30 Best Children’s Books About the Autism Spectrum

One of the most wonderful things about a book is its ability to reveal to us a little piece of ourselves. When we can relate to a story or a character, we are left with a better understanding of who we are and what our purpose may be.

Related: 15 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs

This might be most true for children on the autism spectrum. Because things like relating to others, understanding emotions, and making and keeping friends are common challenges faced by children with autism, reading about autistic characters can often act as an outlet and a learning tool to discovering one’s own place in the world.

Featured Programs

While some of these books are written specifically for children on the autism spectrum, others are aimed towards siblings and friends. Regardless of the specific audience, each of these 30 best children’s books about the autism spectrum provide a level of comfort and understanding that can only be achieved through a good story.

See Also: Best Books on Mental Health

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006)

Kathy Hoopmann

Book Cover All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Ages 7 and Up
Not only does this delightful book include fun color photographs of cats and kittens, it also offers a humorous glimpse at some of the difficulties and joys of raising a child on the autism spectrum. Hoopmann draws insightful parallels between children with Asperger Syndrome and household cats, including sensitive hearing, picky eating habits, and a dislike of being touched.
ISBN-10: 1843104814
ISBN-13: 978-1843104810

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism (Magination Press, 2015)

Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

Book Cover All My Stripes

Ages 5-8
Zane the zebra has autism, and he is worried that his friends and classmates will make fun of his stripes, which make him different. As Zane learns that having autism is one of the many things that actually makes him special, young readers will relate to Zane and realize that they, too, have plenty to be proud of.
ISBN-10: 1433819163
ISBN-13: 978-1433819162

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee (Woodbine House, 1996)

Mary Thompson

Book Cover Andy and His Yellow Frisbee

Ages 5-8
When a new girl at school notices Andy playing alone with his yellow frisbee, Andy’s protective older sister, Rosie, becomes afraid that the girl will upset Andy. Through Rosie’s explanations of autism, young readers learn about the challenges faced by those on the autism spectrum. At the end of the book, the author also includes a helpful and insightful list autism facts.
ISBN-10: 0933149832
ISBN-13: 978-0933149830

The Asperger Children’s Toolkit (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012)

Francis Musgrave

Book Cover The Asperger Children's Toolkit

Ages 6-12
While most books about the autism spectrum are aimed at adults or neuro-typical peers, Francis Musgrave’s “The Asperger Children’s Toolkit” is primarily meant for autistic children themselves. But it’s not a mere list of do’s and don’ts. Rather, Musgrave focuses on positive behavior using easy-to-understand language directed straight to the children themselves. The book also includes a helpful introduction to parents.
ISBN-10: 184905293X
ISBN-13: 978-1849052931

The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012)

Jennifer Cook O’Toole

Book Cover The Asperkids' SECRET Book of Social Rules

Ages 10-17
This bestselling book by Jennifer Cook O’Toole (who is both an Aspie herself and a mother of three children with Asperger’s) is a must-read guide for any teen or tween on the autism spectrum. The book is full of illustrations, humor, and easy-to-understand explanations of important social rules that may not be so obvious to a child on the spectrum. The book was named the Autism Society America 2014 Temple Grandin Outstanding Book of the Year and made the Autism/ASP Digest Top Books list.
ISBN-10: 1849059152
ISBN-13: 978-1849059152

The Autism Acceptance Book (Pathway Book Service, 2006)

Ellen Sabin

Book Cover the Autism Acceptance Book

Ages 6 and Up
Children will learn to respect and appreciate their peers with differences through author Ellen Sabin’s “The Autism Acceptance Book.” This interactive, educational book presents the challenges faced by those on the autism spectrum through respectful stories that are sure to build the characters of young readers.
ISBN-10: 0975986821
ISBN-13: 978-0975986820

Autism Is…? (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012)

Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

Book Cover Autism Is...?

