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Bravery: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about bravery?

I think as parents, we can all agree that we’d love our children to be brave and courageous. We want them to be fearless, or at least to push forward and go after what’s right or what they’re working for in spite of any fear they might have. Being brave means being vulnerable, bold, and daring, in both little and big circumstance.

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” J.K. Rowling

Dig into these books to find wonderful examples of bravery and to learn what it really means to be brave!

Top 10 Books About Bravery

#1
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Written by Elena Favilli & illustrated by Francesca Cavallo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
A children's book that reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 great women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.
#2
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After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written & illustrated by Dan Santat
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
After reading this for the first time, I immediately added to my "to buy" list. I'm a sucker for "fractured fairy tales" (which this isn't quite, but in the same vein) and this is an incredibly clever take on Humpty Dumpty "after the fall," exposing the emotional trauma following his traumatic accident and how he goes about conquering his fears. No spoilers here, but when I hit the last page I was blown away: so clever and so many warm fuzzies when Humpty realizes his full potential.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.
#3
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The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Written & illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I absolutely love this book. The illustrations are so beautiful and unique, and the message is even better. I love that it shares the message of unconditional love, that the parent will love whoever their child grows up to be. The book also talks about having courage, kindness, boldness, and loving others. Such a sweet book, one of my favorites!!!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a parent's musings about what a child will become, knowing that the child's kindness, cleverness, and boldness will shine through no matter what, as will the love they share.
#4
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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?
#5
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I Am So Brave!
Written by Stephen Krensky & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Celebrates a toddler's growing comfort with such things as hearing loud noises and being left with a babysitter.
#6
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Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
Written & illustrated by Jessica Hische
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Tomorrow I'll be all the things I tried to be today- Adventurous, Strong, Smart, Curious, Creative, Confident, & Brave. And if I wasn't one of them, I know that it's OK. Adventure through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities--all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.
#7
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Mice of the Round Table #1: A Tail of Camelot
Written by Julie Leung & illustrated by Lindsey Carr
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
My favorite part of this book are the strong message to believe in yourself. Throughout the story, Calib saves the day only by having courage and believing he can do it. Watching Calib grow in his confidence makes this book so rewarding, not to mention all the adventure and suspense involved!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
An epic new middle grade series in the tradition of Redwall and Poppy, based on Arthurian legend and told from the perspective of Camelot’s most humble creatures: mice Young mouse Calib Christopher aspires to be a Knight of the Round Table. For generations, his family has valiantly led the mice who live just out of sight of the humans, defending Camelot from enemies both big and small. But when a new threat arises—one that could catch even the Two-Leggers off guard—it's up to Calib and his friend Cecily to unmask the real enemy, unite their forces, and save the castle they all call home. With the sweeping adventure of New York Times bestselling series like Wings of Fire and Warriors, Mice of the Round Table brings to life a legendary world of animals and magic that kids will want to return to again and again.
#8
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Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
Thoughts from Grammy
This is a delightful book about being ready to take the next step. Jabari has finished his swim lessons and tests and is (almost) ready to try the high dive. His father is reassuring and encouraging, but not pushy as Jabari works up his courage. The story plays out in beautiful illustrations in washed-out hues, like a hazy, humid summer day, at a public pool in a sprawling park with skyscrapers in the background. With multiple illustrations on some pages and abundant white space around them, Cornwall builds suspense as Jabari climbs the many rungs of the ladder and walks out to the edge of the board. This gentle and reassuring book is perfect for reading aloud.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
#9
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The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.
#10
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The Story of Ruby Bridges
Written by Robert Coles & illustrated by George Ford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.
Table of Contents
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Books About Bravery and Female Role Models

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Written by Elena Favilli & illustrated by Francesca Cavallo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
A children's book that reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 great women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.
Add to list
The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Over five million copies in print! When the fiercest dragon in the whole world smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle, burns all her clothes, and captures her fiancé, Prince Ronald, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. With her wits alone and nothing but a paper bag to wear, the princess challenges the dragon to show his strength in the hopes of saving the prince. But is it worth all that trouble? Readers the world-over have fallen in love with this classic story of girl power. Now a newly designed Classic Munsch edition will introduce the tale to a new generation of young feminists.
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This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
Honorable Mentions
Sheila Rae, the Brave book
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Emmeline Pankhurst book
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Sofia Valdez, Future Prez book
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Brave Jane Austen book
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  1. Sheila Rae, the Brave - B is for Bookworm -

    Sheila Rae is brave, even fearless, taking great risks like stepping on every crack in the sidewalk and walking backward with her eyes closed. She even growls at dogs, but when she gets lost on her way home from school, her courage falters. This is a great book for talking about courage and fear and stepping up to help someone else face their fears. I love that each of Kevin Henkes characters is unique and likable. Yea! Yea! Sheila Rae!

  2. Emmeline Pankhurst - In this international bestseller from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, meet Emmeline Pankhurst, an inspiring women’s rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women. As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was inspired by books about heroes who fought for others. She dedicated her life to fighting for women’s voting rights and, with hard work and great bravery, led a remarkable movement that changed the world. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

  3. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez - The newest picture book from the creators of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist stars Sofia Valdez, an activist and community leader who stands up for what she believes in! Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.

  4. Brave Jane Austen - This picture book biography of the groundbreaking female novelist Jane Austen, recognized as one of the most important and influential writers of all time, is ideal for Women’s History Month. Full color.

Books About Bravery and Character Traits

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I Am So Brave!
Written by Stephen Krensky & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Celebrates a toddler's growing comfort with such things as hearing loud noises and being left with a babysitter.
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Brave Enough for Two
Written & illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
In the spirit of "Goodnight Moon" and "The Night Gardener" comes a heartwarming picture book about a little girl, her stuffed-animal owl, and their loving friendship from debut author-illustrator Voss. Full color.
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Brave
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Superheroes seek adventure, never give up, and stay calm when others are afraid. Superheroes are brave. But they aren't the only ones. Kids are brave every day. When they are told they are too little, but accomplish something big. When they check for monsters under the bed, just in case. When they face something uncertain, whether a thunderstorm or a hospital visit. When they stand up for what's right, even when it means facing consequences. Like superheroes, brave kids can save the world, just by being brave. Thoughtful text from Stacy McAnulty paired with vibrant illustrations from Joanne Lew-Vriethoff encourage kids to be brave in all the ways they can: trying new things, speaking their mind, confronting bullies, and more. This book will inspire kids to follow their hearts and to have courage, no matter the situation.
Honorable Mentions
A Little Chicken book
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A True Home book
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Bo the Brave book
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Brave Molly book
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  1. A Little Chicken - Dot is a small chick who’s scared of lots of things: wolves, bears, the occasional lawn ornament. But when an egg rolls out of her mother’s nest, Dot must pluck up her courage to save the day—and her new sibling! Perfect for kids who need some encouragement to face the challenging world, this story proves that sometimes a big hero is just a little chicken.

  2. A True Home - When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they’ll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home. This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout. Praise for the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series “[This] gentle tale of magic and self-reliance will entertain confident new independent readers. Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House.” -Kirkus Reviews “Readers will be envious of the world of magic that Clover becomes ensconced in and eager to read future installments.” -Publishers Weekly “[A] charming story, delicately written, with a winning heroine. . . [and] a conclusion that will satisfy young readers.” -Booklist Online “Graduates of sparkly chapter-book series will be right at home and looking for the next installment posthaste.” -Kirkus Reviews “[T]he gentle but intrepid Clover continues to charm.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  3. Bo the Brave - A feisty little girl learns who the real monsters are in this brilliantly funny medieval adventure. Once, there lived a little girl called Bo. Bo wanted to be just like her brothers and capture a fearsome monster. Bo is small, too small to catch a monster―or so her brothers say. But Bo isn’t one to take no for an answer, so she sets off on a quest to catch a monster of her own. Can she defeat the furious griffin, conquer the hideous kraken, and triumph over the monstrous dragon? Or has Bo got the wrong idea who the real monsters are? Author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin, the creator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Little Red, employs her signature style in this original fairy tale with a clever twist. Readers are sure to fall in love with Woollvin’s newest vibrant and sassy protagonist.

  4. Brave Molly - What do you do when no one can see your monsters but you? At first, Molly runs from them. But they follow her down the sidewalk, getting in the way when she tries to make a new friend, popping up unexpectedly out of shadows, and multiplying. Until finally…Molly faces her fears. Author-illustrator Brooke Boynton-Hughes delivers a modern classic in this moving adventure that honors everyday acts of bravery and the power of friendship to banish the monsters that haunt us.

