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What a Character! – 5 Influential Children’s Books About ADHD

Books are so vital to our understanding of the world around us. They’re vital to our understanding of others and of ourselves. Whether they’re being viewed in print or online, books encompass so much of our lives.

For kids with ADHD, books can sometimes be viewed as something negative. They may struggle reading, paying attention, or sitting still, which might lead to poor progress in school, and a lifelong distaste for books.

But I’m here to tell you that books don’t have to be big, scary mountains that ADHD kids feel like they’ll never conquer! Books can be great for them, too!

In fact, books can be about them. Not just educational, informational books about how to manage ADHD, but hilarious, fictional books about adventurous, silly, intelligent, AWESOME kids. Kids who have ADHD!

Here are the ones I think are the most influential right now.

Wiggle Fidgets

1. Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets

Rated: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon

“David doesn’t know how he ends up in such situations. At the time, it just seems like a great idea. His teacher, Mrs. Gorski, has had about enough; he can tell by the way her voice changes when she speaks to him. This time, he believes that he has come up with the best idea yet. The perfect plan to make everything better.”

****This book has been awarded****
Academics’ Choice Gold Seal
Mom’s Choice Award Gold
Parents’ Choice Award

(Note from W. R. Cummings — This book would be most appropriate for ADHD children between the ages of 5 and 10. The content is pretty blatantly honest about the struggles ADHD children go through in school, but it presents the information in an inoffensive way. It makes the reader feel understood without making them feel ostracized.)


2. Hank Zipzer

Rated: 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Henry Winkler (a.k.a. “The Fonz”) has co-written a series of adventure books about what it was like for him to grow up with an undiagnosed learning disability. The main focus of the series is Hank’s Dyslexia, but there are strong suggestions toward ADHD, as well. The authors have stated a desire to include ADHD students (as well as any other children with learning disabilities) in their adventures alongside those suffering from Dyslexia.

There are two different subcategories to the series–one for older elementary readers, and one for younger readers–but both star series star Hank as the main character.

(Note from W. R. Cummings — These books are hilariously written and the illustrations are fantastic. I wish I’d have known about these when I was in primary school. Plus, the publisher of the series is Penguin, which makes it that much more fantastic.)

cory stories

3. Cory Stories

Rated: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon

“In short statements and vignettes, Cory describes what it’s like to have ADHD: how it affects his relationships with friends and family, his school performance, and his overall functioning. He also describes many ways of coping with ADHD: medication, therapy/counseling, and practical tips for school, home, and friendships.”

(Note from W. R. Cummings — Although this book series is somewhat dated at this point, and was written in an atypical format, it’s still a beloved favorite amongst the ADHD community. Parents rave over it. Review after review talks about children picking up the first book in this series and falling in love. Cory makes children with ADHD feel like someone out there knows what they’re going through firsthand.)

shelley turtle

4. Shelley the Hyperactive Turtle

Rated: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon

“The story follows Shelley through some bumpy times at school, on the bus, and with other kids. His worried mother takes him to the doctor, where she and Shelley answer a lot of questions about his behavior, and he plays with puzzles and blocks—activities that a child would typically experience during an ADHD evaluation. After Shelley is diagnosed, the doctor recommends therapy and medication to help control his ADHD.”

(Note from W. R. Cummings — Unlike most books about ADHD, the author of this one updated her book as diagnoses evolved throughout psychology. She kept improving her book with new editions so that it’s now a really great product. Her illustrations are adorable and colorful, and her characters also addresses issues of impulsivity. I love this one.)

it's hard to be a verb

5. It’s Hard To Be a Verb!

Rated: 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Louis is a verb! He has a lot of trouble focusing and he is always doing something, but the problem is usually it s the wrong something. It s hard to be a verb! My knees start itching, my toes start twitching, my skin gets jumpy, others get grumpy. When it comes to sitting still it s just not my deal. Haven t you heard… I am a verb! Louis mom teaches him how to focus by showing him a few hands on ideas that anyone can try. A must have book for all who struggle with paying attention!

(Note from W. R. Cummings — Of all the books, this one is my favorite. It’s PERFECT for younger readers, and PERFECT for children with difficulty sitting through long stories. The illustrations are exactly what I would picture if my ADHD nephew was turned into a fictional character. The author of this book has a Master’s in psychology, and I hope she wins all the awards for this genius publication!)

What a Character! – 5 Influential Children’s Books About ADHD

W. R. Cummings

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APA Reference
Cummings, W. (2016). What a Character! – 5 Influential Children’s Books About ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.