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A quick look at the 10 best ADHD books of 2021
- Best classic: “Driven to Distraction”
- Best for women: “A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD”
- Best for adults: “Thriving with Adult ADHD”
- Best for everyday life: “Order from Chaos”
- Best for parents: “What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew”
- Best for couples: “The ADHD Effect on Marriage”
- Best for getting organized: “Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD”
- Best for harnessing your strengths: “ADHD 2.0”
- Best for teens: “Smart but Scattered Teens”
- Best for children: “Thriving with ADHD Workbook for Kids”
With ADHD being such a common disorder that can affect many families, books for ADHD can be helpful tools to turn to.
Whether you’re the parent of a child recently diagnosed with ADHD or an adult seeking new methods for managing ADHD symptoms, there is a wide variety of books for ADHD available to offer you some guidance.
Before you can pick up the best book for ADHD that fits your situation, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best books for ADHD according to the type of advice and topic you may be looking for, whether that’s a book for managing your own ADHD or solutions for connecting with your ADHD teen.
Finding the best ADHD book depends on what you’re looking for, whether that’s for yourself or for a child who’s been recently diagnosed.
We chose these ADHD books based on their topic choice, the author’s expertise, and recommendations from customer reviews.
- $ = under $18
- $$ = over $18
- Price: $
Originally published in 1994, “Driven to Distraction” has impacted the lives of millions of readers with ADHD for decades. Written by co-authors Edward Hallowell, MD and John J. Ratey, MD — who both have ADHD themselves — the book offers a comprehensive look into the world of ADHD, offering everything from patient stories to management tools, and even tips for dealing with a loved one who has ADHD.
This book takes a broad approach to provide a guide for recognizing and coping with ADHD, whether you’re a parent with a child who has been recently diagnosed or you’re an adult hoping to learn new coping strategies.
The classic was revised in 2011 to modernize the content, though reviewers say the information is timeless. “My doctor recommended this book to me,” one reviewer wrote. “I couldn’t help but tear up a little whenever I read something that 100 percent described me. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is suffering from ADHD.”
Best for women
- Price: $$
For women with ADHD, this book is for you. In “A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD,” author Sari Solden highlights the unique challenges and experiences that women face when it comes to living with ADHD. The author aims to combine traditional ADHD treatment with contemporary treatment methods in this therapy-like guide. With a focus on harnessing your unique strengths and accepting your ADHD, the goal of the book is to instill greater confidence and provide the tools needed to break through the barriers some women may feel if they have ADHD.
Reviewers like the fact that “A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD” is a workbook, and many praise the exercises and writing prompts. “The workbook format was interesting and ADHD friendly,” said one reviewer. However, some reviewers weren’t a fan of the female centric-tone, with one review stating they “found some of this content to be a little soft and overtly feminine” for them.
Best for adults
- Price: $
With a focus on executive functioning, a critical component of managing ADHD, “Thriving with Adult ADHD” is a great read for adults who want to build a strong foundation for their lives with ADHD. The book’s main objective is to explore executive functioning skills which can include focus, organization, and stress management, and share tools and strategies for strengthening those skills as someone with ADHD.
While this is especially helpful for those who have recently been diagnosed, this book can also provide insight for those who may have lived with ADHD for a long time and have yet to grasp those essential executive functioning skills.
One reviewer praised the easy-to-read format, saying “I appreciate that most of the advice and guided exercises are written in list form.” Another review said, “This book reminds me to stay calm, focused, make plans, follow through with them and to organize my thoughts and my life in general.” However, some readers suggest that the content itself isn’t anything new to them.
Best for everyday life
- Price: $
“Order from Chaos” focuses on the stress and challenges that adults with ADHD face on a daily basis, everything from clutter around the house to forgetting to pay the bills on time. Based on the experiences of author and blogger of The ADHD Homestead, Jaclyn Paul, this book shares practical advice for managing the everyday chaos and the systems that Paul has found helpful for staying organized.
Readers seem to appreciate that the author offers a realistic perspective on the subject, as a mom, wife, and blogger with ADHD. One reviewer also appreciated how the author dove right in, saying she “doesn’t waste much time explaining the ‘whys’ of ADHD,” adding, “but brilliantly describes the effects, the frustrations, and the needed interventions.”
Some readers felt that the anecdotes could be more succinct, but otherwise this book has received high ratings.
Best for parents
- Price: $
In “What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew,” author and psychologist Dr. Sharon Saline shares her proven roadmap that parents of children ages 6 to 18 can follow to help their child with ADHD succeed. Leaning on her experiences counseling children and their families, Saline offers practical advice and real-life examples so parents can better understand ADHD and learn how they can help their child succeed in school, at home, and beyond.
