Children Books About Anxiety, ADHD, Social Skills

Looking for books to explain ADHD to your children?  If you think being a parent to a child diagnosed with ADHD is tough, try being the child.  It's hard and no one understands which makes it extremely frustrating.

As a parent it's our job to teach them to be self-sufficient adults, to embrace their strengths and build on them.  How do we do that when we barely understand the struggles they are going through?

Try these books below.  Read them with your children to help them and you understand the diagnosis of ADHD and the struggles they need to learn to overcome.

If your kids are like my ADHD son, getting him to read  was a battle.    Many of these books (not all – please check) are available with an Audible option and/or Kindle Unlimited option.  For those discouraged readers, I suggest a subscription to Amazon Audible or any Audible book program.  You can listen to the books on the way to school each morning and you can discuss the books together.  If you can create a dialogue with your super hero to open the communication door, which in turn will lead to a stronger understanding and better relationship.

This list is only a small sample of available books.  Amazon has so many, it was difficult to narrow it down.

The list is divided into three sections:

  • Books to Explain ADHD
  • Behavior and Social Skills
  • Anxiety

Books to Explain ADHD

Marvin's Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (And I Win, Big Time) (St4 Mindfulness Book for Kids)

books to explain ADHD to children

  • Age Range: 7 – 11 years
  • Grade Level: 2 – 6

Meet Marvin, a lovable monster with a twelve-string baby fang guitar, a rambunctious case of ADHD, and a diary to record it all. His teachers scold him, his parents don't know what to do with him, and his sister is convinced he was raised by triple-tailed monkeys. In short, Marvin's life is feeling out of control until a secret formula changes everything.

In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Marvin's Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (And I Win, Big Time). Using the “monstercam” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Marvin's Monster Diary teaches kids how to be mindful, observe their surroundings, and take time to think about their actions. Marvin's hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It's the one book on ADHD that kids will actually want to read!

The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

What are ADHD? What does it mean to have ADHD? How can kids diagnosed with ADHD help themselves succeed in school, get along better at home, and form healthy, enjoyable relationships with peers? In kid-friendly language and a format that welcomes reluctant and easily distracted readers, this book helps kids know they’re not alone and offers practical strategies for taking care of oneself, modifying behavior, enjoying school, having fun, and dealing with doctors, counselors, and medication. Includes real-life scenarios, quizzes, and a special message for parents.

Learning To Slow Down & Pay Attention: A Book for Kids About ADHD

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: K – 3

This third edition of reflects changes in understanding of ADHD and in our approach to its treatment.. While the majority of what's written about ADHD emphasizes behaviors that bother adults, this book emphasizes those aspects of ADHD that are troublesome to the children, trying to look at the world more from their point of view.

Journal of an ADHD Kid: The Good, the Bad, and the Useful

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 8

2014 ForeWord Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist: Juvenile NonFiction category

For kids with ADHD, reading Journal of an ADHD Kid is a chance to get to know themselves (and their diagnosis) much better! Toby, the narrator, relates his experiences coping with life as an ADHD kid in an authentic kid's voice that is sometimes funny, sometimes exasperated, sometimes proud, illustrating the range of emotions that kids with ADHD/ADD feel.

The book provides information in a frank, upbeat, conversational manner and offers thought-provoking questions designed to help readers recognize how ADHD/ADD affects them and then come up with better ideas for handling difficult situations in their own lives.

From facts about an ADHD diagnosis to whether to tell friends and teachers, and from understanding both the good and bad aspects of ADHD to what can help with the disorder, there's plenty of solid information, emotional support, and tips for kids and teens.

Cory Stories: A Kid's Book About Living With Adhd

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

In short statements and vignettes, Cory describes what it's like to have ADHD: how it affects his relationships with friends and family, his school performance, and his overall functioning. He also describes many ways of coping with ADHD: medication, therapy/counseling, and practical tips for school, home, and friendships.

My Warp Speed Mind

  • For ages 3-9

Do you have trouble paying attention and being still? Do you feel like everyone is always mad at you? Drake knows how you feel. With some help he will learn how to control his impulses. A spaceship that can go warp speed is great, but only if you know how to make it slow down too!

