Thematic Reading List: Living and Thriving with ADHD


Children with ADHD are vibrant individuals who often have trouble harnessing their uniqueness in a classroom setting. Our list of 8 middle grade books featuring characters with ADHD shines a light on how these children can excel despite challenges.







082342944X Eliza Bing is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter
By: Carmella Van Vleet

After learning she cannot take a cake decorating class with her best friend, partly because her parents consider her a quitter, eleven-year-old Eliza tries to prove herself by sticking with a taekwondo class all summer.
9781338185973 Focused
By: Alyson Gerber

Twelve-year-old Clea wants to do her homework, follow instructions, pay attention in school, and play chess on the school team, but somehow she cannot focus on whatever is in front of her, and the other kids at school are starting to notice and make fun of her. When her worried parents take her to be tested, she finds out that she has ADHD, only without the hyperactivity. With help from the psychiatrist who seems to really understand her, she is determined to learn how to focus.
9781429936262 Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
By: Jack Gantos

To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off. He starts getting worked up and acting wired. The first book in a 5-book series.
9780823426577 Kevin Keeps Up
By: Ann Whitehead Nagda

When his teacher is replaced by a substitute nicknamed Beezer the Buzzard, and each student has to do a report on an African animal, Kevin, who struggles with attentional difficulties, is not sure he will survive the year.
9781338134087 Lights, Camera, Disaster
By: Erin Dionne

Eighth-grader Hester Greene suffers from Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, plus anxiety, which is why she loves making movies where she is behind the camera and in complete control of the action. But, if she cannot improve her language arts grade, she will not be allowed to enter her video in The Hoot (a showcase of student work) and write a satisfactory ending to her middle school career.
9781942934103 Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD attacks! (but I rock it, big time)
By: Dr. Raun Melmed and Annette Sexton
Illustrator: Jeff Harvey.

Meet Marvin, a lovable monster with a twelve-stringed baby fang guitar, a rambunctious case of ADHD, and a diary to record it all. His teachers scold him, his parents don’t know what to do with him, and his sister is convinced he was raised by triple-tailed monkeys. In short, Marvin’s life is feeling out of control—until a secret formula changes everything. Marvin’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house. The first book in the Marvin’s Monster Diary series.
9780312555962 Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School): a novel in doodles
By: Karen Romano Young

Doreen has vowed to make her new middle school work for her, but it is still a challenge given her ADHD, her younger sister’s growing popularity, and tensions between her parents. Good thing Doreen has her doodle journal!
0553536346 This is Not the Abby Show
By: Debbie Reed Fischer

A girl with ADHD loves to make people laugh, but when her acting out gets her stuck in summer school, she will have to try her hardest to turn over a new leaf.


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