The book primarily focuses on the brain of a child with ADHD and how it affects their behaviors and thoughts, which is something that online reviewers praise about the book. “As a parent of two ADHD children, I wish that I’d had it earlier,” said one reviewer. They added, “what really moved me was how it explained the ADHD brain and the subjective experience of children with ADHD.”
Best for couples
- Price: $
For adults, ADHD can have an effect on every relationship, primarily with your significant other. In “The ADHD Effect on Marriage,” Melissa Orlov explores the ways couples who experience ADHD in either one or both of the partners can better navigate their struggles and build a deeper relationship within their marriage. The book focuses on the ways each partner can better understand each other and offers techniques to strengthen communication.
One reviewer said this book “provided a roadmap back to a healthy marriage. It gave me hope after years of hopelessness and anger.” However, critics of this book call out the use of outdated language that focuses on the traditional roles of a marriage that involves a man and a woman, which makes it less inclusive of all types of marriages.
Best for getting organized
- Price: $$
Organization can help reduce stress, at work and at home, and this book aims to strengthen those organizing skills for people with ADHD. In “Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD,” author Susan C. Pinsky shares practical and actionable guidance on getting organized so you can complete tasks more efficiently, reduce clutter, and even ask for help, all of which are key to making your day a little easier. The book is even organized by type of room or task for easy reading and reference.
Reviewers appreciate the useful, hands-on organizing systems Pinsky offers. One reviewer said this is the “ONLY useful book I’ve read about how to handle paperwork and office organization, which is the bane of my existence.”
Best for harnessing your strengths
- Price: $
From the authors of the best-selling Driven to Distraction, ADHD 2.0 offers a similar take on the subject. In this book, authors Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey present new research to back up their deep expertise on ADHD. The difference between this book and the others the renowned authors have written, is the focus on the positive side of ADHD; specifically the strengths that those with ADHD have. The book offers strategies and lifestyle hacks that those with ADHD can use to harness their strengths and minimize the negative effects of ADHD.
Readers appreciated the thorough explanations and fresh perspectives. Many reviews suggest this is a great read for those who want to better understand someone with ADHD, with one reviewer saying they “highly recommend it for everyone — if you work or live with someone with ADHD or have a child with it, and especially if you have it yourself.”
Though the book highlights medication in one section, some reviewers noted that this section was brief and left room for a more comprehensive explanation of the pros and cons of medications.
Best for teens
- Price: $
Parenting is never easy, but for parents with a teen who has ADHD, “Smart but Scattered Teens” should be at the top of your reading list. This book aims to provide parents with a step-by-step guide to building executive skills — focus, organization, and emotions, among other things — in their teens.
The book also comes equipped with worksheets and exercises to supplement the science-based insights. “If you’re a parent of a child with ADHD and are not already working with a professional to address your child’s struggles, I think this book would be helpful,” one review said.
Best for children
- Price: $
Though more of a workbook than a reading book, “Thriving with ADHD” is designed to help children with ADHD self-regulate, focus, and succeed. The book begins by introducing ADHD to children by outlining the common ADHD symptoms and how kids can harness them to their advantage. Following an overview, the workbook then provides 60 hands-on exercises focused on everything from skill-building to action-oriented learning, all of which can help them succeed at home and school.
Parents who have purchased this workbook for their children praise the book for its useful and easy activities that children can complete on their own. “The language is easy to understand and my 5th grader had no problem navigating the book by herself,” said one online review. Overall, this workbook has received high ratings, especially among parents who say this book is a confidence-booster for their children.
Many ADHD books provide research-backed advice as well as exercises, which makes them a great supplemental tool to managing ADHD.
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to come up with a plan of action. If you haven’t been diagnosed but have experienced symptoms of ADHD, it’s best to see a professional.
ADHD books work at providing helpful insights, activities, or potential solutions, but they’re just one piece of a comprehensive mental healthcare plan.
ADHD is a common disorder that affects both children and adults.
If you’re seeking guidance on how to manage your symptoms or you’re looking for ways to better connect with or understand a loved one with ADHD, there are tons of books that offer strategies and solutions.
Many ADHD books are even written by experts in the field, so the information presented is usually well-worth the read.
Sam Lauron is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Austin, TX. When she’s not writing about wellness, creativity, or personal development, she spends her time reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and soaking up the sunny Austin weather with her partner and their dog. Connect with her on Instagram or Twitter, or by visiting her website.