Books About Bravery and Feeling Scared

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After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written & illustrated by Dan Santat
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
After reading this for the first time, I immediately added to my "to buy" list. I'm a sucker for "fractured fairy tales" (which this isn't quite, but in the same vein) and this is an incredibly clever take on Humpty Dumpty "after the fall," exposing the emotional trauma following his traumatic accident and how he goes about conquering his fears. No spoilers here, but when I hit the last page I was blown away: so clever and so many warm fuzzies when Humpty realizes his full potential.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.
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Lionheart
Written & illustrated by Richard Collingridge
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The illustrations in this book are gorgeously rich and detailed and add reality to this story of imagination and conquering fears. Richard's lion (Lionheart) was reminiscent of Aslan (of The Chronicles of Narnia) to me in his protection and empowerment of the little boy in facing his own fears, which made the story even more powerful and meaningful to me personally.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn't wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.
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Thunder Cake
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A loud clap of thunder booms, and rattles the windows of Grandma’s old farmhouse. “This is Thunder Cake baking weather,” calls Grandma, as she and her granddaughter hurry to gather the ingredients around the farm. A real Thunder Cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives. But the list of ingredients is long and not easy to find . . . and the storm is coming closer all the time! Reaching once again into her rich childhood experience, Patricia Polacco tells the memorable story of how her grandma–her Babushka–helped her overcome her fear of thunder when she was a little girl. Ms. Polacco’s vivid memories of her grandmother’s endearing answer to a child’s fear, accompanied by her bright folk-art illustrations, turn a frightening thunderstorm into an adventure and ultimately . . . a celebration! Whether the first clap of thunder finds you buried under the bedcovers or happily anticipating the coming storm, Thunder Cake is a story that will bring new meaning and possibility to the excitement of a thunderstorm.
Honorable Mentions
Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark book
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I Am Scary book
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Scaredy Squirrel book
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The Crocodile and the Dentist book
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  1. Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark - The adorable and indomitable Tiny T. Rex from the critically acclaimed Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug is back in a tale about friendship and overcoming your fears. Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy are having a campout in the backyard! It is what best friends do. But without their nighty-lights, the dark outside suddenly seems VERY dark . . . and very full of spooky things. Good thing Tiny has a super-secret plan to keep the dark at bay! Full of warmth and plenty of laughs, this new adventure starring Tiny T. Rex shows that friends will always find a way to face their fears together—even when those fears are not what they seem! • A great read-aloud book for parents and children • Hip, colorful art and delightful text make Tiny T. Rex an instant favorite of any dinosaur-loving toddler. • A perfect book to help toddlers and children overcome a fear of the dark Fans of silly picture books like Dinosaur vs Bedtime, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, and Llama Destroys the World will love the sweet spirit and continuing adventures of Tiny T. Rex.

  2. I Am Scary - This board book features a not-so-scary monster who’s met his match in a young child. In this sweet little book, a monster tries to scare a young child. But the child insists the monster is not scary but actually quite huggable. From the prolific and beloved author and illustrator Elise Gravel comes this funny and cute board book for the littlest readers.

  3. Scaredy Squirrel - Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It’s way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he’s well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute. Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day … his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk. But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting …

  4. The Crocodile and the Dentist - Oh, it’s time to go to the dentist! Crocodile has a toothache, but he’s afraid of the dentist. The dentist wants to help, but he’s afraid of Crocodile. Never fear! Bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi cleverly and humorously presents both sides of the story, as the crocodile and the dentist learn to be brave and face their fears—of what might happen in that dentist’s chair and of each other!

Books About Bravery and Imagination And Play

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Super Manny Stands Up!
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
"Manny stood up. And then he did the bravest, most courageous, kindest thing he ever could have done. He said: Stop It." Manny is a super hero after school every day, wearing a different color cape and conquering the fiercest monsters his imagination can devise, but it turns out his invisible cape he wears to school is the most powerful. The power and confidence practice and imagination can give you, and the reminder that once you stand up for someone, others will most likely follow and back you up is comforting, and who knows when you might make a new best friend. The illustrations in this book are modern and fun, and the message is spectacular.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Stephanie Graegin bring a lionhearted new hero to life in this tender, sparkling story about standing up for what’s right—and finding your inner superpowers. Every day after school, Manny saves the world from formidable foes. I AM FEARLESS! I AM STRONG! I AM BRAVE! I AM POWERFUL! I AM INVINCIBLE! Zombie bears, evil cloud monsters, and alien robots with laser beam eyes are no match for Super Manny. But when Manny encounters a real-life nemesis in the school cafeteria, will he be able to summon his superhero strength to save the day?
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Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage
Written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The illustrations in this book are simultaneously spunky, charming and engaging! The story is a great read aloud and feels very conversational as if one child was telling another child their wisdom gained so far. I love how it addresses so many common childhood fears, while simultaneously providing perspective and some tricks for dealing with them without seeming preachy or condescending.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
From the author and illustrator of the bestselling In My Heart! The life of a toddler can be full of frightening things: the dark, the neighbor’s dog, and thunderstorms, just to name a few. As children get older, they begin to feel braver around these everyday events, but how do they build this newfound confidence? In this lyrical, insightful picture book, an older sister explains to her younger sister all the things she used to be afraid of, along with some tricks to help, whether it’s a special blanket for bedtime or singing during a storm. Now, big sister assures little sister, the fears that once felt as big as a mountain feel as minuscule as a speck of dust. This playful portrait of fear and bravery empowers young readers to confront once-scary situations and, with charming illustrations and die-cuts throughout, is also beautifully packaged. The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.
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My Name Is Not Alexander
Written by Jennifer Fosberry & illustrated by Mike Litwin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Just How Big Can a Little kid Dream? Who is your hero? Alexander takes a rip-roaring historical adventure! Through his imaginative journey, Alexander discovers how great men become heroes: the roughest rider can be surprisingly gentle, a strong leader is also the most peaceful, and sometimes, being brave about what makes you different will not only help you break records, but inspire others. Join Alexander as he learns how these remarkable men changed the world and encouraged him to find the hero within himself!
Honorable Mentions
Little Bear's Big House book
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Circus Girl book
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Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow book
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The Red Boat book
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  1. Little Bear's Big House - This follow-up to Benjamin Chaud’s critically acclaimed The Bear’s Song and its sequels is graced with richly detailed art, immersive scenes, and an irresistibly sweet story! Little Bear is embarking on his biggest adventure yet. After discovering an empty house, his wish is granted: He can play all day and stay up as late as he wants! But he also gets a big scare. There are mysterious noises downstairs—could there be monsters . . . or ghosts?! Will Little Bear be able to brave the big house all by himself? In step with the previous books in the series, Little Bear may venture far and wide, but his loving family is never far behind!

  2. Circus Girl - When a little girl plays dress up in her leotard and socks she becomes Circus Girl star of the show. Even her toys morph into her dreamscape of circus acts. At each page turn she jumps and tumbles, flies through the air, juggles, spins, balances and contorts. Vibrant and winsome, modern and timeless the illustrations and words convey a captured childhood moment with directness and simplicity.

  3. Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow - A brave shadow finds a more colorful life in this joyous picture book by the acclaimed author of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles and illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers. Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either . . . until the day he pops free, and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. And as he enjoys his first colorful day—singing, dancing, and playing—other shadows watch him, and they become brave, too. The frog’s shadow takes the shape of a prince, the dragonfly’s shadow that of a dragon. Even the rock’s shadow gets in on the excitement. But what will become of the timid beings their shadows have left behind? Will they finally be inspired to find their own daring?

  4. The Red Boat - Posy is afraid of her new house and all the unknown that comes with it, but when she and her dog find a red boat in the garden, she imagines all kinds of adventures and gains confidence despite being the new kid.

Books About Bravery and African Americans

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Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
Thoughts from Grammy
This is a delightful book about being ready to take the next step. Jabari has finished his swim lessons and tests and is (almost) ready to try the high dive. His father is reassuring and encouraging, but not pushy as Jabari works up his courage. The story plays out in beautiful illustrations in washed-out hues, like a hazy, humid summer day, at a public pool in a sprawling park with skyscrapers in the background. With multiple illustrations on some pages and abundant white space around them, Cornwall builds suspense as Jabari climbs the many rungs of the ladder and walks out to the edge of the board. This gentle and reassuring book is perfect for reading aloud.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
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The Story of Ruby Bridges
Written by Robert Coles & illustrated by George Ford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.
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Bippity Bop Barbershop
Written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity.
Honorable Mentions
Fire on the Mountain book
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Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter book
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Leo Gets a Checkup book
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  1. Fire on the Mountain - A clever young shepherd boy uses his wits to gain a fortune for himself and his sister from a haughty rich man.

