The most recommended ADHD books

Who picked these books? Meet our 31 experts.

31 authors created a book list connected to ADHD, and here are their favorite ADHD books.
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Book cover of Focused

Alysa Wishingrad Author Of The Verdigris Pawn

From my list on for chess lovers.

Who am I?

I love games; board games, card games, head games*; any kind of situation in which employing strategy is the only way forward. And yet, I’m not a big game player—aside from word games. I’m also endlessly fascinated by the mechanisms of power and how societies arrange themselves. The marriage between writing and understanding politics (in the traditional, not the partisan sense) is my true north. Writing a book in which a chess-like game provides the foundation felt inevitable for me, for what game better explores the dynamics of power and strategy? *I don’t play head games, but I do find manipulation fascinating fodder for writing.

Alysa's book list on for chess lovers

Alysa Wishingrad Why did Alysa love this book?

Focused is a beautiful exploration of one girl’s experience coming to terms with an ADHD diagnosis. The writing is rich and filled with emotion, and I very much felt like I was living inside Clea’s head, which gave me incredible insights into her strengths and struggles. That she’s a gifted chess player perfectly illustrates for young readers that neurodiversity isn’t about being broken in any way, it’s not a reflection of intelligence or ability, but simply it’s another way of being in the world, one that requires finding the right tools. 

By Alyson Gerber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Focused as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

3 starred reviews!
"A story full of charm, compassion, and empathy." -- TODAY
 
Following Braced, which had three starred reviews, comes a story of a girl caught between her love of chess and her ADHD.
Clea can't control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework . . . but she gets distracted. She knows she can't just say whatever thought comes into her head . . . but sometimes she can't help herself. She know she needs to focus . . . but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum…


Book cover of A List Of Cages

Sandra L. Rostirolla Author Of Making Friends With Monsters

From my list on what life is like living with mental illness.

Who am I?

My father died by suicide when I was thirteen. Because my family never spoke about the issues leading up to and resulting from this devastating event, we suffered a great deal. I have a deep love for books that expose just how dark, and troubled the teen existence can be. Authors who are brave enough to tackle such topics feed my bravery. The more stories we have on the topics of suicide, mental health, and trauma the broader the conversation and the more those who feel as though no one could possibly understand what they are going through feel seen.

Sandra's book list on what life is like living with mental illness

Sandra L. Rostirolla Why did Sandra love this book?

This is one of those books that will sit with you for days. It is the story of two friends—former foster brothers—who were separated then reunited.

One is doing well (Adam) and the other is lost in a deep labyrinth of emotions (Julian). The connection between these boys and how it evolves is masterfully portrayed.

I could feel Adam’s anguish and helplessness towards Julian. Some problems don’t have a quick fix. But what all problems need is kindness.

Sometimes this simple act can make a world of difference.

By Robin Roe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A List Of Cages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

FIVE STARRED REVIEWS! #1 BESTSELLER! 
 
"I love this book with my whole heart."--Jennifer Niven
 
"Remarkably gripping and moving."--Emma Donoghue
 
"Triumphant."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 
"Beautiful and brilliant."--Shelf Awareness (starred review)
 
"Emotional, visceral...heartbreaking...and beautiful."--School Library Journal (starred review)

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track…


Book cover of Passing on: The Social Organization of Dying

Barbara Katz Rothman Author Of A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization

From my list on death and dying.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing about birth for decades – how it became a medical process, managed by a surgical specialty in a factory-like setting. I’ve worked with contemporary midwives who are trying to reclaim birth, to move it back home, back to physiological and loving care. And over and over again, I see the similarities to the other gate of life – how death and dying also left home and went into the hospital, where people die, as they birth, pretty much alone – with perhaps a ‘visitor’ allowed. Covid made it worse – but in birth and death, it allowed the hospitals to return to what medicine considered essential: medical procedures, not human connections. 

Barbara's book list on death and dying

Barbara Katz Rothman Why did Barbara love this book?

Sudnow is maybe the most-assigned book I use in teaching. I start every medical sociology course with Sudnow – if you can get students to understand that death itself is not just “real” and self-evident but socially constructed, then you can calm them down enough to listen to how birth or cancer or Attention Deficit Disorder is socially constructed. This short book – just 176 pages – was based on Sudnow’s dissertation (thus also good to share with anyone struggling through writing a dissertation!) The short message is that ‘social value’ affected attempts to revive people, to rescue them from death. The longer message is taking what I call the ‘watchwords of my faith’ as a sociologist, that ‘situations defined as real are real in their consequences,’ and putting them to work.  

We can’t credit Sudnow with starting the Sociology of Death as an area but for me, he solidified…

By David Sudnow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Passing on as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Passing on: The Social Organization of Dying [Jun 01, 1967] Sudnow, David


Book cover of First Grave on the Right

Melissa Stevens Author Of Maverick

From my list on non-romance readers willing to take a chance.

Who am I?

I learned to read young. No really young. I was 3. For more than 40 years I have been a voracious reader. And on top of that, I will read nearly anything, and have for years. From Nancy Drew to Little House. Anne McCaffrey, Louis L’Amour, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Patricia Briggs and so many more. My preference and passion is fiction but what genre changes with my mood. If you’re willing to take a chance on something new, check these books out!