Ages 5-8
When young Logan hears his grandmother tell her friend that Logan has autism, he wonders what she means? “Autism Is….?” is Logan’s grandmother’s answer, and children on the autism spectrum are sure to appreciate her easy-to-understand, child-friendly explanation of the facts. The book is part of a series featuring Logan and aimed at young readers on the spectrum, and other books include “Feelings Are…?”, “Manners Are….?”, “School Rules Are…?”, “Danger Is….?”, and a wide range of other topics helpful to those with autism.
ISBN-10: 1475102712
ISBN-13: 978-1475102710

Autism, the Invisible Cord: A Sibling’s Diary (Magination Press, 2012)

Barbara Cain

Book Cover Autism: The Invisible Cord: A Sibling's Diary

Ages 12-15
Siblings of children with autism will relate to 14-year old Jenny, the narrator of “Autism, the invisible Cord.” Jenny describes what it’s like to live day to day with her autistic brother, Ezra. With complete honesty, Jenny chronicles all of her frustrations, hopes, and love for her brother.
ISBN-10: 1433811928
ISBN-13: 978-1433811920

Can I Tell You About Asperger’s Syndrome? (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003)

Jude Welton

Book Cover Can I Tell You about Asperger's Syndrome

Ages 7-15
“Can I Tell You About Asperger’s Syndrome?” is narrated by Adam, a young boy on the autism spectrum. Through easily  understood explanations and interesting illustrations, Adam teaches readers what Asperger’s Syndrome is, the different challenges faced by those with Asperger’s, and how young people can understand and appreciate their peers on the spectrum.
ISBN-10: 1843102064
ISBN-13: 978-1843102069

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee (Chronicle Books; Reprint edition, 2015)

Barry Jonsberg

Book Cover The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee

Ages 9-12
Barry Jonsberg’s  novel “The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee” tells the story of a 12-year old girl on the autism spectrum. Candice has plenty of quirks, and her lovable nature is sure to make any young reader happy to jump on board her adventure.
ISBN-10: 1452145717
ISBN-13: 978-1452145716

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005)

Jennifer Elder

Book Cover Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes

Ages 8-12
Jennifer Elder’s classic book “Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes” tells the stories of a wide variety of accomplished and inspiring historical figures – scientists, authors, artists, intellectual giants – all of whom were likely on the autism spectrum. Young readers will learn about Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Lewis Carroll, and Andy Warhol, to name but a few.
ISBN-10: 1843108151
ISBN-13: 978-1843108153

Everybody is Different (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2002)

Fiona Bleach

Book Cover Everybody is Different

Ages 9 and Up
As parents know, siblings often have questions about their brothers and sisters on the autism spectrum. In “Everybody is Different,” author Fiona Bleach presents common questions and their answers in order to explain autism in easy-to-understand terms. The book is wonderfully illustrated, and offers helpful suggestions for family members of all ages.
ISBN-10: 1931282064
ISBN-13: 978-1931282062

A Friend Like Simon (Special Stories Publishing, 2009)

Kate Gaynor

Book Cover A Friend Like Simon

Ages 4-8
Kate Gaynor’s “A Friend Like Simon” serves as a helpful introduction to autism for neuro-typical peers or siblings. This is the story about an autistic child who joins a “typical” classroom and faces a number of challenges. Young readers will learn how to be mindful of and patient with their autistic peers, while also learning about the many ways an autistic child can contribute to a friendship and community.
ISBN-10: 0956175120
ISBN-13: 978-0956175120

Hello Roar, Little Dinosaur (Learning Development Aids, 2012)

Hazel Reeves

Book Cover Hello Roar Little Dinosaur

Ages 3-8
“Hello Roar, Little Dinosaur” is part of a series about a little dinosaur to which children with high-functioning autism are sure to relate. Like children on the autism spectrum, little Roar thinks about things in a different way, but she also realizes that that is what makes her special. Each Roar book features Roar using her unique abilities on an adventure alongside a family member or friend.
ISBN-10: 1855035243
ISBN-13: 978-18550352

Featured Programs

How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl (Creston Books, 2013)

Florida Frenz

Book Cover How to Be Human, Diary of an Autistic Girl

Ages 7-12
Florida Frenz, an autistic teenager, wrote this powerful memoir about what it’s like to be on the autism spectrum. She documents everything from how to handle peer pressure to what it’s like to have to figure out social cues, read facial expressions, and have to work extra hard to make friends. This book is used in a number of classrooms around the country, and a teacher’s guide is also available.
ISBN-10: 1939547016
ISBN-13: 978-1939547019