  2. Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter - Learn about the inspiring life of Harriet Tubman in this early reader biography. Harriet Tubman was a brave woman who was born enslaved in Maryland in the 1800s. After risking everything to escape from her slave master and be free, Harriet went on to lead many people to freedom on a journey known today as the Underground Railroad. This book covers some of the amazing aspects of Tubman’s life: She led 13 escapes—all successful and at great personal risk—between 1850 and 1860. This book also covers some of the lesser-known amazing aspects of her life: During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman enlisted African American men to be soldiers. She served as a spy. AND she led a battle under the command of a Union Army colonel! Beginning readers will learn about the milestones in Harriet Tubman’s life in this Level Two I Can Read biography. This biography includes a timeline and historical illustrations all about the life of this inspiring figure, as well as a rare historical photograph of her. Much mythology and conflicting lore exists about Harriet Tubman. This book was carefully vetted by noted Harriet Tubman expert Dr. Kate Larson. Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter is a Level Two I Can Read, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.

  3. Leo Gets a Checkup - When Dad takes Leo to visit the doctor, Leo learns to wait his turn, sit quietly while his eyes and ears are checked, and be brave during a shot. And, of course, Leo gets a book before he leaves! Little brother Leo was first introduced through the best-selling Lola Reads series in Lola Reads to Leo. In 2014, Leo made his debut with his own adventure, Leo Loves Baby Time, followed by 2016’s Leo Can Swim. This spin-off of the best-selling Lola Reads series is perfect for babies and toddlers.

Books About Bravery and Transportation

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This Is the Firefighter
Written by Laura Godwin & illustrated by Julian Hector
Thoughts from Grammy
I love this book! The catchy, rhyming verse keeps readers moving through the action with a sense of purpose, no hesitating as the firefighters rush into burning buildings to bring people out. In boldly drawn illustrations in primary colors with black and white the firefighters are shown moving through all their responsibilities from preparation, to fire fighting, to heading back to the station. There is a little dalmatian to be spotted on nearly every page. I love the way this book teaches respect for people in dangerous first-responder jobs.
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
The fire alarm sounds. The firefighter jumps in the truck and races to a daring rescue! Get ready for an adventure as Laura Godwin and Julian Hector celebrate one of our bravest everyday heroes in this board-book edition for little hands. Praise for This is the Firefighter (hardcover edition) "With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the 'community helpers' unit." -The Horn Book
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The Fire Engine Book
Written & illustrated by Tibor Gergely
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
A bestselling Golden Book about fire engines and fire fighters is now available as a sturdy board book. This exciting, classic story, originally published in 1950, has captivated generations of children with its you-are-there feel. Our new sturdy board book edition will withstand repeated readings and car trips!
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Yellow Kayak
Written by Nina Laden & illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created *If I Had a Little Dream*. You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.
Honorable Mentions
Snail Mail book
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Rabbit and the Motorbike book
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Little Boat book
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Dog on a Digger book
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  1. Snail Mail - A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. Snail Mail’s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

  2. Rabbit and the Motorbike - Rabbit isn’t sure he’ll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He’s a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog’s tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story? This timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance will touch every reader. For those confronting loss and those eager to explore and experience, Rabbit’s bravery in the face of sadness will console, nurture, and inspire.

  3. Little Boat - When you’re small and on the go, there’s a lot to watch out for: big boats, waves, rain clouds, and more! But Little Boat can handle whatever comes his way, braving the elements and the unexpected with his initiative, confidence, and positive attitude. This colorful follow-up to Little Truck by beloved author-illustrator Taro Gomi will entertain toddlers sailing toward big adventures!

  4. Dog on a Digger - Dog likes to ride along while his human companion works the big excavator at the construction site. But today, when they stop at the snack bar for something to eat, Dog’s little puppy friend goes missing. Luckily, Dog has a brave and ingenious idea for coming to the rescue — with the help of the excavator, of course! Incorporating bright yellow accents, Kate Prendergast’s wonderfully detailed pencil drawings tell a satisfying story of a loyal, resourceful, and clever pup. Two perennial favorites — canines and heavy machinery — come together in a charming wordless book sure to please readers of all ages.

Books About Bravery and Trying New Things

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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?
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What Do You Do with a Chance
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The award-winning creators of New York Times bestsellers What Do You Do With an Idea and What do You Do With a Problem return with a story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you get brave, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen. In this story, a child is visited by his first chance―and not being sure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though the truth was that he still wanted to take one…
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Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts
Written by Dianne White & illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello. From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life's milestones, both large and small.
Honorable Mentions
Lena's Shoes Are Nervous book
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No Place Like Home book
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Born to Ride book
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Saturday Is Swimming Day book
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  1. Lena's Shoes Are Nervous - Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem… Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

  2. No Place Like Home - Having to move a lot because of her father’s job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

  3. Born to Ride - Louise Belinda Bellflower lives in Rochester, New York, in 1896. She spends her days playing with her brother, Joe. But Joe gets to ride a bicycle, and Louise Belinda doesn’t. In fact, Joe issues a solemn warning: If girls ride bikes, their faces will get so scrunched up, eyes bulging from the effort of balancing, that they’ll get stuck that way FOREVER! Louise Belinda is appalled by this nonsense, so she strikes out to discover the truth about this so-called “bicycle face.” Set against the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement, Born to Ride is the story of one girl’s courageous quest to prove that she can do everything the boys can do, while capturing the universal freedom and accomplishment children experience when riding a bike.

  4. Saturday Is Swimming Day - New things can be scary — but as one endearing little girl discovers, it’s perfectly fine to take your time. Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it’s loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it’s OK to sit by the edge if she doesn’t want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomachache again, but with Mary’s gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl’s confidence grows — until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomachache at all! In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.

Books About Bravery and Mice, Hamster, Guinea Pigs, Etc.

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Mice of the Round Table #1: A Tail of Camelot
Written by Julie Leung & illustrated by Lindsey Carr
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
My favorite part of this book are the strong message to believe in yourself. Throughout the story, Calib saves the day only by having courage and believing he can do it. Watching Calib grow in his confidence makes this book so rewarding, not to mention all the adventure and suspense involved!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
An epic new middle grade series in the tradition of Redwall and Poppy, based on Arthurian legend and told from the perspective of Camelot’s most humble creatures: mice Young mouse Calib Christopher aspires to be a Knight of the Round Table. For generations, his family has valiantly led the mice who live just out of sight of the humans, defending Camelot from enemies both big and small. But when a new threat arises—one that could catch even the Two-Leggers off guard—it's up to Calib and his friend Cecily to unmask the real enemy, unite their forces, and save the castle they all call home. With the sweeping adventure of New York Times bestselling series like Wings of Fire and Warriors, Mice of the Round Table brings to life a legendary world of animals and magic that kids will want to return to again and again.
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Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible
Written & illustrated by Ursula Vernon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Never a conventional princess, Harriet becomes an adventurer after learning she's cursed to fall into a deep sleep on her twelfth birthday, but after two years of slaying ogres, cliff-diving, and more with her riding quail Mumfrey, things go awry at home and she must seek a prince to set things right.
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Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers
Written & illustrated by Jan Fearnley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers The first charming instalment of the Bottlenose Bay series from award-winning author/illustrator Jan Fearnley. Harry the harbour mouse is heartbroken when his boat is dashed and smashed on the dangerous, mean old rocks - the terrible Jaggedy Daggers! But just as the sea brings mischief, it brings surprises too . . . A story about being brave. Even if you are very small and have only a teacup and a rusty teaspoon. Jan Fearnley is the best-selling author of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes and Arthur and the Meanies. Her beautifully crafted picture books are terrific for sharing and make for popular bedtime stories.
Honorable Mentions
Splat the Cat book
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Whiskerella book
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Of Mice and Magic book
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The Lion and the Mouse, Narrated by the Timid But Truthful Mouse book
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  1. Splat the Cat - It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

  2. Whiskerella - Princess Harriet Hamsterbone is not the kind of princess who enjoys fancy dresses or extravagant parties. Cliff-diving, fractions, and whacking people with swords are more her thing. So when she’s forced to attend a boring ball in honor of a visiting ambassador, Harriet is less than thrilled–until a bewitchingly beautiful stranger arrives. Who is she? And where did she come from? The mystery leads to a not-so-wicked stepsister, an incontinent lizard, and a fairy’s spell that’s really more of a curse. Luckily, Harriet knows a thing or two about curses…

  3. Of Mice and Magic - “Princess Harriet has absolutely no interest in brushing her hair, singing duets with woodland animals, or any other typical princess activities. So when a fairy tells a very bored Harriet about twelve mice princesses who are cursed to dance all night long, she happily accepts the quest and sets off with a poncho of invisibility and her trusty battle quail. But when she arrives at the Mouse Kingdom, she discovers there’s more to the curse than meets the eye, and trying to help is dangerous business . . . even for a tough princess like Harriet.

