Best Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Special Needs Books

Here you will get Best Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Special Needs Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. The Running Dream (Schneider Family Book Award – Teen Book Winner)

Author: by Wendelin Van Draanen
336 pages

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When Jessica is told she’ll never run again, she puts herself back togetherand learns to dream bigger than ever before. The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story. Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident.

She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope, Jessica feels that she’s both in the spotlight and invisible.

People who don’t know what to say act like she’s not there. Jessica’s embarrassed to realize that she’s done the same to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed.

A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herselfshe wants to take Rosa with her.Inspirational.

2. The Door in the Wall

Author: by Marguerite de Angeli
128 pages

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Set in the fourteenth century, the classic story of one boy’s personal heroism when he loses the use of his legs.

3. Challenger Deep

Author: by Neal Shusterman
Quill Tree Books
320 pages

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National Book Award * Golden Kite Award Winner * Six Starred ReviewsA captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman. Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn. Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today’s most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep “a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful.

4. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, 1)

Author: by Jack Gantos
Square Fish
176 pages

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“They say I’m wired bad, or wired sad, but there’s no doubt about itI’m wired.”Joey Pigza’s got heart, he’s got a mom who loves him, and he’s got “dud meds,” which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings.

Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn’t stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot – and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line.

As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen. In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyper-activity and related disorders.

This title has Common Core connections. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is a 1998 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.

5. 100 Days of Sunlight

Author: by Abbie Emmons
August 7, 2019

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The #1 Amazon BestsellerWhen 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down. Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about.

But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smileand no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back.

But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story.So he comes back. Again and again and again. Tessa spurns Weston’s obnoxious optimism, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through.

6. Ghost of Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, 2)

Author: by Ben Mikaelsen

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In award-winning author Ben Mikaelsen’s riveting sequel to the acclaimed word-of-mouth bestseller Touching Spirit Bear, readers will be captivated by what Booklist calls a hugely satisfying resolution. Life in the wildernessexiled from civilization as a punishment for his violent behaviorhad its own set of hurdles, but for fifteen-year-old Cole Matthews, it’s returning home and facing high school that feels most daunting.

With gangs and physical altercations haunting the hallways of their school, Cole and his former victim Peterwho Cole has now become friends withmust face it all together. So when Peter’s limp and speech impediment make him a natural target for bullies, Cole’s suppressed rage comes bubbling to the surface a lot quicker than he anticipated.

Will he throw everything away that he learned on the healing, remote Alaskan island? In this tale of survival and self-awareness, Cole realizes it’s not enough to change himself. He has to change his world.

7. Follow My Leader

Author: by James B. Garfield
Puffin Books
192 pages

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A heartwarming story about a boy and his guide dog, for fans of Where the Red Fern Grows and Because of Winn-Dixie. After Jimmy is blinded in an accident with a firecracker, he has to relearn all the things he used to know – how to get dressed, how to find his way around the house, even how to eat.

With the help of a determined therapist, he learns to read Braille and use a cane. Then he’s given the chance to have a guide dog. Learning to work with Leader is not easy, but Jimmy tries harder than he ever has before.

Can Leader really give him the ability and the confidence he needs?

8. Bluefish

Author: by Pat Schmatz

240 pages

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An ode to the significance of reading in the lives of young people…. Unique and original, believable and poignant, this is a book with power of its own. The Horn Book (starred review)Thirteen-year-old Travis has a secret: he can’t read.

But a shrewd teacher and a sassy girl are about to change everything in this witty and deeply moving novel. Mr. McQueen is a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world, while Velveeta’s wry banter and colorful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own.

With sympathy, humor, and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.

9. Marcelo in the Real World

Author: by Francisco X. Stork

Scholastic Paperbacks
320 pages

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The paperback edition of one of the most acclaimed novels of the year – a love story & legal drama that received five starred reviews and multiple honors. The term “cognitive disorder” implies there is something wrong with the way I think or the way I perceive reality.

