Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Book Lists by Specific Character Traits

Book Lists Featuring Characters with Specific Traits

Books with Protagonists of Color:

Books with Characters Who Are American Indian / First Nations People

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Code Talker

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

Morning Girl

Sing Down the Moon

Walk Two Moons

Books with Characters Who Are


Dangerous (prosthetic arm)

Goldfish Boy (OCD)

The Incredible Magic of Being (anxiety; heart condition)

Mockingbird (Asperger's syndrome)

OCDaniel (OCD)

Out of My Mind (mobility and speech challenges)

Rules (autism)

Soar (heart condition)

The Running Dream (amputation)

The Thing About Georgie (dwarfism)

Things Not Seen (blindness)

A Time to Dance (amputation)

The War That Saved My Life (club foot)

Wonder (facial structure)

Books with Protagonists Who Are Athletes


Amazing Grace (ice skating)

Athlete vs. Mathlete (basketball)

Bionic (lacrosse)

Booked (soccer)

Curveball (baseball)

Ghost (track)

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies (baseball)

Go Big or Go Home (biking, hiking)

Gold Medal Summer (gymnastics)

How to Ditch Your Fairy (cricket)

Losers Take All (football/soccer)

Lost in the Sun (hockey)

Maniac Magee (running, baseball)


No Summit Out of Sight (mountaineering)

Peak (mountain climbing)

The President's Daughter (tennis, skiing)

Roller Girl (roller derby)

The Running Dream (track)

Sliding Into Home (baseball)

Soar (baseball)

Ultra (long distance running)

The Underdogs (football)

Books with Characters Who Are Visual or Performing Artists


Bionic (music)

Circa Now (photography)

A Crooked Kind of Perfect (organist)

Frosting & Friendship (music)

A Gift of Magic (dance)

Masterpiece (drawing)


Notes from an Accidental Band Geek (music)

Shooting Kabul (photography)

Sprinkles & Secrets (acting)

Under a Painted Sky (violinist)

Unfamous (acting)

Unidentified Suburban Object (violinist)

Books with Characters Who Are Writers

Bad Boy

Finding Perfect


Books with Characters Who Are LGBTQ

The Best Man


Gracefully Grayson

The Incredible Magic of Being

Lies We Tell Ourselves

The Porcupine of Truth

The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek

Six Impossible Things

The War That Saved My Life

Books with Characters Who Are

Academically Gifted

See lists above - characters who are athletes, musicians, writers, and visual/performing artists

Artemis Fowl

Bad Boy

Counting By 7s

Millicent Min, Girl Genius

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Nerd Camp

The Westing Game

The following books also deal with academic giftedness, but they either deal with the subject in rather inauthentic ways, or the giftedness is not particularly a focus of the story, compared to other elements:

Surviving the Applewhites

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet


The View from Saturday