  4. The Lion and the Mouse, Narrated by the Timid But Truthful Mouse - She’s always been the “invisible” twin, but when her sister reneges on a promise to the king of beasts, a timid mouse chews her way into the spotlight. This sweet, fractured twist on a classic Aesop’s fable, told from the mouse’s point of view, celebrates kindness and bravery of all sizes. Includes a condensed version of the original tale.

Books About Bravery and Culture

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The Empty Pot
Written & illustrated by Demi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The Empty Pot is Demi's beloved picture book about an honest schoolboy A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom. The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. "Whoever can show me their best in a year's time," he proclaimed, "shall succeed me to the throne!" Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot. Demi's exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping's embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded. An IRA-CBC Children's Choice. An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists."
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Madeline
Written & illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!
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Ada Lovelace
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Zafouko Yamamoto
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Meet Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron. New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the colourful life of Lord Byron’s daughter, from her early love of logic, to her plans for the world's first computer program. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!
Honorable Mentions
The Watcher book
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Lost Boys book
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Hamid's Story book
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  1. The Watcher - After Wendy is kidnapped, the only way she can survive World War II Germany is with the help of a special dog and the family she never knew she had in this historically accurate, standalone companion to Shadows on the Sea that Kirkus Reviews calls “a stimulating blend of suspense and history.” 1942. Berlin, Germany. How did Wendy end up in such a place? Just a few months ago, she was enjoying her time in Maine, supporting the American war effort. But she was kidnapped, then betrayed by her own mother, who is actually a Nazi spy. As a new Berliner—and now a German—Wendy is expected to speak in a language she’s never known and support a cause she doesn’t believe in. There are allies, though, among the Germans. Allies who have been watching over Wendy since she arrived. And Wendy, along with her new German shepherd puppy, must confront them. If only she can find them. Her life depends on it.

  2. Lost Boys - Based on historical events, this unforgettable and inspiring tale for middle-grade readers is about a young boy torn from the only life he’s ever known and held captive as a prisoner of war. In 1982, twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country. War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence—they act upon it. Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to? In this unforgettable tale of friendship and survival against the odds, Reza finds solace through music and forges his own path, wherever that might take him. Lost Boys is a stunning debut from Darcey Rosenblatt. It is perfect for readers interested in current events, history, and the Middle East. Praise for Lost Boys: “In Rosenblatt’s ambitious debut novel, Reza, a 12-year-old Iranian boy, clings to friendship and his love of music as the Iran-Iraq War tears his world apart. . . . Reza’s story is compelling . . . .” —Kirkus Reviews “This hard-hitting first novel opens in Iran in 1982 during the Ayatollah Khomeini’s oppressive rule and that nation’s war with Iraq. . . . The larger political context becomes personal when a devastating public rejection of Reza and his fellow survivors by Iran leaves the boys without a country. . . . [T]he resilience of Rosenblatt’s protagonist strikes a strong chord.” —Publishers Weekly

  3. Hamid's Story - This is the real-life story of 10-year old refugee Hamid, who flees Eritrea with his mother to escape the war and threats to his family from the government. Told in Hamid’s own words, this story describes the hardship experienced by immigrants who are rebuilding their lives with little understanding of the language and culture of their new country.

Books About Bravery and Action And Adventure

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Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
Written & illustrated by Jessica Hische
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Tomorrow I'll be all the things I tried to be today- Adventurous, Strong, Smart, Curious, Creative, Confident, & Brave. And if I wasn't one of them, I know that it's OK. Adventure through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities--all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.
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The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield & illustrated by The Fan Brothers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan's lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible. Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is--and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.
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The Journey to Dragon Island
Written by Claire Fayers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Reaching the edge of the world can't stop the crew of the Onion! It's westward ho in search of dragons, no matter the obstacles. And there are obstacles. Flesh-eating vines, violent locals, and mischievous magi—not to mention Marfak West's ghost—meet the pirates when they land on the Western Island, where a volcano threatens to end them all. Together, Brine and Peter might just be able to save the crew, the island, and themselves. Or they might all go up in flames. It really could go either way.
Honorable Mentions
The Adventures of Robin Hood book
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Tashi book
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Where the Woods End book
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Snared: Escape to the Above book
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  1. The Adventures of Robin Hood - Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style. Robin Hood, champion of the poor and opponent of the Sheriff of Nottingham, takes refuge in the Sherwood Forest and outwits his enemies with daring and panache.

  2. Tashi - “Well, it was like this. Come and I’ll tell you about the time I tricked the last dragon of all.” So says the daring hero, Tashi, in his first book of adventures. Tashi comes from a place very far away. He escaped from a war lord and flew to this country on a swan. He’s as brave as he’s clever, and he tells the best stories. Tashi books are ideal for young readers, or for reading aloud, and they’re loved all over the world.

  3. Where the Woods End - Kestrel, a young huntress, lives in a seemingly endless forest crawling with dangerous beasts. But the most dangerous beasts of all are the Grabbers–beings that are born when you are and stalk you throughout your life, waiting for the perfect moment to snatch and eat you. No one has ever defeated their Grabber once attacked, and those that die from accidents or other creatures are considered “lucky.” Kestrel has been tasked by her mother, a powerful and controlling spell-caster, to hunt down the Grabbers in an effort to protect their village in the forest. Accompanied by Pippit, a hilariously bloodthirsty weasel, she hones her skills as she searches for a way out of the forest–and away from the judgmental villagers who despise her. But her own Grabber is creeping ever closer, and nothing in this forest is what it seems…including her mother’s true motivations.

  4. Snared: Escape to the Above - In the first book of a new action-packed middle-grade trilogy by the bestselling author of The Familiars series, a young inventor and a group of treasure seekers plunder dungeons across a kingdom under threat.

Books About Bravery and Magic

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Written by Gail Carson Levine
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy. Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other. The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters' lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.
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The Voyage to Magical North
Written by Claire Fayers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter. When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she’ll find her place in the world. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.
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The Star Wolf
Written by Paula Harrison & illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Emma rescues a baby star wolf who was caught in a trap in this fifth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Emma lives in a forest full of magical creatures like star wolves! The wolves’ special song makes the stars appear in the sky every night. When Emma rescues a baby star wolf from a trap, she knows she must return the pup to his family. Can she be brave enough to go on a night-time adventure and help to keep the stars shining?
Honorable Mentions
The  Shadow  Thieves book
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Mighty Jack and the Goblin King book
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Rules for Thieves book
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The Restless Girls book
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  1. The Shadow Thieves - Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.

  2. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King - Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone—carried into another realm by an ogre. When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive. Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters—as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below. But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king! Ben Hatke, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Zita the Spacegirl, concludes his latest middle-grade fantasy-adventure graphic novel series, Mighty Jack, with the energetic finale to his retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

  3. Rules for Thieves - After twelve-year-old orphan, Alli Rosco, is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.

  4. The Restless Girls - For her twelve daughters, the Queen’s death is a loss beyond their mother: the King decides his daughters must be kept safe at all costs, which includes their lessons, possessions, and even their freedom. While locked away most hours of the day and night, they stumble upon a hidden, magical world, and it seems a perfect temporary escape. Their outings do not go unnoticed, however, and the King announces a contest: the man who discovers where the princesses go each night can marry the girl of his choice and become ruler of the kingdom. But the sisters will not bend to this fate, so they determine to save themselves in a brilliant twist. The Restless Girls is a sparkling whirl of a fairytale that doesn’t need a prince to save the day, and instead is full of brave, resourceful, clever young women.

Want to see books about magic?

