Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to courage. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about courage.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about courage, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Quest of the Missing Map to popular sellers like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.
We hope this list of kids books about courage can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
The Very Last Castle - Ibb, curious about the lone castle in her town, forms a long-distant friendship with the guard and, despite warnings there is something fearful inside, accepts his invitation to enter.
Nana in the City - A young boy is frightened by how busy and noisy the city is when he goes there to visit his Nana, but she makes him a fancy red cape that keeps him from being scared as she shows him how wonderful a place it is.
The Brave Little Puppy (A Wish Book) - “A very curious puppy gets lost in the woods! Luckily, his kind forest friends help guide him home”—Page  of cover.
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.
Mousetronaut - A heartwarming picture book tale of the power of the small, from bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly. Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with “mice-tronauts” on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes—and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, Mousetronaut is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!
Aberdeen - Aberdeen never meant to leave the yard in the first place. BUT a balloon floated by and…. He is suddenly off on an unexpected adventure! Before long, Aberdeen follows his whims and fancy to unknown territory, a little too far away from home – and from mama. Who doesn’t know the feeling of one thing leading to another leading to another – until you’re not quite sure how you ended up where you did? Aberdeen’s adorable antics will have readers excited to see where he lands next, and on the edges of their seats as he searches for a way back home.
The Night Dragon - “I wish I could fly, and breathe fire, and fill the sky with great grey, sooty clouds,” Maud said to her friend, Mouse. Maud is picked on by the other dragons, so stays cooped up in her cave, sad and lonely. But when the chance comes, will her friend Mouse help her pluck up the courage to fly? A beautiful picture book about individuality and friendship from Naomi Howarth, whose first book The Crow’s Tale was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
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.
Want to see books about mice?
I Will Be Fierce - 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.
Ten Cents a Pound - A young girl and her mother have a loving, passionate conversation with each other. The girl is torn between her desire to stay home with her family and the familiarity of their village, and her desire to go to school and discover the world beyond the mountains that surround them. Every time the girl insists that she will stay, her mother repeats that she must go, that there is more to life than the labor in the coffee trees.
My Year in the Middle - Miss Garrett’s classroom is like every other at our school. White kids sit on one side and black kids on the other. I’m one of the few middle-rowers who split the difference. In a racially polarized classroom in 1970 Alabama, Lu’s talent for running track makes her a new best friend—and tests her mettle as she navigates the school’s social cliques. Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately—acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state—and in the classroom—mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?
Power Forward - From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the first book in an exciting new chapter book series about a fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It’s his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way. For starters, Zayd’s only on the D-team. (D stands for developmental, but to Zayd it’s always felt like a bad grade or something.) Not to mention, he’s a bit on the scrawny side, even for the fourth grade team. But his best friend Adam is on the Gold Team, and it’s Zayd’s dream for the two of them to play together. His mom and dad don’t get it. They want him to practice his violin way more than his jump shot. When he gets caught blowing off his violin lessons to practice, Zayd’s parents lay down the ultimate punishment: he has to hang up his high tops and isn’t allowed to play basketball anymore. As tryouts for the Gold Team approach, Zayd has to find the courage to stand up for himself and chase his dream.
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Frankenbunny - Spencer the bunny’s older brothers frighten him with stories about Frankenbunny and other monsters until Spencer figures out how to overcome his fears and his brothers.
Tiger Vs. Nightmare - Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away. In this charming graphic novel for young readers, cartoonist Emily Tetri proves that unlikely best friends can be an unbeatable team, even agianst the scariest monsters.