Melissa's book list on non-romance readers willing to take a chance

Melissa Stevens Why did Melissa love this book?

This one is fun.

Charley Davidson sees the dead, she’s a grim reaper and people have to pass through her to get to the other side. There is always something new, and something unexpected around the corner and even I could never guess (and I’m pretty good at figuring out what’s going on before it’s revealed).

It doesn’t hurt that both Charley and her love interest, Reyes, are more than a little attractive… and possibly more than a little dangerous. Charley’s smart mouth and penchant to find more trouble than she can get herself out of keeps me coming back to read over and over.

By Darynda Jones,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked First Grave on the Right as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer. In the meantime, Charley's dealing with a being more powerful - and definitely sexier - than any spectre she's ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent…


Book cover of The Rested Child: Why Your Tired, Wired, or Irritable Child May Have a Sleep Disorder--And How to Help

Dona J. Matthews Author Of Being Smart About Gifted Learning: Empowering Parents and Kids Through Challenge and Change

From my list on loving and raising challenging kids.

Who am I?

I love prickly children. I was one myself, and I’ve quite a few of them in my family. I’ve also worked with desperate families over the years, children who are out of control, parents feeling overwhelmed, nobody knowing what to do to find the calm and loving core of connection we all yearn for. I feel the suffering these authors document—the child’s sense of being misunderstood and punished unfairly, and the parent’s desperation. So, when I read a book that offers intelligent and caring solutions driven by science, compassion, and experience, I share it with everyone who will listen. I’m delighted to have a chance here to do that.

Dona's book list on loving and raising challenging kids

Dona J. Matthews Why did Dona love this book?

The Rested Child puts a different spin on parenting challenging kids. Chris Winter is a neurologist and sleep specialist who has seen countless situations where bad behavior is a symptom of sleep problems. He writes that irritability, ADHD, mood disorders, obesity, and diabetes are only a few of the possible manifestations of sleep disorders. Winters makes some great recommendations, including reassuring kids about “bad sleeps.” Everyone has nights where they don’t sleep so well, he writes, and that’s okay. Because sleep is so important, you want your kid to feel confident and optimistic about their sleeping, not worried. He has some surprising advice, including strongly recommending against sleeping medications of every kind, and advocating for a later start to school, especially for kids from about eleven years old and up.

By W. Chris Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rested Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sleep disorders in children are on the rise. Experts have pronounced sleeplessness a 'hidden health crisis' for young people, with 10 percent of children presenting with diagnosable sleep disorders - but well over half are misdiagnosed. Every year, tens of thousands of children are treated for diseases such as diabetes, learning disorders, or chronic pain, when the real root cause of their ailment may actually be a sleep disorder for which they're not being treated.

In this ground-breaking guide, neurologist and sleep expert Dr Chris Winter identifies the signs and symptoms of the most common sleep disorders affecting children today,…


Book cover of All Birds Have Anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Author Of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

From my list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety.

Who am I?

I had depression when I was young, but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it. So much of mental health is invisible and nobody knew. I didn’t have the language to explain how I felt, or to ask for help, and I didn’t know how to find out. Any book that could have helped me jump those hurdles would have been incredibly valuable. Children relate to stories, characters, metaphors and pictures more than words. Giving children the tools to explore how they feel in ways they can relate to is really important. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. 

Anthony's book list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

I will not mince words: this book is silly. It follows a very simple formula of describing the symptoms of anxiety, general worry, and stress alongside photographs of birds. The funny expressions candidly captured on the bird’s faces somehow seem to always illustrate the specific situations and emotions being described in the text more perfectly than I even could as a professional illustrator. It’s really good fun and would be an especially great resource for a parent/carer/teacher to read along with an anxious child - jumping off and discussing how they relate to what the birds look like they’re feeling as they go.

By Kathy Hoopmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Birds Have Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day, and how to begin to deal with it.

Following the style of the best-selling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs Have ADHD, wonderful colour photographs express the complex and difficult ideas related to anxiety disorder in an easy-to-understand way. This…


Book cover of The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Sensitive Children Face Challenges and How All Can Thrive

Dona J. Matthews Author Of Being Smart About Gifted Learning: Empowering Parents and Kids Through Challenge and Change

From my list on loving and raising challenging kids.

Who am I?

I love prickly children. I was one myself, and I’ve quite a few of them in my family. I’ve also worked with desperate families over the years, children who are out of control, parents feeling overwhelmed, nobody knowing what to do to find the calm and loving core of connection we all yearn for. I feel the suffering these authors document—the child’s sense of being misunderstood and punished unfairly, and the parent’s desperation. So, when I read a book that offers intelligent and caring solutions driven by science, compassion, and experience, I share it with everyone who will listen. I’m delighted to have a chance here to do that.

Dona's book list on loving and raising challenging kids

Dona J. Matthews Why did Dona love this book?