How to Talk to an Autistic Kid (Free Spirit Publishing, 2011)

Daniel Stefanski (an autistic kid)

Book Cover How to Talk to an Autistic Kid

Ages 8 and Up
At Age 14, Daniel Stefanski wrote this guide for “typical kids” to help them speak and better relate to their peers on the autism spectrum. Through humor, personal stories, helpful advice, and straightforward explanations, Stefanski explains why the behaviors of those on the spectrum are often misunderstood, and encourages “typicals” to have the confidence to befriend those with autism.
ISBN-10: 1575423650
ISBN-13: 978-1575423654

Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism (Albert Whitman & Company; Reprint edition, 1998)

Laurie Lears

Book Cover Ian's Walk, a Story about Autism

Ages 4-8
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of three young siblings, including Ian who has autism, on their trip to the local park. Ian’s sister, Julie, describes the ways in which Ian acts differently than the other children, from his disinterest in the other children to his fascination with the ducks. When Ian wanders off, Julie uses her knowledge about her brother to find him and lead him safely home.
ISBN-10: 0807534811
ISBN-13: 978-0807534816

Leah’s Voice (Halo Publishing International, 2012)

Lori DeMonia

Book Cover Leah's Voice

Ages 6-8
Inspired by two real-life sisters, “Leah’s Voice” is a heartwarming and engaging story about siblings who stick together through the challenges faced by the sister who has autism. The book focuses on what it is like to meet new friends, only to find out that that friend is not so understanding of an autistic child’s differences. Young readers will find the sisters’ devotion inspiring, while simultaneously seeing an example of how to be accepting and inclusive of others.
ISBN-10: 1612440894
ISBN-13: 978-1612440897

Looking after Louis (Albert Whitman & Company, 2004)

Lesley Ely

Book Cover Looking after Louis

Ages 7-10
An unnamed little girl narrates this charming children’s picture about her classmate, Louis. Louis has autism, and the little girl uses her imagination, kindness, and Louis’s favorite sport, to include him in their games and classroom community. The book has been especially praised for its realistic view of autistic children in the classroom.
ISBN-10: 0807547468
ISBN-13: 978-0807547465

My Brother Charlie (Scholastic Press, 2010)

Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Book Cover My Brother Charlie

Ages 7-10
Actress and model Holly Robinson Peete wrote this book along with her daughter Ryan about their son and brother, Charlie. Ten-year old Charlie has autism, and the book gives helpful insight into what it is like to have a sibling who is autistic.
ISBN-10: 0545094666
ISBN-13: 978-0545094665


My Friend with Autism (Future Horizons, 2011)

Beverly Bishop

Book Cover My Friend with Autism

Ages 4 and Up
“My Friend with Autism” is a book aimed at the classmates of students on the autism spectrum. Through fun illustrations and kid-friendly explanations, author Beverly Bishop describes the ways in which children with autism are the same as or different than others. For example, a child with autism might not be very good at sports, but his or her eyes will work so well that bright lights hurt them. The book also includes a helpful “Notes for Adults” section that offers more detailed information.
ISBN-10: 193527418X
ISBN-13: 978-1935274186

Noah Chases the Wind (Redleaf Lane, 2015)

Michelle Worthington

Book Cover Noah Chases the Wind

Ages 3-8
“Noah Chases the Wind” is a beautiful illustrated book about a very curious young boy with autism. Noah loves science, and is full of questions — until he finds one that his books can’t answer. “Noah Chases the Wind” has been received a number of awards, including the silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Books Award and the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.
ISBN-10: 160554356X
ISBN-13: 978-1605543567

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year Old Boy with Autism (Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition, 2016)