The Bone Snatcher - Sophie Seacove is a storyteller. She tells stories of what the world would be like if madness hadn’t taken over. If her parents hadn’t sold her off as a servant to pay for their passage out of London. If she wasn’t now trapped in a decaying mansion filled with creepy people and surrounded by ravenous sea monsters. The mansion has plenty of stories, too: About fantastical machines, and the tragic inventor who created them. About his highly suspicious death. And about the Monster Box, a mysterious object hidden in the house that just might hold the key to escaping this horrible place—and to reuniting Sophie with her family. But not everyone wants Sophie to have the Monster Box, and as she gets closer to finding it, she finds herself unspooling years-old secrets—and dodging dangerous attacks. Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she wants to make it off this wretched island…and live to tell this story.
Angel and Bavar - Taking inspiration from “Beauty and the Beast,” Amy Wilson’s second middle grade novel is a stunning modern fairy tale of magic, friendship, and finding the courage to fight for what matters most. After the death of her parents, Angel has a lot to get used to: a new home, a new family, a new school. The last thing she’s interested in is making new friends. Until she meets Bavar, a strange boy who slips through the shadows, a boy who might understand her nightmares. But Bavar doesn’t want to let anyone in. Everyone—and everything—in his enchanted house is already urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift and the fearsome monsters traveling through it, a responsibility he wishes he could ignore. Then Bavar discovers that the monsters are the same ones that killed Angel’s parents. Determined to stop the creatures for good, he reluctantly accepts Angel’s help. Together, Angel and Bavar must find the courage to stand up for each other and themselves to repair the rift between worlds…before it’s too late.
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One - Introduces young readers to numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors by offering the story of ill-tempered Red who got too powerful for his own good and had to be brought down to size by One—a single entity with the courage to stand up for what was right.
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks - On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: a giant shark who TOTALLY tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates plan a birthday bash . . . on the BEACH! Can Sam overcome his fear of becoming fish food before he misses out on the fun?
Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash - Freddie Ramos uses his super powers to give himself the courage to learn how to swim and to deal with a new neighbor who is a bully.
Want to see books about bullying?
Herbert's First Halloween - Herbert is deeply doubtful about his first Halloween—but with a little help from his dad and a special tiger costume, Herbert might just find confidence on Halloween night. Together, father and son practice roaring, carve a pumpkin, and venture out in search of candy. And by the end of the night, Herbert finds his doubts have melted away. A sweet introduction to Halloween and to being brave, this book is sure to delight the youngest of trick-or-treaters.
Julius Zebra: Battle with the Britons! - Think you know Julius Zebra? Think again! The handsome, fast-talking gladiatorial champion is sent on a zany new adventure — to Britannia! Before Julius Zebra can have his freedom, Emperor Hadrian sends him on one last mission. As the newly named People’s Champion, Julius must travel with his friends to a distant land to remind its people of the might of the Roman Empire. It’ll be just like a vacation! But when the motley menagerie of gladiators arrives in cold, wet Britannia, they don’t quite receive the welcome they were expecting. In fact, the Britons seem to hate the Romans. And the longer Julius and his friends stay in Britannia, the more they realize that they have a lot more in common with the Britons than they thought. After all, they’re all under Hadrian’s rule. But what can a ragtag group of fighting animals do about it?
Lone Wolf (Wolves of the Beyond, Book 1) - Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky’s Wolves of the Beyond, the stunning new spinoff from the legendary Guardians of Ga’hoole, is now in paperback! A wolf mother has given birth, but the warm bundle snuffling next to her brings only anguish. The pup, otherwise healthy, has a twisted paw, and the mother knows what the harsh code of the pack demands. Her pup will be taken from her and abandoned on a desolate hill. The pack cannot have weakness - the wolf mother knows that her pup is condemned to die. But alone in the wilderness, the pup, Faolan, does not perish. This his story - a story of survival, of courage, and of love triumphant. This is Faolan’s story, the wolf pup who rose up to change forevever the Wolves of the Beyond.
Teach Your Giraffe to Ski - When the snow begins to fall and your giraffe takes to the slopes, a rollicking adventure ensues! Your giraffe wants to learn how to ski—but not on the bunny hill. She wants to go down the big scary slope! Enjoy this riotous journey as the narrator tries to rein their giraffe in—and learns something about courage along the way.
