Books with Special Needs Characters

Special Need Books


You may remember a little while ago I shared with you a post about really useful Special Needs Parenting Books that I have found useful over the years. I am an avid reader, however of late I have found myself wanting to take a break from “researching” and “learning”, wanting instead to become lost in the pages of some really great stories and novels. It occurred to me just then, how often have I read (in my life time) books that had Protagonists or Secondary Characters who also just happened to have special needs.

I couldn’t think of many off the top of my head so I started to research ( I know I had said I was taking a break from that lol!) and I came across some brilliant new reads. Some of the books that I list here are ones that now sit patiently on my book shelf and others have been recommended by dear friends.

What I like about Novels/Stories that include Special Needs Characters is that you can really feel/understand their point of view from a first person perspective in many cases and in others you can empathize from a far as you watch how they are treated or how they over come the challenges that their stories “through” at them. You may need a tissue handy for some books or wish you could hop in the boxing ring for others when you find yourself lost in the pages of each characters journey.

So without verbally rambling anymore here are the 10 Books/Novels you need on your Special Needs Bookshelf right now.

So B It

Image Credit
By Author Sarah Weeks

So B. It tells the story of Heidi a young 12 year old girl who as far back as she can remember has been raised by her next door Neighbor Bernadette. Heidi lives with her Mother who for the most part is non-verbal. As the story progresses Heidi learns how she came to be born to a Mother who had Special Needs.


Special Needs Bookshelf
By Author Kathryn Erskine

Mockingbird – written from the perspective of Caitlin, a young girl who happens to have Asperger Syndrome and feels totally alienated from the world around her.Her world as fractious as it was before the loss of a loved one, turns up side down and she spends the pages of this excellent book trying to find the closure she needs to mend her world back to the way it used to be.


Far from the Tree

Special Needs Bookshelf
By Author Andrew Solomon

This is a book I am actually reading right now, every chance I get. It is one of those books that you just can’t put down. The notion “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is challenged here on every single page. Andrew Solomon challenges the reader to wonder what would you do if your child was so unlike you and your family, if they just didn’t “Fit” in, how would you react? Could you love them just as easy as their sibling who shared the same vertical identity as you? A must read.



Special Needs Book Shelf
by Author R. J. Palacio

August is a young boy that for most of his life has been home-schooled by his Mother. Wonder tells the tale of August’s transition to school for the first time. We read on every page what it feels like to not fit in when you stand out so strangely from the crowd because you have facial deformities. Your heart will break a little for him throughout when you find out how he copes when people gasp and give him “the look”. A real page turner and also a great book for older children/teens to read. It is a real eye opener on how a person who is different may feel internally. A must read.

The Night Rainbow

Special Needs Book Shelf
By Author Claire King

Pea who is five and her younger sister Margot have recently lost their father to a tragic accident. Their Mother all though still alive is now lost to them in her grief.Pea and her sister spend their days in the meadow where they become “friends” with an older man called Claude. Suspicion follows Claude wherever he goes in his village as they are uneasy at his friendship with two young girls. But all is not as it seems. – A real page turner.


The curious incident of the Dog in the night

Special Needs Book Shelf
By Author Mark Haddon

A murder mystery novel with a twist, narrated by a 15 year old Christopher Boone who happens to have Asperger Syndrome.  He has never gone further than the end of his road but having found his neighbor’s dog murdered his world really starts to unravel. Having read this book over the course of a few days I feel that I have a better perspective of how a person with Asperger may feel and how they internalize all of their thoughts culminating on occasion in non-socially accepted actions and reactions. I have to admit I struggled to read this book at times and found myself skipping the chapters wherein Christopher went into detail about his love of Math but for the most part it is an excellent read if you want to know more about the perspective of an person with Asperger Syndrome.

Expecting Adam

Special Needs Book Shelf
By Author Martha N. Beck

Expecting Adam is a new book I have on my bookshelf that waits patiently to be read. A friend of mine recommended this book to me. It tells the true story of how the world’s of John and Martha were turned upside down when they found out the child they had conceived would be born with Down Syndrome.


Ghost Boy

Special Needs Book Shelf
By Author Martin Pistorius , With Megan Lloyd-Davies

When Martin was 12 years old he fell inexplicably ill, became wheel chair bound and mute. His parents were told by professionals that he had a degenerative disease that had left him with the mind of a baby and would have no more than 2 years to live. The reality was that eventually Martin’s mind woke up despite his body remaining unresponsive, yet he had no way to tell anyone that he was intellectually alive inside a broken down body. A true story about recovery and the power of love.

House Rules

Special Needs Book Shelf
by Author Jodi Picoult

Jacob is a young boy with Asperger Syndrome who has a keen interest in all things Crime Solving. When a murder takes place in his town, somehow the Police arrive at his door.

Rain Reign

Special Needs Book Shelf
By Author Ann M Martin

Rose is a little girl who makes sense of her world by relying on routines, rules and obsessions. Not everyone understands why she is the way she is. Her pet dog goes missing and suddenly Rose leaves all her rules and routines behind as she strives to bring her pet back home.  – I adore this book, but be warned you will need some tissues!


I am asked quite often where i purchase my books from as I read so many. I go between Eason’s Bookstore and also All of the book images contained in this Post have been supplemented from

Special Need Books

There are just some of my most favorite new “reads” right now! I would love to know what some of yours are! Comment below or email me what your favorite books for your Special Needs Book Shelf are right now .

In case you missed my earlier post, have a read my Special Needs Parenting Books Blog Post from earlier this year.x

As always thank you for stopping by The Little Puddins Blog, pop over to our Facebook page to find out what we get up to most days.xx

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