Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino (ages 3-7)
A simple and realistic portrayal of a gender non-conforming character’s struggle at school.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (ages 3 to 8)
Beautiful book about a young boy with mermaid aspirations. Love’s gorgeous illustrations provide endless opportunities for discussion and discovery. Wonderful “point of entry” text to examine gender roles and expectations with young children.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman (ages 3-8)
The author of the well-known Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman has several books about LGBTQ families. This one takes a somewhat heavy-handed approach about a gender non-conforming character, but the book’s clear, unwavering messages of support and acceptance are heartening.
“How Do I Talk To My Preschooler About Identity?,” Planned Parenthood
Tips from PP on how to think about, prepare for, and facilitate conversations around gender with small children. Also provides thought-provoking opportunities for self-reflection on gendered attitudes.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
One of the autism community’s most beloved books. Brims with insight, compassion and spirited humor as it takes a timeless, succinct, and informative look at ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism.
The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome by Jennifer Cook O’Toole (ages 10-17)
Full of illustrations, humor and easy-to-understand explanations of important social rules that may not be so obvious to a child on the spectrum. The book was named the Autism Society America 2014 Temple Grandin Outstanding Book of the Year and made the Autism/ASP Digest Top Books list.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos (ages 8-12)
In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (ages 8 and up)
Socially awkward Dwight shows up to school one morning waving a green finger puppet. Strange enough, but then Dwight starts talking in a funny voice and doling out advice. Is it the puppet, or is it Dwight? And will paper Yoda be able to help Dwight convince the girl of his dreams to go to […]
A Friend Like Simon by Kate Gaynor (ages 4-8)
Kate Gaynor’s “A Friend Like Simon” serves as a helpful introduction to autism for neurotypical peers or siblings. This is the story about an autistic child who joins a “typical” classroom and faces a number of challenges. Young readers will learn how to be mindful of and patient with their autistic peers, while also learning […]
Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? By Jennifer Veenendall (ages 4-8)
Izzy is a fun and feisty first grader who is often misunderstood because of her seemingly odd behavior. This vibrantly illustrated book tells the story of how Izzy attempts to cope with sensory overload in surroundings that are new to her, while simultaneously promoting the acceptance of peers with sensory modulation difficulties.