Gloria Takes a Stand - Throughout Gloria Steinem’s life, she stood up for many things. In a time when most women didn’t go to college, Gloria knew the importance of education and studied at Smith College. In a time when almost all women stayed at home to raise a family, Gloria traveled to India and wrote about what she learned there. In a time when many people were fighting for equality, Gloria wanted to write about these important events. And as she heard more and more stories from women who didn’t have as many rights as men, Gloria decided to start Ms. Magazine to give women a voice. This text introduces a new generation of children to Gloria Steinem, the icon who fought for a better world for all women—and encourages all readers to “stand up and speak for equal rights for all people.”
The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving into History - A hilarious nonfiction look at two of history’s most epic “failures”: the Wright brothers, whose countless crashes and biggest failures led to ultimate success. Although the Wright Brothers are now celebrated as heroes for their groundbreaking contributions to science and engineering as the first men to successfully manage powered, piloted flight, their eventual success was built on the back of a lot of nosedives. It took the self-taught engineers years of work and countless crashes before they managed to remain airborne for a mere twelve seconds! In this hilarious first installment of the Epic Fails series, Ben Thompson and Erik Slader take readers through the the Wright Brothers’ many failed attempts at flight before achieving their groundbreaking success, laying the foundation for aviation as we know it today.
Ernestine's Milky Way - In Maggie Valley, North Carolina, in the 1940s, Ernestine, who is five years old and a big girl, carries fresh milk to needy neighbors through thickets, down paths, and over a barbed-wire fence, despite her fears.
Elvis Is King! - Here’s the perfect book for anyone who wants to introduce rock ‘n’ roll and its king to the child in their lives. In single- page “chapters” with titles like “The First Cheeseburger Ever Eaten by Elvis” and “Shazam! A Blond Boy Turns into a Black-Haired Teenager,” readers can follow key moments in Presley’s life, from his birth on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in the Deep South, to playing his first guitar in grade school, to being so nervous during a performance as a teenager that he starts shaking . . . and changes the world! Jonah Winter and Red Nose Studio have created a tour-de-force that captures a boy’s loneliness and longing, along with the energy and excitement, passion, and raw talent that was Elvis Presley.
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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.
The Unicorn Quest - Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor . . . until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden. There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other, the beloved unicorns have disappeared, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes in the night, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.
The Lost Realm - Family secrets combine with fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate, in a sweeping new middle grade series that Publishers Weekly called “Game of Thrones on a mellow day.”
Sasha and Puck and the Cure for Courage - The dashing knight Latouche wants to compete in a tournament, but he’s afraid to lose. What he needs is a potion that will make him brave enough to enter! Can Sasha and Puck help Latouche find his courage?
Want to see books about magic?
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.
As Brave As You - Kirkus Award Finalist Schneider Family Book Award Winner Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally—in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award. Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and—being a curious kid—Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans). How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all. Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?
Little Sister Rabbit and the Fox - One morning Little Sister Rabbit hops out of her burrow but something is not quite right. The classic Little Sister Rabbit stories are much-loved bestsellers in Sweden and can now be enjoyed by new generations in English.
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.
A Little Courage - Through the eyes of a child, the world is full of adventure! A teacup-sized little girl discovers a playground in a potted plant, and the perfect swimming pool in a glass of water. Then when she sees a mysterious shadow lurking beyond her books and paper clips, she must summon her courage. But wait! Could this fluffy, purring creature be a friend? Taltal Levi’s evocative text and illustrations tell an inventive story about courage, imagination, and friendship.
I Am Famous - Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.
The Magic Boat - Every summer morning, Ellie and her Nonna go to the beach. They swim and build sandcastles, and while Nonna reads, Ellie watches the other children play. One day Ellie builds up the courage to approach an older girl playing on her own in a beached rowboat. Piper has a gift, an imagination so great that she whisks Ellie off on grand adventures, going high in the air, deep below the ocean and everywhere in between in their little blue boat, their magic boat. When Piper has to leave, Ellie discovers she has her own vivid imagination.