Books About Bravery and Facing Fears

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The Lion Inside
Written by Rachel Bright & illustrated by Jim Field
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
"If you want things to change, you first have to change YOU!" This little mouse, tired of feeling small and insignificant determines that in order to be seen and make friends he needs to be more like the ever-popular lion... he needs to learn to roar! Conquering his fear of becoming the lion's dinner he goes looking for a teacher and finds a friend! The illustrations for this book are totally awesome and utterly expressive, and I love the rhyme scheme!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
"That day they BOTH learned That, no matter your size, We all have a mouse AND a lion inside." A mouse feels small and insecure and determines that what he needs to do is learn how to roar like a lion. He knows he has to act brave when he approaches a lion to learn how. In a hilarious turn of events, the lion is afraid of mice! The mouse comforts the lion, they become friends, and we learn that there's a lion and a mouse inside all of us. The inspiring text by Rachel Bright and the fun, bold illustrations by Jim Field teach young readers an important lesson. Regardless of how big or mighty we are, we can all live our dreams and do what we want to do. Fans of Aesop's "The Lion and the Mouse" will enjoy The Lion Inside!
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The Night Before Preschool
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
It’s the night before preschool, and a little boy named Billy is so nervous he can’t fall asleep. The friends he makes the next day at school give him a reason not to sleep the next night, either: he’s too excited about going back! The book’s simple rhyming text and sweet illustrations will soothe any child’s fears about the first day of school.
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The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Written by Lindsay Currie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful read that Kirkus Reviews calls “just the ticket for a cold autumn night.” Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones. When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. And it involves a secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years. With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!
Honorable Mentions
The Gray Hunter's Revenge book
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The Boy on the Bench book
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  1. The Gray Hunter's Revenge - Frank and Joe investigate a supernatural crime in the seventeenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series. One of the Hardys’ favorite writers, Nathan Foxwood, has recently died in a tragic car accident. Now, the press is swarming his house in Bayport to get the scoop on the novel he completed just before his untimely death. When Joe hears that Nathan’s wife is having a giant estate sale, he drags Frank with him. Who could pass up the opportunity to see inside their favorite author’s home? Nathan’s wife says she wants to get away as quickly as possible; strange things have been happening since their first night there and now her husband is gone and she’s sure the house is haunted. But Nathan’s assistant, Adam, is not so willing to blame it all on the supernatural. Valuable things keep disappearing from the house—why would a ghost need money? Adam recognizes the Hardys’ from an article he read and asks for their help. Of course Frank and Joe Hardy don’t believe in ghosts and are positive they can get to the bottom of all this. But when Adam is mysteriously hurt after spending the night alone in the house, the brothers start to wonder; what is the motive for these crimes if not ghostly revenge? Could these brother detectives be in over their heads?

  2. The Boy on the Bench - The playground is packed with children playing, but Tom is sitting on a bench with his dad. He’s just not sure he’s brave enough to join in. He can’t see a space for himself anywhere in the playground. Not on the slide, or on the roundabout or on the swings. But when a little girl loses her teddy, will Tom have the courage to help? Gabriel Alborozo’s warm, friendly illustrations perfectly bring to life this gentle, empathetic story about overcoming fears and being yourself.

Books About Bravery and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

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Petra
Written & illustrated by Marianna Coppo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself. Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird's nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she's flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl's pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she's a rock, and this is how she rolls!
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Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Written by Alicia Potter & illustrated by Birgitta Sif
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A tale with many tails, perfect for cat lovers everywhere! Miss Hazeltine is opening a very special school for shy and fearful cats. They come from all over, and Miss Hazeltine gives them lessons in everything, from “Bird Basics” to “How Not to Fear the Broom.” The most timid of all is Crumb. He cowers in a corner. Miss Hazeltine doesn’t mind. But when she gets in trouble and only Crumb knows where she is, will he find his inner courage and lead a daring rescue? Filled with adorable illustrations and ideal for fans of Disappearing Desmond and The Invisible Boy, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats is a story that’s perfect for shy and fearful children as it both helps them face scary situations and accepts them just as they are.
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I Will Be Fierce
Written by Bea Birdsong & illustrated by Nidhi Chanani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Today, I will be fierce! It's a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairytale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus). Written by Bea Birdsong and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani, I Will Be Fierce is a powerful picture book about courage, confidence, kindness, and finding the extraordinary in everyday moments.
Honorable Mentions
Tiny Feet Between the Mountains book
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Not So Small at All book
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Lily's Cat Mask book
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Adelaide's Secret World book
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  1. Tiny Feet Between the Mountains - Soe-in is a tiny child in a village full of large people. She struggles with completing chores due to her size, but she never gives up. One day, when the sky grows dark and full of smoke, Soe-in volunteers to travel into the tall mountains to investigate. She’s surprised to find a spirit tiger there and learn he has swallowed the sun by mistake! To help the spirit tiger and her village, Soe-in must come up with a clever idea to solve this gigantic problem. And while she’s at it, she just may prove that the smallest people often have the biggest, bravest hearts.

  2. Not So Small at All - Have you ever felt like you’re just too small to do important stuff in the world at all? Well, take a closer look, and then you’ll see that the smallest of things are as AMAZING as can be! Little things are capable of giant accomplishments. Bees, butterflies, and little children too may seem small but are actually full of great strength and incredible potential! Each one is unique, and capable of making big changes in the world.

  3. Lily's Cat Mask - Armed with a vivid imagination and her trusty cat mask, Lily can take on anything–even a new school… But when her teacher tells her no masks allowed in class, Lily worries, can she make friends without it? Anyone who has been daunted by a new experience, or struggled to put on a good face, will relate to Lily. Whimsical art brings Lily, her father, and her new classmates to life, with text that begs to be read aloud. Perfect for Father’s Day, back to school, and even Halloween–Lily and her grinning cat mask are sure to make you smile back.

  4. Adelaide's Secret World - With a poetic story and lush paintings, Elise Hurst conveys how a bit of bravery, empathy, and imagination can transform our lives. Adelaide lives in a city filled with people and wonders, but she is lonely. She is a watcher, and she sees others like her: the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone. In a chance encounter, Adelaide meets someone who just might be a kindred spirit—and is so startled and shy she runs away! But then she gathers her courage and uses all her ingenuity to make sure that they—and all the other lonely ones—meet and connect and share their dreams.

Books About Bravery and Friendship

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
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The Bfg
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
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Come with Me
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. “Come with me,” he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do—her mama says, “Come with me,” and together they set out for the grocery, because one person doesn’t represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own—walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. “Come with me,” the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world. In this lyrical and timely story, author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître champion the power of kindness, bravery, and friendship in the face of uncertainty.
Honorable Mentions
Exile book
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Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue book
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Little Polar Bear: Lars and the Brave Little Hare book
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Chip and Curly book
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  1. Exile - Tasked with training the magical Alicorn so that it can be revealed to the people of the lost cities as a sign of hope, Sophie is dismayed by a renewal of the dangers she believed were past, forcing her to risk her life for answers. By the author of Let the Sky Fall.

  2. Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue - ‘I hope it’s not too far away,’ says Red Knit Cap Girl. ‘Follow the light of the Moon,’ calls Owl. In this heartwarming follow-up to Naoko Stoop’s debut Red Knit Cap Girl, Red Knit Cap Girl meets a lost Polar Bear Cub. Determined to help him find his way home, to an Arctic land of ice and snow, Red Knit Cap Girl, White Bunny, and Polar Bear Cub set off on an unforgettable voyage. Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl’s curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old. Simple prose and luminous pictures will remind readers that even small actions - such as recycling - can help to solve big world problems, in this inspiring story that celebrates friendship, bravery, and the importance of home.

  3. Little Polar Bear: Lars and the Brave Little Hare - One quiet day at the North Pole, Lars, the Little Polar Bear, hears a cry coming from a deep hole in the ice. It‘s Hugo, a scared little hare, who is trapped and needs to be rescued. The two fast become friends, but Lars teases Hugo for being timid, and Hugo wishes Lars would be just a little more careful! Then Lars lands himself in trouble, and Hugo has to show just how brave he can be in an emergency.

  4. Chip and Curly - Chip the potato chip is sure he has the annual Spud City Festival sack race in the bag—he’s been practicing all year. But when Curly the springy curly fry shows up, Chip knows he’s in trouble. This totally funny story is filled with clever potato puns—and subtle themes of sportsmanship and persistence.

Books About Bravery and Bullying

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Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth
Written by Jeff Anderson & illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13
Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?
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The Big Stink
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Something smells terrible in Miss Winkle's classroom, and no one knows what it is! When the class bully picks on the new boy, saying he's the smelly one, Pedro steps in and stands up for his new friend. But the class still needs to know where that stench is coming from! Like all Pedro books, the story is supported with a glossary and reader response questions, making this a fun and functional choice for libraries.
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Ask Emma (Ask Emma Book 1)
Written by Sheryl Berk & illustrated by Carrie Berk
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Emma Woods knows just how to fix all her peers' problems-or so she thinks-in this first book in the brand-new middle grade series Ask Emma, from the bestselling creators behind the Cupcake Club series! When 13-year-old Emma Woods gets that tingling feeling in her fingertips, she knows she's on to a great idea-and starting an advice blog for her classmates at Austen Middle may be one of her most brilliant ones yet! Who better to give advice on friendship, style, school, and even crushes than someone who's going through it too? But when Ask Emma goes live, she quickly realizes not everyone sees it that way. Suddenly, Emma is bombarded with peers asking her to help them postpone quizzes, get out of detention, and cut gym class short. This wasn't exactly what she had in mind. . . .What's worse, someone is posting hurtful comments, telling her to mind her own business. Despite her good intentions, Emma's blog seems to only be getting her-and her friends--deeper and deeper into trouble. Will Ask Emma come to an end before it's really begun? Or can Emma find her voice, write what's in her heart, and truly stand up for what she believes in? This book will include an appendix on cyberbullying resources.
Honorable Mentions
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts book
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Poor Little Guy book
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Zack Delacruz book
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  1. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts - Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING—just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!