Katy’s Secret – An ADHD Story

  • For ages 3-9

Katy has a secret, One she can’t explain. She hears EVERYTHING, A pin drop to a plane. The book deals with a girl who, from the time she was a baby until she was in a middle grade class, hears everything and fails to achieve the best results on school tests.She feels different and unusual wherever she goes: kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school until one day her teacher Gabriela called her to a personal meeting…

Sometimes I Drive My Mom Crazy, But I Know She's Crazy About Me

  • For ages 4-10

This story is about a child with ADHD who develops a sense of self-worth.

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets (A Story About Attention. Distraction, and Creativity) New Edition (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses)

  • For ages 5-10

David doesn't know how he ends up in such situations. At the time, it just seems like a great idea. His teacher, Mrs. Gorski, has had aout enough; he can tell by the way her voice changes when she speaks to him. This time, he believes that he has come up with the best idea yet. The perfect plan to make everything better.

Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy (Understanding Learning Differences)

  • For ages 2-7

Terrific Teddy’s Excessive Energy is a book about how to explain ADD/ADHD to children, and for the adults who love them. Together, you’ll meet Teddy – a great kid who has trouble paying attention, remembering the rules, and controlling all his energy. When his parents discover he has ADHD, they’re able to get Teddy the help he needs to make positive changes. This book is designed for a parent, grandparent or teacher to read to a child to explain ADHD, ADD, or excessive energy. In doing so, you form a team designed to help a child learn and grow, despite his or her learning differences. In the book’s introduction, author and school psychologist Jim Forgan, Ph.D., explains how to discuss ADHD with children in a way that’s hopeful and encouraging. The book has two optional endings that give parents the choice of explaining learning differences using the term ADHD/ADD or by discussing excessive energy in general terms.

Terrific Teddy's Focus Friend: A Non-Medication Way to Improve Focus and Concentration (Executive Functioning Solutions Series)

  • For ages 2-7

Terrific Teddy's Focus Friend is a book designed to help children who struggle to focus. In it, you'll meet Teddy, a smart boy who needs a little extra help staying on task. His mom finds just the right tool – a Focus Friend! It's a great solution to a tough problem, and it's fun to see how Teddy learns to use his Focus Friend to help him in school and at home. This book offers a solution to the question, “How can I help my child focus more without using medication?”  It's designed for a parent, grandparent, therapist or teacher to read to a child. In doing so, you form a team designed to help the child learn and grow, despite his or her learning differences. In the book's introduction, author and school psychologist Jim Forgan, explains executive functioning and how focus items can be used to aid children.

Behavior and Social Skills

What Were You Thinking?: Learning to Control Your Impulses (Executive Function)

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

Third-grader Braden loves to be the center of attention. His comic genius, as he sees it, causes his friends to look at him in awe. But some poor decision-making, like ill-timed jokes in class and an impulsive reaction during gym that left a classmate teary-eyed and crumpled on the floor, forces the adults in Braden's life to teach him about impulse control. But will the lessons shared by his teachers and his mom really help Braden manage his impulses? Find out in this hilarious story by Bryan Smith.

But It's Not My Fault! (Responsible Me!)

  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3

My name is Norman David Edwards… but everybody calls me Noodle. Sometimes things happen to me that get me into trouble. But it's not my fault! This first book in the new Responsible Me! Series, follows Noodle through a very rough day at school. It just isn't his fault that his brother's game ran late and he didn't finish his homework. Or that his mom forgot to remind him to turn in his library book. Or that Mary Gold got in his airspace and hit his arm with her head… Join Noodle on his journey as he learns not to blame others or try to find fault; but instead practices accepting responsibility, and turns his very rough day into a very good NEW day!

Lying Up a Storm

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3

A Storm is Brewing… Whenever Levi doesn't like the truth, he kinda, sorta makes up other stuff to say. One day his mother explains to him that telling lies will damage the trust of his friends and make him very sad. “Whenever you tell a lie, your inside sun goes away. Then a lying cloud forms, and glooms up your day. Each time you tell a lie, another cloud starts to form, and before you can stop it from happening, your insides start to storm.” This book is a great resource to help children understand not only the consequences of telling a lie, but also how one lie can often lead to telling several more. It will help parents and teachers understand that lying can be a normal and sometimes healthy response for a child and offers tools to help guide children toward truthfulness.