Music for Mister Moon - After shy cello player Harriet Henry accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky, the moon becomes her friend, and Harriet gains the courage to share her music.
When You Are Brave - An inspiring picture book affirmation about having courage even in difficult times, because some days, when everything around you seems scary, you have to be brave. Saying goodbye to neighbors. Worrying about new friends. Passing through a big city. Seeing a dark road ahead. In these moments, a young girl feels small and quiet and alone. But when she breathes deeply and looks inside herself, a hidden spark of courage appears, one she can nurture and grow until she glows inside and out. Award-winning author Pat Zietlow Miller’s uplifting words join New York Times bestselling illustrator Eliza Wheeler’s luminous art to inspire young readers to embrace their inner light—no matter what they’re facing—and to be brave.
Maria Finds Courage: A Team Dungy Story about Soccer - Find the Courage to Try Something New When Maria’s family moves to a new town, her parents sign her up for the summer soccer team to help her meet new friends. But Maria has never tried soccer before. She would rather be back on her old swim team. Maria is afraid she will be the worst player and no one will like her. Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Maria everything is new at first. Maria will have to give soccer a try to see if she likes it. What have you wanted to try but were afraid to? Like Maria, you can have the courage to try something new, because who knows? That new thing you try might just become your next favorite thing! *** Join the Team! The Team Dungy series of picture books for young readers, ages 6-9, teaches character-building lessons through the familiar world of sports.
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee - India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…
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The Quest of the Missing Map - Prompted by the concerns of a young child, Nancy investigates a small studio on the Chatham estate. She discovers that there is a connection between the mysterious occurrences at Ship Cottage and her search for a treasure island. With only half of a map, Nancy sets out to find the man who possess the rest of the map that will pinpoint the location of buried treasure. Constantly beset by danger and intrigue, Nancy courageously outwits her enemies and solves one of the most challenging cases in her career as a teenage investigator.
Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers? - A picture book biography of Ada Lovelace, the woman recognized today as history’s first computer programmer—she imagined them 100 years before they existed! In the early nineteenth century lived Ada Byron: a young girl with a wild and wonderful imagination. The daughter of internationally acclaimed poet Lord Byron, Ada was tutored in science and mathematics from a very early age. But Ada’s imagination was never meant to be tamed and, armed with the fundamentals of math and engineering, she came into her own as a woman of ideas—equal parts mathematician and philosopher. From her whimsical beginnings as a gifted child to her most sophisticated notes on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, this book celebrates the woman recognized today as the first computer programmer. A Christy Ottaviano Book
Big Day Out - Young children’s lives are full of new experiences and we all want to make these enjoyable and rewarding. Talking to children helps them to understand and prepare for these events, and this series of books aim to promote discussion.
The Real Boat - When a paper boat learns about the ocean, he is determined to go there so he can be a real boat. On his journey he meets all sorts of friends, from the strong little tugboat to the glittering ocean liner. But he also learns that the real ocean is huge and deep and full of dangers. A lyrical text and magical illustrations combine to create a modern fable with an important message about striving for what you want and escaping your comfort zone.
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I'm Brave! I'm Strong! I'm Five! - It’s bedtime but Sasha can’t fall asleep because of the scary things she sees in her room. Luckily, she uses her imagination to battle her fears until she’s finally ready for sleep. Sasha has had Mama’s stories and Papa’s jokes and coffee kisses on both her cheeks, but she’s not tired. So she makes a star with her flashlight, a car with one headlight, and a lighthouse that blinks on and off. She checks out the noises outside her window and sees the moon—it is like a giant eye staring right at her! But when she closes her curtains, there are shadows and more noises and scary faces. Instead of calling to her parents, Sasha handles each situation herself because she’s brave, she’s strong, she’s five—and then finally, she’s ready for sleep. This energetic, gorgeously-illustrated bedtime book is perfect for young readers learning to conquer bedtime fears by themselves.