  2. Poor Little Guy - What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

  3. Zack Delacruz - Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

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Books About Bravery and Animals

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Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears. Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers. His dad was not afraid of anything. Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner). With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again. Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.
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Wolfie the Bunny
Written by Ame Dyckman & illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Families of all kinds will delight in this sweet tale of new babies, sibling rivalry, bravery, unconditional love...and veggies! The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can--and might--eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it's Wolfie who's threatened, can Dot save the day?
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Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Written & illustrated by Alex T. Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Little Red sets off to visit her auntie who is poorly. She walks under the giraffes, over the sleepy crocodiles, past the enormous elephants and the chattering monkeys. Then a Very Hungry Lion approaches Little Red, wanting to gobble her up. But despite all the cunning plans by Lion, Little Red outsmarts him and soon has him saying sorry and eating doughnuts instead.
Honorable Mentions
Sloth Went book
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Ol' Mama Squirrel book
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Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet book
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  1. Sloth Went - This hilarious picture book is about a sloth on the go. A sloth who is . . . very slowly . . . making his way to a major milestone: potty training! Today is Sloth’s big day. He’s excited. But he’s also nervous. What if something happens? What if NOTHING happens? Sloth Went is a book about poop. But it’s also an adventure story about facing your fears, gaining independence, and learning to do what you have to. Even if, as in Sloth’s case, it takes a little while to get there. Also included: back matter with the amazing true story of how sloths poop!

  2. Ol' Mama Squirrel - Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein’s lively tale is a fantastic read-aloud, and feisty Mama Squirrel will have fierce mamas everywhere applauding! Ol’ Mama Squirrel has raised lots of babies, and she knows just how to protect them. Whenever trouble comes nosing around, she springs into action with a determined “Chook, chook, chook!” and scares trouble away. Her bravery is put to the test, however, when a really big threat wanders into town and onto her tree. But no matter what, Mama’s not about to back down!

  3. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet - When Kitty is happy and healthy, everything is perfect. She jumps around, eats everything in sight and has the energy to keep slobbering puppies in their place. But when she’s sick, all she can do is lie in her bed. Looks like it’s time for this sick kitty to go… to the vet. When Kitty’s family finally manages to get their clawing, angry pet into the doctor’s office, it’s a wild adventure for Kitty who has to get the most dreaded thing of all…a shot. Once administered, Kitty is cast into an ingenious dream within a dream sequence in which she has to make right by puppy or risk being shut out of PussyCat heaven forever. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, the 9th installment of the popular Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel is chock full of brilliant supporting characters and of course, the crankiest bad kitty you’ve ever seen.

Books About Bravery and Siblings

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The Sweetest Witch Around
Written by Alison McGhee & illustrated by Harry Bliss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A young witch’s sweet tooth leads to Halloween mischief in this companion to the New York Times bestselling A Very Brave Witch, which School Library Journal called “a humorous, not-scary-at-all read-aloud.” It’s Halloween night, and one very brave witch has decided to teach her little sister all about humans and what they enjoy, including some yucky stuff called “candy.” But when it seems the little Witchling thinks candy is yum, her big sister flies off to set her straight—and then she gets stuck in a tree! Good thing the little Witchling isn’t afraid to be brave! This “not-scary-at-all read aloud” (School Library Journal) for Halloween perfectly pairs with A Very Brave Witch.
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The Gingerbread Girl
Written & illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
The lonely old woman and the lonely old man decide to bake a girl this time, but when they open the oven, she runs off like her brother did. Never fear, this smart cookie has a plan to outfox the fox. Will it work? Let?s just say that the ending is sweet for everyone. ?Ernst's familiar art, here placed against gingham-check backgrounds, utilizes the oversize format to best advantage, with large characters leaping out of their frames. On the cover, the candy-studded Gingerbread Girl with licorice-whip hair stares boldly out at readers. Kids won't be able to resist following her inside.
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The Bold, Brave Bunny
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Chow Hon Lam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 44-8
**A Junior Library Guild Selection** **“An enjoyable tale of the marvels of adventuring and the comfort of home.” ―*Kirkus Reviews*** Hop along with Teetu, the bold, brave bunny, as he finds his way in this imaginative tale from *New York Times* bestselling author Beth Ferry (*Stick and Stone*) that reminds us that it’s splendid to see the world, but that it’s even more wonderful to go home, and share it with the ones you love. *B is for brave.* *B is for bold.* *B is not only for...bunnies.* After his brothers and sisters ruin his favorite alphabet book, Teetu the bunny has had enough of his big bunny family! When he sneaks off into the night, what he discovers is more marvelous than he ever dreamed. He sees animals and trees and beauty and moonlight, and puts his adventures into a new book he creates all by himself. But soon Teetu tires of being alone, and just as it gets to be too much...a big fluffy surprise comes to save the day! This heartwarming picture book from Beth Ferry and debut illustrator Chow Hon Lam makes for a perfect Easter and year-round gift. Plus, hidden animal surprises in the art will delight readers as they discover them in every repeat reading.
Honorable Mentions
The Bravest of Us All book
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A  Kingdom  Rises book
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Crown of Three book
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  1. The Bravest of Us All - Ruby Jane has always looked up to her older sister, Velma Jean for her brave and daring stunts, but it is Ruby Jane’s turn to be brave in the face of a tornado that threatens her sister’s life.

  2. A Kingdom Rises - Family secrets combine with fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate, in this final novel in a sweeping middle grade series that Publishers Weekly called “Game of Thrones on a mellow day.”An ancient prophecy says that when three stars appear in the sky, triplets will take the throne and peace will come to the land. The stars have appeared, and the triplets are Gulph, Tarlan, and Elodie. But the prophecy appears to have failed.Tarlan saw Gulph fall from a burning tower during a final confrontation with their undead father. There’s no way Gulph could have survived…even with his special abilities.As for his sister, Elodie, Tarlan’s convinced that she’s a traitor who betrayed the rebellion and her family just so she could have the throne to herself.With nothing left to believe in, Tarlan’s prepared to abandon both the cause and his pack of wild animals, and head north.But appearances can be deceiving. And in a world of magic and deceit, mistaking lies for truth can be deadly.

  3. Crown of Three - “Toronia, a kingdom composed of three realms, is wracked with civil war. King Brutan rules with an iron fist. The kingdom’s only hope comes in the form of Brutan’s illegitimate triplets, prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny”

Books About Bravery and America

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King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara
Written by Donna Janell Bowman & illustrated by Adam Gustavson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across the Niagara River on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man? At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope like a spider to its web, and with his family troupe, he climbed toward stardom. Though his feats became more and more marvelous, he grew bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. To cross the raging river, The Great Blondin needed an engineering process, determination, and a belief that what he could imagine, he could accomplish. In 1859, with all of the work completed, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he'd ever faced. Author Donna Janell Bowman's trademark in-depth research gives readers a clear and exciting look into the accomplishments of The Great Blondin, as well as the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Adam Gustavson's detailed illustrations turn this book into an experience that will inspire readers of all ages.
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Rescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America
Written by Anna Crowley Redding & illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**He saved the words that built America! Emmy Award–winning journalist Anna Crowley Redding and Sibert Honor illustrator Edwin Fotheringham bring to life the riveting true story about the lowly clerk who saved the Declaration of Independence from being destroyed by the British army in the War of 1812.** ***“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”*** These are the words that helped found our nation. Today the Declaration of Independence is one of the United States’ most heavily guarded treasures, but during the War of 1812 it would have been destroyed if not for one man whose story has nearly been forgotten by time. Come along on this historic adventure and learn how one ordinary clerk did a truly extraordinary thing. As a clerk for the State Department, Stephen Pleasonton spent his days quietly immersed in paperwork. He never expected to receive an urgent message telling him that the British army was on its way to the capital. And that the documents that Stephen was entrusted with—such as the *original* Declaration of Independence and the *original* Constitution—were all in danger! It fell on Stephen to get our nation’s most cherished and priceless artifacts safely out of Washington!
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Yasmin the Painter
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
Unsure about her artistic skills, second-grader Yasmin is not looking forward to the art competition at school--but with the support and encouragement of her family she produces a prize-winning painting.
Honorable Mentions
Long May She Wave book
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The Little Pioneer book
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Navy SEALs: Mission at the Caves book
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  1. Long May She Wave - Discover the story of the girl who sewed the American flag that inspired the lyrics of the National Anthem in this beautifully illustrated celebration of our country’s iconic symbol for freedom. Caroline Pickersgill came from a family of the best flag makers in Baltimore. She and her family proudly stitched the grand flag that gallantly whipped in the wind over Fort McHenry. But when the British attacked Baltimore on September 12, 1814, would those broad stripes and bright stars still wave strong? Would America still be free and remain the home of the brave?