I Feel Mad! Tips for Kids on Managing Angry Feelings (How to Make & Keep Friends Workbooks)

  • Grade Level: 3 – 5

The I Feel Mad anger workbook provides simple, actionable and proven strategies to help kids manage angry feelings. In this workbook, your child will learn: • the anger rule to follow and what he or she can or cannot do when he or she is feeling angry; • that anger is a normal emotion we all have, but managing anger appropriately is a critical life skill; • how to identify the physical sensations of anger and implement strategies before it becomes too hot to handle; • a menu of safe strategies to choose from when angry situations arise; • and effective problem-solving skills and specific reactions to replace an angry response. I Feel Mad is written at a 3rd grade reading level. Younger children can easily access the content with parent support and some older children (up through 5th grade) have found the workbook to be a helpful tool for coping with strong feelings.

Dude, That's Rude!: (Get Some Manners)

  • Age Range: 8 – 13 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up

Kids today need manners more than ever, and Dude, That’s Rude! makes it fun and easy to get some. Full-color cartoons and kid-friendly text teach the basics of polite behavior in all kinds of situations—at home, at school, in the bathroom, on the phone, at the mall, and more. Kids learn Power Words to use and P.U. Words to avoid, why their family deserves their best manners, and the essentials of e-tiquette (politeness online). It seems like light reading, but it’s serious stuff: Manners are major social skills, and this book gives kids a great start.

Don't Behave Like You Live in a Cave

  • Age Range: 8 – 13 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

Full-color cartoons and humorous, kid-friendly text teach kids how to make smarter choices about how they behave at home and at school so they stay out of trouble, feel good about themselves and their choices, and get along better with family, friends, and teachers. Better behavior isn’t just about making adults happy: it means selfcontrol, awareness, and a positive outlook, so things go better for kids. Lighthearted yet supportive and frank, this book helps readers learn to make thoughtful, deliberate, positive behavior decisions. Behavior issues addressed include small ones, like talking or blurting out in class, as well as bigger ones, such as fighting.

The Survival Guide for Kids with Behavior Challenges: How to Make Good Choices and Stay Out of Trouble

  • Age Range: 9 – 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 – 9

Many kids and teens have challenges when it comes to behavior. In this revised edition of his time-tested book, Thomas McIntyre provides up-to-date information, practical strategies, and sound advice to help kids learn to make smarter choices, make and keep friends, get along with teachers, take responsibility for their actions, work toward positive change, and enjoy the results of their better behavior. New to this edition are an “Are you ready to change?” quiz, updated glossary and resources, and a fresh organization and design. This is a book for any young person who needs help with behavior. A special section at the back addresses diagnosed behavior disorders.


The Worry Glasses: Overcoming Anxiety

  • Age Range: 3 – 9 years

Do you find yourself worrying about almost everything? Do your worries seem extra large? MJ knows the feeling. She's a big worry wart. Visit with MJ as she learns how to take off her “Worry Glasses” and take control of her anxiety.

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine

  • Grade Level: 2 – 5

Anxiety is a subjective sense of worry, apprehension, and/or fear. It is considered to be the number one health problem in America. Although quite common, anxiety disorders in children are often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability. This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety. For those worries that are not in anyones control (i.e. the weather,) a worry hat is introduced. A fun read for Wilmas of all ages!

David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety

  • Age Range: 4 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 4

Learning to deal with anxiety is an important step in a child's healthy emotional growth. Conquering fears, and not avoiding them, is the lesson imparted in this story. David could not stop thinking about the basket he had missed at the end of the big game. He was worried that he might do it again. He was worried that his team mates would be angry with him. He was worried that his parents would not be proud of him. He was also worried about an upcoming math test. In fact, David was worried a lot. “Should I quit the team?” he asked himself. “Should I be sick tomorrow and miss the math test?” Luckily, David finally confided in his parents and school nurse, both of whom gave him support and techniques for controlling the “worry beast” within him. Delightfully illustrated, it focuses on a very real and essential topic.

Is a Worry Worrying You?

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Adults think of childhood as a carefree time, but the truth is that children worry, and worry a lot, especially in our highly pressurized era. This book addresses children's worries with humor and imagination, as hilarious scenarios teach kids the use of perspective and the art of creative problem-solving.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids)

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 7

“What to Do When You Worry Too Much” is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change.

A Boy and a Bear: The Children's Relaxation Book

  • Age Range: 3 – 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 5

This story of a young boy who encounters a polar bear while climbing a snow-covered mountain teaches children relaxation techniques to reduce stress, prepare for sleep, and improve self-confidence.

Check out our list of Books for parents to help understand ADHD too.

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