4 “Quiet” Books for the Sensory-Sensitive Student

By Sara E. Hoffmann, School & Library Series Managing Editor

For some kids, “loud” books with lots of bright colors and action-packed plot lines work great. They pull kids right into their pages and keep them there in an exciting, brand-new world from cover to cover.

For other kids, such books may be overwhelming. This is especially true for those with sensory sensitivities and/or emotional excitabilities. These readers often thrive when they hold quieter books in their hands—books that perhaps have softer color palettes and explore gentler themes.

There don’t seem to be as many quiet books on the market as I’d like. I’d love to be able to find tremendous stacks of books befitting our most sensitive readers.

In addition to appealing to kids who find high-action themes jarring, I think these books also appeal to lots of kids who love the louder stuff! After all, just because a reader can’t get enough of books on military fighter planes, extreme sports, and high-performance cars doesn’t mean he or she can’t also appreciate a book that discusses nature, or art, or the emotions we all face as people navigating this gorgeous, complicated, sometimes-unsettling planet of ours.

Quiet books for young readers

Fortunately, Lerner offers many books that do explore the quieter side. Here are a handful of my favorites. I hope you’ll share them with the sensitive students in your midst—and also with those kids who love to read about NASCAR, wilderness survival, and Mixed Martial Arts.

Niko Draws a Feeling cover - quiet books for kids

Nico Draws a Feeling, written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Simone Shin, is the a story of a boy who draws how he feels. Though many of his classmates and his parents don’t seem to “get” his art, he meets a new friend who understands it right away.

What Is Poetry? cover - quiet books for kids

What Is Poetry? by Trudi Strain Trueit is from the Name That Text Type! series. Poetry is often a hit with kids who love quiet books, and this title teaches readers about poetry and how to write their own.

Feeling Happy cover - quiet books for kids

Feeling Happy by Rosalyn Clark is part of the Bumba Books ™ — Feelings Matter series. This series explores feelings ranging from happiness to sadness and fear, and I was so proud to get to work on books that broach the tricky topic of human emotion in a sensitive and kid-friendly way—especially this title on happiness, a personal favorite.

Going Camping cover - quiet books for kids

Going Camping by Harold T. Rober is from the Bumba Books ™ — Fun Firsts series. Fun Firsts is about the things kids can expect to encounter as they do common childhood activities for the first time. It covers everything from getting a pet to going to your first sleepover and embarking on a camping trip—something some readers may be doing for the first time this summer.

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