Naoki Higashida

Book Cover The Reason I Jump

Ages 8-12
Every parent of an autistic child wishes to get inside the autistic mind, and this book helps to make that a reality. Thirteen-year old Naoki Higashida cannot physically speak out loud, but uses an alphabet grid to carefully construct the answers to common questions people have about those on the spectrum. Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks? Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking? Higashida’s book is charming and almost painfully honest. It was a New York Times bestseller, and spent 7 weeks on NPR’s Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List. In her review of the book, Dr. Temple Grandin stated, “Everybody who is working with nonverbal individuals with autism should read it.”
ISBN-10: 081298515X
ISBN-13: 978-0812985153

Rules (Scholastic Press, 2006)

Cynthia Lord

Book Cover, Rules

Ages 8-12
This Newberry Honor Book is a humorous and heartwarming tale about what it’s like to have an autistic younger brother and a family in which it’s impossible to live a normal life. Twelve-year old Catherine attempts to teach her younger brother how to be normal — “keep your pants on in public” — while she herself figures out just what “normal” means.
ISBN-10: 0439443822
ISBN-13: 978-0439443821

Also Available in Paperback (2008)
ISBN-10: 0439443830
ISBN-13: 978-0439443838

Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book (Sky Pony Press, 2012)

Celeste Shally and David Harrington

Book Cover Since We're Friends, an Autism Picture Book

Ages 4-8
“Since We’re Friends” is a picture book to help children in pre-school through second grade better understand those on the autism spectrum. The story is about Matt, who has autism, and his best friend, who does not. Together, the two boys navigate sometimes-challenging social situations as they play sports, watch movies, read books, and talk about animals.
ISBN-10: 1616086564
ISBN-13: 978-1616086565

The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (and Their Parents) (Free Spirit Publishing, 2012)

Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve, M.D.

Book Cover The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Ages 8 and Up
Adolescents on the autism spectrum will find this straightforward and easy-to-understand survival guide extremely helpful. The books covers everything that might seem not so obvious to a kid with autism: what to do if you’re struggling in school; how to make and keep friends; and how to best take care of yourself, among so many other things. It also covers some of the more difficult questions like “What’s an ASD?” and “Why me?”
ISBN-10: 1575423855
ISBN-13: 978-1575423852

Tacos Anyone? / ¿Alguien quiere tacos? (Speech Kids Texas Press, Inc., 2005)

Marvie Ellis

Book Cover Tacos Anyone?

Ages 4-7
This bilingual children’s book from the Autism Story series was the recipient of the 2005 Barbara Jordan Media Award. Aimed at a broad audience of young readers, parents, siblings, family members, and medical professionals, the story is about two brothers, Michael and Thomas. Thomas does not understand his four-year old brother’s behavior and can’t figure out how to play with him. When a therapist explains to Thomas that Michael is autistic, Thomas learns how to better relate to his brother.
ISBN-10: 193331902X
ISBN-13: 978-1933319025

Understanding Samantha: A Sibling’s Perspective of Autism (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013)

Dustin Daniels

Book Cover Understanding Samantha, a Sibling's Perspective of Autism

Ages 5-8
Written by the father of a child on the autism spectrum, “Understanding Samantha” is about David, whose older sister is autistic. Throughout the story, David attempts to better understand Samantha’s differences, especially her sensory issues. The book offers a valuable and heartwarming perspective of what it’s like to have a sibling with autism.
ISBN-10: 1481994018
ISBN-13: 978-1481994019

What it is to Be Me! (Fairdale Publishing, 2005)

Angela Wine

Book Cover What it is to be Me! An Asperger's Kid Book

Ages 4 Up
“What it is to Be Me!” is written from the perspective of Danny, the author’s son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Danny uses humor and keen insight to show readers of all ages what it means to have Asperger’s, complete with all of the challenges and victories.
ISBN-10: 1593521995
ISBN-13: 978-1593521998

Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2009)

Jennifer Veenendall

Book Cover Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears?

Ages 4-8
Izzy is a fun and feisty first grader who is often misunderstood because of her seemingly odd behavior. This vibrantly illustrated book tells the story of how Izzy attempts to cope with sensory overload in surroundings that are new to her, while simultaneously promoting the acceptance of peers with sensory modulation difficulties.
ISBN-10: 1934575461
ISBN-13: 978-1934575468

More for Parents and Families: