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Recommended Books for Children & Teens

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

“Lush illustrations and simple, lyrical text subtly address themes of inclusion and tolerance in this sweet story that accomplished illustrator Amy June Bates [co-wrote] with her daughter, Juniper, while walking to school together in the rain.


By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have. Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.” ~Summary from Amazon

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

“Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be. Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!” ~Summary from Amazon

Different--A Great Thing to Be! by Heather Avis

“This joyful rhyming book encourages children to value the “different” in all people, leading the way to a kinder world in which the differences in all of us are celebrated and embraced. Children are naturally aware of the differences they encounter at school, in their neighborhood, and in other everyday relationships. They just need to be given tools to understand and appreciate what makes us “different,” permission to ask questions about it, and eyes to see and celebrate it in themselves as well as in those around them.” ~Summary from Amazon

Celebrate Our Differences by Mary Nhin

“Fun, cute, and entertaining with beautiful illustrations, this book is a wonderful tool for parents and educators to teach kids to foster the different abilities awareness and celebrate differences.


Having a pet dragon is very fun! He can sit, roll over, and play… He can candle a birthday cake, [light] a campfire, or so many other cool things… But what if your dragon is diagnosed with ADHD? What if he’s worried, scared? What if he wonders what is wrong with him? What should you do? You teach him that being different is A-OK! You tell him that he’s not the only one who is different. You talk to him about all his friends with different abilities such as physical disability, hearing, and vision [impairment], autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, nut allergies, asthma, diabetes, and more…” ~Summary from Amazon

Inclusive Ninja by Mary Nhin

“Inclusive Ninja shares how we can all be an advocate of inclusion. Find out what happens in this diverse, anti-bullying book about inclusion and diversity. Life is tough. But so are you! The new children’s book series, Ninja Life Hacks, was developed to help children learn valuable life skills. Fun, pint-size characters in comedic books easy enough for young readers, yet witty enough for adults. The Ninja Life Hacks book series is geared to kids 3-11. Perfect for boys, girls, early readers, primary school students, or toddlers. Excellent resource for counselors, parents, and teachers alike.” ~Summary from Amazon

You Are Enough by Margaret O'Hair

“A beautiful and inclusive picture book all about celebrating being yourself from Down syndrome advocate and viral sensation Sofia Sanchez! It can be hard to be different whether because of how you look, where you live, or what you can or can’t do. But wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same? Being different is great! Being different is what makes you YOU. This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez, an 11-year-old model and actress with Down syndrome reminds readers how important it is to embrace your differences, be confident, and be proud of who you are.” ~Summary from Amazon

Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel and Myla Kabat-Zinn

Sitting Still Like A Frog is a very appealing introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents. In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger and generally become more patient and aware. It contains eleven practices that focus on just these scenarios, along with short examples and anecdotes throughout. Included with purchase is an audio CD with guided meditations. Simple mindfulness practices to help your child (ages 5-12) deal with anxiety, improve concentration, and handle difficult emotions.

This is Gabriel-Making Sense of School by Hartley Steiner

This is Gabriel Making Sense of School gives the readers a look into the challenges children with Sensory Processing Disorder face in the classroom. This easy-to-read and beautifully illustrated picture book provides teachers, parents and children a better understanding of all seven senses, how they are each affected at school, and what kinds of accommodations are necessary to help children with SPD become learning sensations!

Squirmy Wormy by Lynda Farrington Wilson

Squirmy Wormy will help kids help themselves through daily life like no one has before with some great everyday tips and techniques. It is a wonderful little children’s book about a boy named Tyler, who has autism and SPD. Together with Tyler, the reader learns about SPD and what easy therapies he can do by himself to feel better.

Listening to my Body by Gabi Garcia and Ying Hui Tan

Listening to My Body helps children develop a sensations vocabulary so that they can express what they are experiencing. This engaging and interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the physical sensations that accompany them. Easy, kid-friendly mindfulness activities are woven throughout to reinforce the teachings. Listening to My Body is a wonderful tool for parents, counselors and teachers! This book is also available in Spanish version!

Listening with My Heart: A story of kindness and self-compassion by Gabi Garcia

“We talk to kids a lot about how to be friends to others, but not much about how to be friends to themselves. Yet self-acceptance and positive self-talk help them build emotional resilience, growth mindset, and well-being. Kindness matters! Especially with ourselves. When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock, she sees it as a reminder to spread kindness and love in the world. But when the school play doesn’t go the way she’d hoped, will she remember to show it to herself?” ~Summary form Amazon

Pete's a Pizza by William Steig

“Pete’s father starts kneading the dough. Next, some oil is generously applied. (Its really water.) And then some tomatoes. (They’re really checkers.) When the dough gets tickled, it laughs like crazy.” ~Summary from Amazon

Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook

Personal Space Camp addresses the complex issue of respect for another person’s physical boundaries. Written with style, wit, and rhythm, this story is a must have resource for parents, teachers, and counselors who want to communicate the idea of personal space in a manner that connects with kids.

Duck Rabbit by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Duck! Rabbit! Provides us a clever take on the age-old optical illusion: is it a duck or a rabbit? Depends on how you look at it! Readers will find more than just Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s signature humor here; there’s also a subtle lesson for kids who don’t know when to let go of an argument. The book is smart, simple story that will make readers of all ages eager to take a side – A New York Times bestselling children’s book!

Pete's a Pizza by William Steig

Educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak offers a fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain that will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their fantastic, elastic brain! The author shares information in ways that are accessible for parents, teachers, and children alike. Delightful illustrations with accurate details foster motivation to learn and grow in new ways.

What is a Thought? by Amy Kahofer and Jack Pransky

This poetic and engaging book introduces children (K-5th) to the amazing, creative power within us all: thought. What Is A Thought? Is a story to help children and adults see how their own thinking creates their lives, moment to moment, day to day. Wonderfully illustrated, this children’s book not only introduces young readers to the concept of thought but also the amazing power of their own thoughts.

The Different Ways We Communicate by Tara Phillips

This children’s book explains some of the different ways people communicate. Some kids speak words, some use pictures, and others use sign language. “The Different Ways We Communicate” explores several different forms of multi-modal communication. It is a simple story for preschool and early elementary children. By talking openly about this topic, the hope is to normalize all the ways people express themselves. This will help create a truly inclusive environment where all children are valued for who they are.

A Day With No Words by Tiffany Hammond

A must-read that belongs in every home and classroom, “A Day With No Words” invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language. This colorful and engaging picture book for young readers shares what life can look like for families who communicate in a nonverbal way, utilizing tools (like tablets) to embrace their unique method of “speaking.” This story highlights the bond between mother and child and follows them on a day where they use a tablet to communicate with others.

How to be a Super Hero by Lauren Brukner

This illustrated book also features an appendix with photocopiable super power charts, reinforcers, and reminder tools to ensure that parents, teachers, and other professionals can support children in upholding superhero strategies even after the book has been read. Self-Control teaches children with emotional and sensory regulation difficulties aged approximately 4-7 how to calm themselves using self-massage, deep pressure, breathing exercises, and activities such as making an imaginary list and finding their own peaceful place.

The Kids' Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control by Lauren Brukner

“Packed with simple ideas to regulate the emotions and senses, this book will help children tackle difficult feelings head-on and feel awesome and in control! From breathing exercises, pressure holds and finger pulls, to fidgets, noise-reducing headphones and gum, the book is brimming with fun stuff to help kids feel cool, calm and collected. They will learn how to label difficult feelings, choose the perfect strategies and tools to tackle them, and use these correctly whether at home or at school. The strategies and tools are accompanied by cartoon-style illustrations, and the author includes useful tips for parents and teachers as well as handy visual charts and checklists to track learning and progress.” ~Summary from Amazon

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success. Now updated for the digital age, this classic book applies the timeless principles of 7 Habits to the tough issues and life-changing decisions teens face. Covey provides a simple approach to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, and appreciate their parents, as well as tackle the new challenges of our time, like cyberbullying and social media.

Diary of a Social Detective: by Jeffrey E. Jessum

Learn social skills while solving social mysteries! Detective agencies come in many shapes and forms, but never before has there been a one-man social detective agency! Diary of a Social Detective: Real-Life Tales of Mystery, Intrigue and Interpersonal Adventure teaches children and adolescents how to be social detectives in their own lives. This book combines social instruction with reading comprehension in a fun and unique way! A Teacher’s Choice Award Winner! Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Winner! Mom’s Choice Award Winner!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio is an inspiring and moving novel that follows the journey of August Pullman, a ten-year-old boy with a facial deformity, as he navigates the challenges of attending a mainstream school for the first time. The book explores themes of empathy, acceptance, and the power of kindness, offering a heartwarming tale that encourages readers to embrace differences and celebrate the beauty of individuality.