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max brooksMax Brooks is a world-famous author of novels like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and The Zombie Survival Guide. He is the son of actors Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

And he has dyslexia.

As a child, Brooks struggled at school from very early on. He has strong negative memories of being laughed at when he tried to read, and even being called lazy by his teachers. He absorbed a lot of that negativity and describes how he thought he was an idiot.

His mother knew otherwise, and took him to a learning center where he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He worked hard to improve his reading and writing through many hours of tutoring each week, but he still found it hard to shake the anxiety he felt due to his dyslexia.

In an interview, he said, “I think only 25% of my problems in school were caused by dyslexia, but the other 75% was the anxiety.”

Despite his difficulties with reading and spelling, he was an avid story-teller. In the ninth grade he wrote a 400-page novel! So years later, after a career as a professional comedy writer for shows like Saturday Night Live, he returned to his first love: fiction.

World War Z was a number one bestseller, and skyrocketed Brooks to international fame. His new project is a comic that pits vampires against zombies. And Brooks wants it to speak directly to children who, like he did, struggle with dyslexia and other difficulties.

“It’s going to deal directly with the psychological aspects of dyslexia, namely how our greatest supposed weaknesses can be our greatest strengths, and vice versa.”

Interested in reading more? Check out:

Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, and online course for children with reading difficulties or dyslexia. Sign up for a free 10-day trial at