Books featuring characters with ADHD

Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key

Books are a way to provide glimpses into other people’s experiences. This booklist is a range of excellent children’s and teen books that feature characters with ADHD. Every child will enjoy reading them.

  • Cally and Jimmy: Twins Together

    Author: Zoe Antoniades Illustrator: Katie Kear
    Publisher: Andersen
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Cally and Jimmy are 10-year-old twins who couldn’t be more different. While Cally is sensible, clever and hard-working, Jimmy’s ADHD makes it difficult for him to focus or stay calm. But no matter what trouble they get into, they're always in it together!

  • Loud!

    Author: Rose Robbins
    Publisher: Scallywag Press
    Interest age: 4-8

    Abigail is always fidgeting and giggling at school until Miss Butler discovers her love of singing and songwriting. It’s implied that Abigail has ADHD but this beautifully delivered book will resonate with any child who's ever found it tricky to do what is expected of them.

  • It’s the End of the World and I’m in my Bathing Suit

    Author: Justin Reynolds
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 11+

    12 year old Eddie has hatched a foolproof plan. His mum has told him to take care of his own laundry for the summer – but he doesn’t have time to waste doing chores when the sun’s out, so he’s spent the entire holidays hiding his dirty clothes in the closet when he’s done with them instead.

  • Show Us Who You Are

    Author: Elle McNicoll
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 10+

    When 12 year old Cora meets Adrien, they become inseparable. But when Cora starts to visit Adrien's dad's company - which creates realistic holograms of people - she begins to realise that nothing about Adrien's life is quite what it seems.

  • The Boy With the Butterfly Mind

    Author: Victoria Williamson
    Publisher: Floris Books
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 9+

    The complexities of families divided by break-up and reformed as blended versions of themselves will have been experienced by many readers. Elin and Jamie’s story is a compelling and affecting book about acceptance, openness and family dynamics.

  • Just Like Me

    Author: Louise Gooding Illustrator: Caterina delli Carri and Angel Chang and Cathy Hookey and Melissa Iwai
    Publisher: Studio Press
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    The author (who has ADHD) sets out to prove to neurodivergent (and all) children that you can overcome any potential limitations of a label. This glorious anthology encourages us to celebrate uniqueness and recognise our potential to achieve.

  • I Am Not A Label

    Author: Cerrie Burnell
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    In this powerful and stylishly attractive non-fiction book, Cerrie Burnell introduces the reader to 34 disabled role models. 

  • Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key

    Author: Jack Gantos
    Publisher: Corgi Children's
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 9+

    This is a sensitive portrayal of a young ADHD sufferer, but is also a thoroughly entertaining insight into the life of the immensely likeable Joey Pigza, whose escapades are certain to amuse any reader.

  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

    Author: Rick Riordan
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    In this leftfield comic fantasy novel, 12-year-old Percy Jackson discovers that the Greek gods of Olympus are alive and living in modern-day New York.