I perceive reality just fine. Sometimes I perceive more of reality than others. Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music or Marcelo’s differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer …

To join “the real world.”There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file a picture of a girl with half a face that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

10. Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, 2)

Author: by Jack Gantos
Square Fish
224 pages

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The sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award FinalistWhen Joey Pigza meets his dad for the first time in years, he meets a grown-up version of his old out-of-control self. Carter Pigza is as wired as Joey used to be – before his stint in special ed, and before he got his new meds.

Joey’s mom reluctantly agrees that he can stay with his dad for a summer visit, which sends Joey racing with sky-high hopes that he and Carter can finally get to know each other. But as the weeks whirl by, Carter has bigger plans in mind.

He decides that just as he has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, Joey can do the same and become as normal as any kid, without the help of a doctor’s prescription. Carter believes Joey can do it and Joey wants to believe him more than anything in the world.

Here is the continuation of Jack Gantos’ acclaimed Joey Pigza story, affirming not only that Joey Pigza is a true original but that it runs in the family. This title has Common Core connections. Joey Pigza Loses Control is a 2000 New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year and a 2001 Newbery Honor Book.

11. Stuck in Neutral (Stuck in Neutral, 1)

Author: by Terry Trueman
144 pages

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Shawn McDaniel’s life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a musclehe can’t even move his eyes. For all Shawn’s father knows, his son may be suffering.

Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn’s life is in danger. To the world, Shawn’s senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seena spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.

The paperback features an Extras section, giving readers even more insight into Shawn’s life, and includes a Q&A with Terry Trueman, as well as a sneak peek at the sequel to Stuck in Neutral, Life Happens Next. Supports the Common Core State Standards

12. Fish in a Tree

Author: by Lynda Hunt

5 hours and 44 minutes

Lynda Hunt

Kathleen McInerney

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The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives listeners an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. “Everybody is smart in different ways.

But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.” Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.

She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of.

As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her – and to everyone – than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

13. Hurt Go Happy: A novel inspired by the true story of a chimpanzee who learned sign language

Author: by Ginny Rorby
Tor Teen
272 pages

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Hurt Go Happy is a captivating novel for young readers by beloved author Ginny Rorby. The Schneider Family Book Award-winning novel is inspired by the true story of a chimpanzee raised as a human. Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis is used to being left out of conversations.

Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her and often fails. Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his baby chimpanzee, Sukari.

Her new friends use sign language to communicate, and Joey secretly begins to learn to sign. Spending time with Charlie and Sukari, Joey has never been happier. But as Joey’s world blooms with possibilities, Charlie’s and Sukari’s choices begin to narrowuntil Sukari’s very survival is in doubt.

Hurt Go Happy is the unforgettable story of one girl’s determination to save the life of a fellow creatureone who has the ability to ask for help. Hurt Go Happy is the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award. It’s also an International Literacy Association Teachers’ Choices selection, a Book Sense Children’s Pick, a KLIATT Editor’s Choice: Best of the Year’s Hardcover YA Fiction selection, and a New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age selection.

14. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus: Life of a Cactus Series, Book 1

Author: by Dusti Bowling

5 hours and 27 minutes

Dusti Bowling

Karissa Vacker

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The audio edition of the best-selling middle grade novel about a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome navigating the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship – all while solving a mystery in a western theme park.

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is that she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined.

It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all…Even without arms.

15. Girls Like Us

Author: by Gail Giles
224 pages

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A sensitive and affecting story of two young women learning to thrive in spite of their hard circumstances. Booklist (starred review)Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different.

When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thoughtand more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

Hard-hitting and compassionate, Girls Like Us is a story about growing up in a world that can be cruel and finding the strengthand the supportto carry on.

16. Gathering Blue

Author: by Lois Lowry

5 hours and 27 minutes

Lois Lowry

Katherine Borowitz

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Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future, until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do.

While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.