12 Books for People Who Stutter

by Harsh Tyagi

Talking and sharing can be incredibly challenging for anyone who stutters. It may feel like waging a war with oneself at all times.

If you have a family member or dear friend who stutters, you may want to introduce them to books that talk about speech disfluency in a way that’s uplifting and informative.

Many people who have stuttered since childhood have sought comfort in reading. Books have not only fueled their imagination, but they have also helped them learn. These books may make learning speech exercises for adults or kids to reduce stammering both interesting and easy.

If you want to pick a book for someone you know or you want to read more about stuttering, these are a few books that may help.

For Preschoolers

Santa Stutters Too By Regan Espinosa

Our beloved Santa always says “Ho ho ho”. However, what if he had more to say like “Ho-ho-hold that sleigh”?

It is the ideal book for toddlers and preschoolers who are just beginning to show signs of stuttering. It is a great bedtime read for parent-child activity advocated by the Lidcombe program.

Your child will gain a new perspective about stuttering. Regan Espinosa normalizes stuttering by making children believe that even Santa Claus may stutter.

The Adventures of Phil & Dotty By Michael Sugarman and Kim Swain

It is an incredible book that fuels positive fantasy in children. Kim Swain paints a mesmerizing picture of fantastic creatures and how Phil comes to find his own voice through adventure.

Phil is a kid who doesn’t like going to school. However, one fateful school morning he saves and befriends a ladybug named Dotty, and their adventures begin.

‘The Adventures of Phil and Dotty’ is about accepting, standing up for, and believing in oneself.

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott

‘I Talk like a River’ is a beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a young boy who struggles to speak. It portrays his frustration and loneliness, and it shows how support and kindness go a long way to help a child reconnect.

‘I talk like a River’ is based on Jordan Scott’s personal experience. It is an impactful book for young children who are struggling with difficult emotions like loneliness or self-doubt.

Hooray for Aidan by Karen Hollet

‘Hooray for Aidan’ by Karen Hollet is an illustrated storybook for children. If your child is just beginning to show signs of secondary stuttering behavior like avoidance and fear of talking, getting this book may be a good idea.

This book draws heavily from the personal experiences of Karen, who has stuttered most of her life. It tells the story of Aiden, a little girl, who stutters. She moves to a new neighborhood and she’s afraid to speak at her new school.

It is a story of personal battles and how they are won even by children.

It’s a book highly recommended by the Canadian Stuttering Association and Cherry Hughes, the Education Officer at the British Stammering Association.

For School Aged Children

A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz

Alan Rabinowitz was an American Zoologist. Apart from working as a conservationist and zoologist, he also served as a spokesperson for the Stuttering Foundation (SFA).

‘A Boy and a Jaguar’ is a largely biographical book (illustrated) where the author writes “Animals were the only things I could talk to as a child.”

It is a story of how Rabinowitz turned a perceived weakness into a personal strength. He writes about how he grew up from being someone who stuttered severely into a spokesperson for the safety and conservation of jaguars.

It is an interesting and easy read for school-aged children who are coming to terms with their stuttering, and struggling with feelings of isolation and dejection.

The Adventures of Abigail by Yolanda Boone

Yolanda Boone has 16 years of experience as a Speech-language pathologist (SLP). Yolanda has been stuttering ever since she was a young child. Her personal experience and professional expertise lends an accurate insight into the mind of Abigail, a young girl, who stutters.

She not only narrates the story of Abigail, but each child who stutters across the world. This coming-of-age account of a 14-year-old girl who has just begun attending high school resonates with the thousands of teens who are currently struggling with self-doubt, self-confidence, fear and identity.

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger

Greenhorn is a story of human relationships and dreams. A quiet young boy, who is also a holocaust survivor, arrives at a yeshiva with only one possession, a mystery box. Set in 1946, Greenhorn explores the dynamics between the new boy, his classmates and the narrator, who stutters.

The narrator finds a friend in the new boy, Daniel. Daniel never lets the box out of his sight. The mystery of Daniel’s box spirits Anna’s story, while navigating the complex relationship the children share with stuttering and their dreams.

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Paperboy is less of a work of fiction and more of an autobiographical novel. It is Vince Vawter’s memoir about his early teens and his struggle with a speech disorder.

Paperboy takes place in 1959. It narrates the experiences of Victor, a boy who stutters. As Victor takes over his friend’s paper route, he encounters new people in the neighborhood and faces new challenges.

It is an inspiring account of a young boy’s journey from speech disfluency to fluency. Paperboy is a must read for teens and tweens who are struggling with stuttering.

For Teenagers and Young Adults

Stuttering: Inspiring Stories and Professional Wisdom Edited By Peter Reitzes and David Reitzes

It is a collection of short stories and accounts from people who stutter from across the world, and professionals.

The first section of the book contains inspiring accounts from people who stutter. Ideal for teenagers and young adults, this book provides a much-needed boost of motivation and positivity.

In this book, you will find topics like fluency, stuttering, stuttering related fears, covert stuttering, avoidance, tools for stuttering treatment and productive changes.

It is the most wholesome book for readers who want to learn about stuttering and its impacts in a concise and interesting way.

The Gift of Stuttering - Confronting Life's Challenges: A Personal Journey by Moe Mernick (2016)

Moe Mernick describes the challenges he has faced throughout life as a person who stutters. It is an exceptional book that takes us through Mernick’s quest for the meaning and purpose of his stuttering and suffering.

Read this book to find out how Mernick overcomes his loneliness and suffering to find an exceptional life of purpose and meaning. Find out what drives him to embrace hope even when uttering his own name seems like a challenge on some days.

The Gift of Stuttering can help someone who stutters by giving them inspiration and hope!

Stuttering Is Cool. A Guide to Stuttering In a Fast Talking World, By Daniele Rossi

Are you an adult or teen who enjoys reading comic books more than novels and short stories? Well,this book by Daniele Rossi is for you!

This super fun, simple, yet informative book tells the story of Banky. Franky Banky struggles with stuttering and loneliness. ‘Stuttering is Cool’ captures Banky’s journey from shame, discomfort and embarrassment to confidence, voluntary stuttering and advertising their stutter.

It is an excellent guidebook for people who want to master new tools and techniques that can help them cope with stuttering. It is an interesting read for anyone who wants to learn about stuttering without keeping a thesaurus handy!

Stammering Pride & Prejudice: Difference Not Defect Edited By Patrick Campbell, Christopher Constantino, and Sam Simpson

‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice’ is an engaging read, which aims to change the way we think about stuttering or stammering. It is a must-read if you are thinking about pursuing self-therapy for stuttering.

While many view stuttering as a character flaw, the authors present stuttering as a unique way of talking that needs to be heeded and respected. It presents a combination of personal narratives, statistics, disability theory and art to demonstrate how society has turned stuttering into a disability.

This book will give you a new perspective about stuttering and an understanding of the negative emotions associated with it. It will give you the validation you need to deal with your shame, embarrassment, anxiety and fear of stammering.

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