MFA and doctorate in Art History, Polacco began writing and illustrating children’s books. “Thank you, Mr. Falker” is autobiographical and details the crucial help she received as a girl struggling to read.
In this novel for children in grades 4-6, Ally is a student gifted in math and an amazing artist. But she goes to great lengths to hide the fact that she can’t read. Fortunately, a new teacher at her school sees through Ally’s act and is able to help her with her reading disability.
“Dyslexia” explains, from a child’s point of view, what it’s like to have dyslexia and offers practical advice for children dealing with it. The books also covers famous people throughout history—like Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci—who struggled with dyslexia, but nevertheless became widely known for their achievements in the arts, sciences and other fields.
Catherine Hirschman provides an unflinching look into her life as an adult struggling with dyslexia. She describes how it has affected her relationships with friends and family. Hirschman is an accomplished academic, with degrees in art and early education. Her book is best for middle school students and parents.
BurnsBooks offer fiction books for beginning readers and teens. Geared toward students who struggle with reading, BurnsBooks feature “carefully controlled vocabulary and consistent use of rules.” Print sizes used in all BurnsBooks are larger and extra spacing between sentences aids readers.
You can order BurnsBooks through their web site: https://www.burnsbookspublishing.com
This British publishing house offers books, ‘commissioned, designed and edited’ to help get kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities interested in reading. For dyslexics, Barrington Stoke offers titles printed on cream paper, to help reduce glare and print their books on heavy paper stock, so the print from opposite pages doesn’t show through. Easy-to-read fonts also help young readers focus on comprehension instead of decoding.
Among the titles Barrington Stoke recommends for children 5-8: “The Snake Who Came to Stay,” “Young Wizards,” and “The Fish in the Bathtub.”
You can order Barrington Stoke books through their web site: http://www.barringtonstoke.co.uk/
Or find them on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nbkxv5f
Bookshare is an accessible reading platform, offering text-to-speech, digital braille and large print. The service is free to students of any age and for schools in the U.S. Bookshare has more than 300,000 titles ranging from Pulitzer Prize and Newberry Award winners to books for all reading levels.
Learning Through Listening
Learning Through Listening is offered through Learning Ally, a non-profit organization devoted to providing textbooks and fiction at all reading levels in digital audio formats. With membership comes access to one of the country’s largest collection of audio books. Learning Through Listening also offers lesson plans and activities to help teachers effectively work with audio books in the classroom.