  2. The Little Pioneer - Perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, this picture book about one little girl’s journey westward is engaging and appropriate for younger readers. Children of all ages will be captivated by one brave girl’s adventures come to life as she relates the challenges, excitement, and dangers of the American frontier. Filled with drama and gorgeous, evocative illustrations, this first-person tale is a testament to the determination, solidarity, and courage of the early pioneers, each chasing their own American Dream.

  3. Navy SEALs: Mission at the Caves - Brandon Webb is a Navy SEAL on a mission with his platoon.As the SEALs explore a network of caves in Afghanistan, they happen upon enemy soldiers. Outnumbered and with few resources at their disposal, Brandon and his team must call on their training to complete their operation—and to stay alive. Packed with photos, maps, and sidebars to provide context and background, the Special Operations Files series will provide insight into the most elite forces in the U.S. military.These uniquely trained soldiers do what no one else can do:employ high-tech weaponry and old-fashioned bravery to get the job done!

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Books About Bravery and Survival Stories

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Lifeboat 12
Written by Susan Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-13
In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare. And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive? Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.
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Return to the Jungle
Written by Bear Grylls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In Return to the Jungle, the middle-grade sequel to Bear Grylls’s Spirit of the Jungle, Mak returns to the jungle where he is determined to set a captured endangered elephant free...
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Gorilla Dawn
Written & illustrated by Gill Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13
"It is time, Imara. Imara left the shadows and stepped into the pool of moonlight, listening to the demon as he paced inside her mind. It is time, Imara. The men are waiting for you. They are waiting for your power to protect them. She knelt down and poured the contents of her water bottle into the ashes of last night’s fire, stirring with her fingers, working the mixture into a gritty paste. All around her, the forest was dark and still, wrapped in silence. Nothing moved. High above in the canopy, a pale mist clung to the leaves. Thin tendrils of vapor hung in the air, as if the trees were holding their breath, waiting for the dawn. The Black Mamba and his men were folded into the deep moon-shadows. Only the cold light catching the metal of their rifles told they were not of this place. Come on, Imara, hissed the demon. They’re watching you. Imara’s hands hovered over the ash paste and trembled. Stupid girl. Don’t show your fear. You know what they’ll do if they see your fear. Imara breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the cool night air. She tried to block her mind from the purpose of her task. She hummed softly, trying to ignore the demon and scooped the ash paste into her hand. Hurry, Imara. They want to see their spirit child."
Honorable Mentions
The Unbreakable Zamperini book
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Charlotte Spies for Justice book
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Spirit of the Jungle book
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Disaster Diaries: Brainwashed! book
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  1. The Unbreakable Zamperini - In the 1930s Louis Zamperini was a promising Olympic track athlete. But when World War II broke out, he enlisted and served as a bombardier with the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1943 Zamperini miraculously survived when his bomber crashed in the Pacific Ocean. But that was just the beginning of his ordeal. After surviving for more than six weeks on a raft at sea, he was captured by Japanese forces and sent to a POW camp. For the next two years Zamperini endured brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese officer who chose to make an example of him. But no matter how horrible things things became, Zamp refused to be broken. Learn all about Louis Zamperini and his unbreakable spirit as a prisoner of war in World War II.

  2. Charlotte Spies for Justice - In 1864 twelve-year-old former slave Charlotte is lucky enough to live on a plantation near Richmond, Virginia, owned by a Miss Van Lew, who hates slavery, and when Charlotte overhears a conversation she realizes that her mistress is gathering information and passing it on to the Union army; Charlotte is eager to help, (especially since her own cousin, Mary, is involved) but her enthusiasm may endanger them all—or help free 400 Union soldiers who are being moved from Richmond further south.

  3. Spirit of the Jungle - This middle-grade re-imagination of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a nod to the original with a fresh adventure and survival story from the #1 survivalist himself, Bear Grylls. Thirteen-year-old Mak and his conservationist mother have the opportunity to travel from their home in London to a remote part of India, a village on the Wainganga River. Mak feels most at home outdoors, the wind in his hair and the chill pinching his face. But once they arrive, Mak finds India to be staggeringly different from what he expected, the suffocating heat, and the constant calls of the jungle. It’s worlds away from Britain. The villagers tease Mak with folk stories about a boy named Mowgli who went missing in the jungle as a baby and was raised by wild wolves. He knows it’s just a folk story, but Mak can’t help but be threatened by so many wild animals. When a routine outing turns treacherous, a monsoon divides Mak from his parents, leaving him alone and exposed to the dangers of the wild. He pulls himself together and throws himself into survival. A wolf befriends Mak and guides him on his journey. Mak’s quest to find his parents and his way back to the village is fraught with peril, poachers, adventure, and a new appreciation for this exotic and fearsome jungle. Spirit of the Jungle is a thrilling way to introduce new readers to The Jungle Book, written by the star of such hit wildnerness survival and reality TV shows as The Island with Bear Grylls, Man vs. Wild / Born Survivor, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, and Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

  4. Disaster Diaries: Brainwashed! - “A new evil genius has arisen, planning world domination with his homemade brainwashing device! Are Sam, Arty and Emmie brave enough to save the day?”—

Books About Bravery and Superpowers

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Norse Myths
Written by Kevin Crossley-Holland & illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
Discover Norse mythology through the enthralling exploits of all-powerful Odin, mighty Thor, and the trickster Loki.
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Peter Powers and the Swashbuckling Sky Pirates!
Written by Kent Clark and Brandon T Snider & illustrated by Dave Bardin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Everyone in the Powers family has super awesome superpowers-except Peter. That's why he's been working hard to improve his ice talents and is more powerful than ever. But when a group of sky pirates come to town, they steal everyone's abilities-including Peter's. Without superpowers, Peter is about to discover whether he's as cool as he thought he was or if he was letting his powers define him. Can he help his family, save his friends, and battle the diabolical sky piratesor is his goose cooked? Featuring an extra-special power-packed final chapter that will shock readers! This title is the sixth chapter book in a new series of exciting stories about a young boy who has some rather crummy superpowers. Each story is full of humor, action, and fun, but the charm can be found in the heartfelt message about the power of family, friends, and having confidence.
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Bug Girl
Written by Benjamin Harper and Sarah Hines Stephens & illustrated by Anoosha Syed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Sarah Hines Stephens and Benjamin Harper's Bug Girl is a funny and action-packed middle-grade superhero adventure with a beautifully designed two color interior and sidebars featuring real bug facts! Amanda Price adores all things bug-related—from spiders to mantises—like, seriously loves them. Unfortunately most of her fellow sixth-graders do not share her invertebrate obsession. They’re grossed out by it. Especially Amanda’s ex-best friend, Emily, who thinks Amanda is creepy weird. But when mysterious invaders menace the town of Oyster Cove and take both Amanda and Emily’s mothers captive, Amanda unexpectedly develops amazing insectile powers! Newly equipped with antennae and a glistening exoskeleton she uncovers a secret that changes everything. Now Amanda has to act fast or her town and her mom are doomed! There’s just one complication...she needs Emily’s help. Suddenly Amanda’s worst enemy becomes her best ally, but working together may be even harder than saving their town from being squashed like a . . . well . . . BUG GIRL. She’s got the buzz. An Imprint Book “Bearing all the campy hallmarks and high drama of a classic superhero romp, this entertaining . . . tale also features interesting entomological tidbits throughout.” —Kirkus Reviews
Honorable Mentions
Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand book
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Sweet Dreams, Supergirl book
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  1. Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand - The Baby-Sitter’s Club meets Goosebumps as a diverse group of friends encounter supernatural problems on their babysitting gigs in this spooky new middle-grade series.