Thomas Boyce not only has impeccable credentials as a pediatrician, academic, and epidemiologist, but he also has deep personal history motivating his writing of The Orchid and the Dandelion. That is, he not only knows this topic, he feels it. On top of all of that, he writes with a warmth and poetic sensitivity so often lacking in evidence-based books like this. Boyce writes about orchid children being exquisitely sensitive, so they absorb their environment and thrive under the right circumstances, becoming remarkably insightful and creative. Under adverse circumstances, however, orchid children wilt. Dandelion children, by contrast, are more resilient and can accommodate more adversity without showing too much harm. Another interesting dimension Boyce explores is how the family, school, community, and society can all have an impact on an orchid child’s development.

By W. Thomas Boyce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Orchid and the Dandelion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A necessary and important book.' Philippa Perry, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

'The Orchid and the Dandelion is based on groundbreaking research that has the power to change the lives of countless children - and the adults who love them.' - Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet

Why do some people succeed and others struggle? Why are some people's lives filled with satisfaction and happiness and others with frustration and despair? Why do some people die young, while others live into healthy old age? Is it simply chance and…


Book cover of Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

Rebecca Branstetter Author Of The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Executive Functioning Disorder: Strategies to help your child achieve the time-management skills, ... needed to succeed in school and life

From my list on helping children with ADHD with executive function.

Who am I?

Is there a Japanese or Dutch word for "One who loves to geek out on organizational strategies, productivity (and post-its) SO MUCH they focus their career on it?" If there is, um......that's me. I'm Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, and I've been a school psychologist and collector of practical strategies to support students with executive functioning challenges for over 20 years. As the author of The Everything Parents Guide to Executive Functioning and creator of the “How to Teach Children and Teens Executive Functioning Skills” masterclass, my passion is to help kids figure out how they learn, what's getting in the way of their potential, and what to do about it!

Rebecca's book list on helping children with ADHD with executive function

Rebecca Branstetter Why did Rebecca love this book?

I’ve been a huge fan of Ross Greene’s work for a long time because he is changing the way parents and educators look at children with behavioral challenges. His powerful motto, “Kids do well when they can” is a call for teaching lagging executive skills, instead of punishing kids for having executive functioning challenges. Instead of thinking of a child with ADHD as being a “behavior problem” or “unmotivated”, Dr. Greene's Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps parents and educators focus on the true factors contributing to challenging behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.

By Ross W. Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost at School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the renowned authority on education and parenting, “an in-depth approach to aid parents and teachers to work together with behaviorally challenging students” (Publishers Weekly)—now revised and updated.

School discipline is broken. Too often, the kids who need our help the most are viewed as disrespectful, out of control, and beyond help, and are often the recipients of our most ineffective, most punitive interventions. These students—and their parents, teachers, and administrators—are frustrated and desperate for answers.

Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of the acclaimed book The Explosive Child, offers educators and parents a different framework for understanding challenging behavior. Dr.…


Book cover of Fly with Me: A Novel

Lena George Author Of She's Not Home

From Lena's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Climber Mom Aspiring minimalist Loyal-if-sometimes-preoccupied friend

Lena's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Lena George Why did Lena love this book?

Fly With Me was the most enjoyable book I read all year. It was smart, heartfelt, and well-paced, with a perfect balance of heavy and light. I laughed, and I cried multiple times.

I also deeply appreciated seeing neuro-spicy characters on the page.

This representation—bisexual characters, characters with ADHD—means so much to me. Andie Burke, along with Sarah Grunder Ruiz in her upcoming book, is putting us on the map in the best way. I’m so here for it.

By Andie Burke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fly with Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flying-phobic ER nurse Olive Murphy is still gripping the armrest from her first-ever take-off when the pilot announces an in-flight medical emergency. Olive leaps into action and saves a life, but ends up getting stuck in the airport hours away from the marathon she's running in honor of her brother. Luckily for her, Stella Soriano, the stunning type A copilot, offers to give her a ride.

After the two spend a magical day together, Stella makes a surprising request: Will Olive be her fake girlfriend?

A video of Olive saving a life has gone viral and started generating big sales…


Book cover of Dynamo

Daphne Self Author Of When Legends Rise

From my list on captured my ADD personality.

Who am I?

I love to read. Reading since I was 3 years old, devouring book after book. As I grew, my taste expanded. Yet it was the sci-fi book, The Black Hole, by Disney that I discovered in second grade that captured my passion for writing and storytelling. I cannot count how many books I've read, but I can tell you the ones that have left a lasting impression on me. Because of that, I began to write my own stories. I've seven books written and published, the newest one releasing soon. While my tastes in books vary, only one thing remains consistent: finding the best books that capture me and hold me hostage!

Daphne's book list on captured my ADD personality

Daphne Self Why did Daphne love this book?

Honestly, this book was one that is usually outside my reading preferences. Yet once I started, it captured me. The heartache and the perseverance that was written about echoed me. Reading and feeling as though I was transported to the horse races, I could hear the cheers, taste the dust, and feel the anguish. This is one of few books that truly left an impact on me.

By Eleanor Gustafson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dynamo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania’s mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. Jeth earns his living by training and showing Rob’s jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.
Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within Jeth. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God’s hand on his…