Summer Reading Recommendations

Though your summer may be action-packed, “downtime” can easily turn into screen time if you don’t make other plans. We put the question to Lexercise therapists: what books would you recommend for summer reading? Here we offer their list of suggestions, along with a link where you’ll find more information on each book. (Please note that age recommendations are approximate. Some books may also be available in audio format.)

Book ideas for kids’ summer reading (and, in some cases, the adults who read to them):

Jennifer Parra, M.Ed, CALT, SLDS

Book recommendations for ages 3 and up:

The Alphabet War: A Story About Dyslexia by Diane Burton Robb

An illustrated story about Adam, who struggles as he learns to read.

Recommended by Jennifer Parra, M.Ed, CALT, SLDS

Book recommendations for ages 5 and up:

Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Illustrated novel about struggling reader Trisha, based on the author’s personal story.

Recommended by Jennifer Parra, M.Ed, CALT, SLDS

Amanda Bush dyslexia therapist
Amanda Bush M.Ed., CALT

Book recommendations for ages 6 and up:

It’s Called Dyslexia by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

An illustrated storybook about the struggles and triumphs of Sarah as she learns to read and write.

Recommended by Jennifer Parra and seconded by Amanda Bush M.Ed., CALT

Book recommendations for ages 8 and up:

Karen L. Bruton, CALT

My Name is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt

The struggles and adventures of a dyslexic 6th-grader named Brian.

A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

A novel about Mark, his teacher, Mr. Maxwell, and a camping trip.

Recommended by Karen L. Bruton, CALT

Book recommendations for ages 9 and up:

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Elles recommends starting with the graphic novel (which is the abbreviated story), then moving on to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which are fantasy/action/adventure novels starring Percy, who is dyslexic.
Recommended by Elles Taddeo.

Karen L. Bruton, CALT also recommends the books on this Brightly page: “13 Books That 9- to 12-Year-Old Boys Say Are Awesome”


Book recommendations for ages 10 and up:

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The award-winning novel is about Ally, who can’t read but doesn’t want anyone to know.

Recommended by Jennifer Parra, M.Ed, CALT, SLDS

Book recommendations for ages 11 and up:

Hatchet and Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

A novel about a young boy’s struggle to survive in the Canadian wilderness and a follow-up book exploring the story’s alternative endings.

Recommended by Karen L. Bruton, CALT

Book recommendations for teens+

The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

A series of science fiction novels about a group of teenagers surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.

Holes by Louis Sachar

This award-winning novel is about Stanley’s experiences at a boys’ detention center.

Recommended by Karen L. Bruton, CALT

Book recommendations for parents and teachers of children with dyslexia:

Lindsey Blackburn, M.S. Ed., AOGPE, SLDS

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain by Brock L. Eide and Fernette Eide

The authors examine the differences and the advantages of individuals with dyslexia.

Recommended by Lindsey Blackburn, M.S. Ed., AOGPE, SLDS 


Susan Mayes, B.S., M.A., CALP

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss

A practical guidebook for parents by an author who was himself diagnosed with dyslexia. (Reviewed here.)

Recommended by Susan Mayes, B.S., M.A., CALP

Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz

An essential guide for parents and teachers.

Recommended by Laura Noe  

Mindi Johanneman, M.Ed., SLDS

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf

Examines how the brain learns to read, both in the big picture and over the course of a single child’s life.

Recommended by Mindi Johanneman, M.Ed., SLDS 

Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf

The author of Proust and the Squid considers how technology is impacting our ability to read deeply.

Recommended by Andrea Gallo 


If you plan to purchase any of these books on we encourage you to do so through AmazonSmile, and choose the Dyslexia Services Foundation as your charitable organization. That way Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Foundation, which provides funding for services for low-income students. Your local library is also a great place to find these titles (and so much more!)

We hope you enjoy these book recommendations for summer reading and would love to hear your own book recommendations.

Special thanks to our expert educational therapists for sharing these. 

Have a wonderful summer!


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