  2. Sweet Dreams, Supergirl - A young Supergirl fan faces her most elusive adversary - sleep! As darkness falls, a young girl attempts to catch some Z’s while DC Comics’ SUPERGIRL tracks down an elusive enemy. With super hero traits, like BRAVERY, PATIENCE, and PERSISTENCE, they’ll both turn sleepless nights into sweet success and sweet dreams. Along with Omar Lozano’s action-packed art, bestselling author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman, Good Morning, Superman, and Be a Star, Wonder Woman) delivers an imaginative bedtime book for fangirls and fanboys alike.

Books About Bravery and Royalty

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The Thirteenth Knight
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips and Jordan Quinn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
In the thirteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara learn about the legend of the Thirteenth Knight. The elite band of knights known as the Spires are searching for a new hero to join their ranks. With only twelve knights on this team, the Spires open a competition to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The winner of the Spires’ competition must show bravery, valor, wisdom, and heart. But finding the Thirteenth Knight might prove to be the Spires’ greatest challenge ever. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
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The Cook and the King
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
The king searches his kingdom far and wide for the perfect cook. He’s very particular, and none of the cooks can get the job done just right. Until the king meets Wobbly Bob. The king thinks Wobbly Bob might be the perfect fit, but there’s just one small hitch—Wobbly Bob is afraid of everything. He’s afraid that he’ll nick himself with the sharp kitchen knives, and he’s afraid he’ll get dirt from the vegetable garden on his new apron. Wobbly Bob needs a companion to help him feel brave, so the king himself tags along every step of the way. This tale of unlikely friendship is a fun and hilarious romp from a bestselling team.
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Prince Not-So Charming: Once Upon a Prank
Written by Roy L Hinuss
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
The first title in a hilarious new chapter book series. Prince Carlos Charles Charming would much rather grow up to be a court jester. When a dragon is spotted in the Somewhat Enchanted woods, Carlos must figure out how to be a true Prince Charming and fast!
Honorable Mentions
More Than a Princess book
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The Emperor's Ostrich book
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Royal Rabbits Of London book
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The Player King book
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  1. More Than a Princess - Aislin of Eliasind is more than just a princess — she’s half-fairy and half-pedrasi, with magical gifts from each side of her heritage! One day, as Aislin is venturing through the woods, she is alarmed to hear a band of humans coming through. How did they get past the guarded magical passageway that leads to her hidden kingdom? Mistaken for a human herself, Aislin is captured, and soon realizes she’s in even bigger trouble—she’s being used as a pawn to help the king of this nearby kingdom, Morrain, find a secret passageway to the warring land of Scarmander, so he can capture his enemies by surprise. Aislin must find a way to break free, while also minding the beautiful human princess and ladies-in-waiting she now shares a castle with, who are all too ready to point out her differences. Thankfully, Aislin’s inner strength goes beyond her magical qualities. And with a few loyal friends by her side, she’s ready to stand up for herself and her kingdom once and for all. A classic and original fairy-tale that celebrates beauty and goodness in all its shapes and sizes, More than a Princess will resonate with readers who love magic, suspense, girl power, and adventure.

  2. The Emperor's Ostrich - Magic and mayhem abound in this middle-grade fantasy adventure from Julie Berry, the author of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. Young dairymaid Begonia has lost her cow Alfalfa. So she has set off on a search across the countryside even though she has nothing but a magical map to guide her. Along the way she meets a mother and baby, a woodcutter, a very dirty young man, and an eight-foot ostrich. Meanwhile, the emperor has gone missing from the royal palace in a most mysterious manner. Was it murder? Was it magic? It will take all of Begonia’s wits to save the empire and get Alfalfa home safely. The Emperor’s Ostrich: “Cheeky commentary about class and feminism, giggle-inducing wordplay, and jokes about the ridiculousness of imperial overindulgence round out this story. Readers looking for easy laughs will find them here.” —Kirkus Reviews “Berry (The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place) creates a lively, magic-laced folktale featuring a self-centered emperor, a dairymaid, a farmer boy with grand romantic ideals, and two very stubborn animals. . . . Whimsical details, including an enchanted map and a pot of mustard that changes flavor, will delight readers, and the nonstop action will keep them on the edge of their seats.” —Publishers Weekly “This whimsical, rambling adventure also serves as a coming-of-age tale. . . . This novel is well written and well executed, with Berry’s clear prose holding together a complicated plot and increasingly eccentric cast of characters. . . . Give to kids who enjoy a clever story and don’t mind a strong dose of silliness, or to anyone who loves the idea of a cow who becomes besotted with an ostrich.” —School Library Journal

  3. Royal Rabbits Of London - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH meets Warriors in this “humorous, fast-paced adventure” (Kirkus Reviews) that proves that even the smallest rabbit can be the biggest hero from publishing power couple Santa and Simon Sebag Montefiore. Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible—by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose, and a slice of mad courage! Shylo has always been the runt of the litter, the weakest and quietest of all of his family. His siblings spend their days making fun of him for not being like the rest of them. But when Shylo stumbles across a band of ratzis and overhears their evil plan to take a photo of the Queen in her nightie, it’s up to this unlikely hero to travel to London and inform the Royal Rabbits of London about the diabolical plot! The Royal Rabbits of London have a proud history of protecting the royal family and now the secret society need to leap into action to stop the ratzis… But can a rabbit as feeble and shy as Shylo convince them that Queen is in danger?

  4. The Player King - “Swiftly moving and utterly engrossing.” —Shelf Awareness Parents’ Choice Recommended From Newbery Award–winning author Avi comes the gripping and amazingly true tale of a boy plucked from the gutter to become the King of England. England, 1486. King Henry VII has recently snatched the English Crown and now sits on the throne, while young Prince Edward, who has a truer claim, has apparently disappeared. Meanwhile, a penniless kitchen boy named Lambert Simnel is slaving away at a tavern in Oxford—until a mysterious friar, Brother Simonds, buys Lambert from the tavern keeper and whisks him away in the dead of night. But this is nothing compared to the secret that the friar reveals: You, Lambert, are actually Prince Edward, the true King of England! With the aid of the deceitful Earl of Lincoln, Brother Simonds sets out to teach the boy how to become the rightful English king. Lambert has everything to gain and nothing to lose, or so he thinks. Yet in this dangerous battle for the throne, Lambert is not prepared for what’s to come—or for what it really means to play at being a king.

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Books About Bravery and Rescues And Rescuing

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The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter
Written by Diane Magras
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The companion to a New York Times Editors' Choice and Kids' Indie Next List Pick--a heart-pounding adventure starring a strong heroine who will protect the people she loves at all costs--perfect for reading aloud with the whole family In this Scottish medieval adventure, after rescuing her war-band family and the wounded Lord Emerick from Faintree Castle, Drest learns that Emerick's traitorous uncle has claimed the castle for his own and convinced the knights that Emerick has been slain . . . at her hand. Now with a hefty price on her head, Drest must find a way to escape treacherous knights and take back the castle for Emerick, all the while proving to her father, the "Mad Wolf of the North," and her irrepressible band of brothers that she is destined for more than a life of running and hiding. Even if that means redefining what it means to be a warrior.
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The Fourth Ruby
Written by James R. Hannibal
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Jack and Gwen are back in this dynamic follow-up to The Lost Property Office. It’s been a year since Jack Buckles discovered the Keep beneath Baker Street, an underground tower no Section Thirteen was ever supposed to see; a year since his dad fell into a coma. Nothing has been the same since. Jack’s tracker abilities are on the fritz, Gwen’s not speaking to him and, what’s worse, there’s a pounding voice in his head calling for “the flame.” Then, Jack and Gwen are framed for the theft of a historic crown jewel—the Black Prince’s Ruby, one of three cursed rubies said to bring knowledge, loyalty, and the command of nations to whomever wields them all. Now, they must retrieve the other jewels before the true thief does, or risk unleashing a reign of terror unlike anything history’s ever seen.
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Stolen Identity
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
When someone is out to frame Frank and Joe for the theft of an original Sherlock Holmes manuscript, they use a group of skateboarders as sources of information in their attempt to clear their names.
Honorable Mentions
Last Viking Returns The book
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A Properly Unhaunted Place book
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  1. Last Viking Returns The - Josh is as brave as a Viking warrior. And not much can scare a Viking. Not even bullies. But the two littlest Vikings are so fearless they think they’re invincible. When Pop takes the family to Viking World, the two littlest Vikings go berserk. Josh is in for one rocky ride as he discovers just how far he’ll go to keep them safe.

  2. A Properly Unhaunted Place - “In a world full of ghosts, Rosa and Jasper live in the only unhaunted town—but must spring to action when they realize the ghosts are lying in wait to take the town back”—

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