40 Books for #WorldAutismAwarenessDay

Picture Books

All My Stripes by Shaina Rudolph
Zane rushes home to tell his mother about problems he faced during his school day, and she reminds him that while others may only see his “autism stripe, ” he has stripes for honesty, caring, and much more.



The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
Describes the life and accomplishments of the animal scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities, from her early life and autism diagnosis through her journey to become a livestock expert.



A Friend For Henry by Jenn Bailey
Henry would like to find a friend at school, but for a boy on the autism spectrum, making friends can be difficult, as his efforts are sometimes misinterpreted, or things just go wrong–but Henry keeps trying, and in the end he finds a friend he can play with.



Benji, The Bad Day, and Me by Sally J. Pla
Sammy is having a very bad day at school and at home until his autistic brother, Benji, finds a way to make him feel better.



Uniquely Wired by Julia Cook
Zak has autism, so he sometimes responds to the world around him in unconventional ways. As he describes his point of view, young readers gain a better understanding of his behaviors and learn valuable lessons about patience, tolerance, and understanding.



My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete
A girl tells what it is like living with her twin brother who has autism and sometimes finds it hard to communicate with words, but who, in most ways, is just like any other boy. Includes authors’ note about autism.



My Mouth is a Volcano! by Julia Cook
This book teaches children to manage their thoughts and words without interrupting.



My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders
Sadie’s mind is always flying off to the clouds and make-believe worlds, which sometimes gets her in trouble, but her mom comes up with a clever plan to bolster her confidence and help her feel better about her wandering, dreaming mind.



My Whirling Twirling Motor by Merriam Sarcia Saunders
A young boy with ADHD feels like he is constantly driven by a ‘motor.’ He is constantly getting in trouble, even when he is not trying to be naughty. But his mom helps him focus on the things he does right each day.



Too Sticky! by Jen Malia
With help from her family and teacher, Holly overcomes her dislike of having sticky hands to participate in a science experiment. Includes author’s note about living with autism and sensory issues and a recipe for making slime.



Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome by Clarabelle Niekerk
A young boy named Sam, has difficulty at school and seems moody at home. When Sam is diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger syndrome, his family and teachers understand him better and learn how to help him succeed. Includes tips for parents, teachers and children on being with children who have Asperger’s.



Noah Chases the Wind by Michelle Worthington
Noah Chases the Wind celebrates the curious nature of a little boy named Noah, who has autism and sees the world a little differently. He knows where the wind comes from–but where does the wind go?


My Friend Has Autism by Amanda Doering
My friend Zack has a disability called autism. But that doesn’t matter to us. We talk about airplanes, build models, and enjoy hanging out at each other’s house. I’m glad Zack is my friend!



Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson
The new girl at school tries to befriend Andy, an autistic boy who spends every recess by himself, spinning a yellow frisbee under the watchful eye of his older sister.




Russell’s World: A Story For Kids About Autism by Charles A. Amenta
Describes the experiences autistic children and their family’s experience.



Playing By the Rules by Dena Luchsinger
When Great Aunt Tilda comes to visit, it takes her a little while to learn to understand Josh, who has autism, just as it takes him some time to get used to her.




Squirmy Wormy by Lynda Farrington Wilson
Tyler has autism and sensory processing disorder, and though sometimes he has trouble staying still, ignoring noises, and concentrating, he is learning how to cope with his disorder in different ways.



Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles by Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Although Jacob finds his autistic brother, Nathan, annoying, he gets angry at a new neighbor who calls Nathan weird, but their mothers help the boys get along with a special Hanukkah observance.



Talking to Angels by Pearl Esther Watson
A child tells about her autistic sister, who is also her best friend.



Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott
A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend.



Chapter Books

Duck Days by Sara Leach
Third-grader Lauren, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, is practicing the skill of ‘going with the flow,’ but finds that difficult when she learns that her best friend Irma has made another friend, Jonas. Meanwhile, Lauren is dreading a looming mountain bike day at school. Her classmate Ravi teases anyone with training wheels like hers. Lauren feels better about Jonas when he tells her how important she is to Irma, and he helps her face the mountain bike day by imagining unkind words flowing off her the way water flows off a duck.


A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner
From the first morning with their odd new teacher fifth grade is full of shocking surprises for best friends Rip and Red.




Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.




Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.




Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin
Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.




A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
When his veterinarian mom brings home a stray baby skunk that needs rehabilitation before it can be placed in a wild animal shelter, Bat, who has austim, resolves to prove that he is up to the challenge of caring for the skunk permanently.




Can You See Me? by Libby Scott
Eleven-year-old Tally is starting sixth grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism, hypersensitivity to touch, and true self, and trying to act “normal” like her former best friend, Layla, who is distancing herself from Tally and her fourteen-year-old sister, Nell, who is always angry with Tally for being different; but as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder–what is “normal” anyway?



Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.



Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
A quirky and utterly logical seventh-grade girl named Emma-Jean Lazarus discovers some interesting results when she gets involved in the messy everyday problems of her peers.




Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.



Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos
Autistic and nearly nonverbal, twelve-year-old Nova is happy in her new foster home and school, but eagerly anticipates the 1986 Challenger launch, for which her sister, Bridget, promised to return.



Remember Dippy by Shirley Reva Vernick
While reluctantly agreeing to “babysit” his autistic older cousin during the last summer before high school, Johnny discovers a new friend in his cousin, as well as an appreciation for what really matters in a person.




Rules by Cynthia Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.




Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
After fainting during a school assembly, Stanley uses his time in a safe room to begin drawing a comic book superhero and then enters a treasure hunt so that he can win passes to Comic Fest.




Slug Days by Sara Leach
Seeing the world very differently because of her Asperger Syndrome, young Lauren struggles to navigate the challenges of school life and masters tricks to stay calm, understand others’ feelings and let her personality shine.




The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
When a new boy named Ahmed joins Alexa’s class at her London school, all of the students have questions: Why does the new boy never go to lunch or recess with the other kids, and why doesn’t he talk to anyone? Everyone has different theories, but when Alexa and her friends are waiting after school to give Ahmed some fruit and other small gifts, they overhear two adults saying that Ahmed is a refugee and no one speaks his language.



The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe, and the potential for love and hope right next door.



Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Virgil feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia is deaf, smart, and loves everything about nature. Kaori is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends. But when Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well, Kaori, Gen, and Valencia begin a quest to find the missing Virgil.



Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally’s greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn’t know how to read.




Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid — but his classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.