It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine - Bedtime can be frightening—a dark room, spooky shadows, silence. Our narrator worries about what’s hiding in the dark, until his stuffed bunny, Floppy, tells him a secret: His bed is really a time machine. And they set off on an adventure into the past, to the coolest time ever—the age of the dinosaurs—to meet the coolest animal ever—the tyrannosaurus rex! This night’s sleep will span millions of years, but it’s so fun it’ll feel like it’s over in the blink of an eye. It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine is the ultimate goodnight picture book, showing that going to sleep is nothing to be afraid of. Instead, it’s just the beginning of a time-spanning adventure.
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The Wonderling - Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this extraordinary debut novel follows a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.
Sloppy Takes the Plunge - Everyone loves a good hug and a good bath! Sloppy the tree dragon doesn’t want to take a bath. “Being mucky is what a tree dragon is all about.” Could it be that getting clean is nearly as fun as getting dirty?
Want to see books about mythical creatures?
Bearnard's Book - Bearnard’s Book by writer Deborah Underwood and illustrator Misa Saburi is a charming picture book about a bear who discovers that to shine in his own story, he just needs to be himself.
At the End of Holyrood Lane - Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, this beautifully crafted picture book provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.
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How about books about self-esteem and self-reliance?
Jabari Jumps - 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.
Lottie & Walter - An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water. Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.
A Picture Book of Jesse Owens - A comprehensive look at the life of the man who has often been called the World’s Fastest Human. Jesse Owens was born on a farm to a large family with many siblings. His grandparents had been slaves, and his sharecropper parents were poor. But against all odds, Jesse went on to become one of the greatest athletes in history. He learned to run with such grace that people said he was a “floating wonder.” After setting multiple world records as a college athlete, Jesse competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Adolf Hitler intended for the games to display Aryan superiority, but Jesse disrupted that plan. He became the first American track-and-field athlete to receive four gold medals, and established his legacy as a hero in the face of prejudice. This child friendly entry in David A. Adler’s well-known series contains an accessible mix of biography, facts, and history supported with lifelike illustrations. Back matter includes an author’s note and a timeline.
Skateboard Sibby - Super skateboarder Sibby Henry won’t let the loss of her board defeat her. Eleven-year-old Sibby Henry liked her old life. Now she’s living in a new town with her nan and pops, and mad at her dad for messing everything up. On her first day of school, she sees a dope skateboard park, but she’s lost her precious board. To make things worse, Freddie, a super skater and a super jerk, dominates the park. Sibby tries to stay chill, but when Freddie gets in the face of her only new friend, Charlie Parker Drysdale, things get too hot for chill. Never one to back down, Sibby accepts when Freddie challenges her to a competition on the half pipe. She won’t let anything stop her from proving herself.
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The Very Last Leaf - Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day…feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc. These themes combined with illustrator Jennifer Davison’s delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make The Very Last Leaf a perfect book for the start of a new school year, the arrival of autumn, or any period of transition in life.
Shy - A dazzlingly beautiful book about shyness from the author of Blue Chicken, The Story of Fish and Snail, and By Mouse and Frog! Shy loves birds. He’d love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he’s only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He’s dying to meet her, but there’s just one problem: Shy is, well, shy–so shy, in fact, that he’s afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page? This sweetly relatable picture book from the acclaimed Deborah Freedman speaks to every child who’s ever felt like hiding instead of facing the daunting world.
The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams - In a mystical parable, a boy sleeps peacefully under a brilliant quilt made by his grandmother, until the cloth accidentally tears, nightmares escape, and the child must find within himself the courage to mend the tear.
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.
The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee - “India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”
One Last Wish - A princess marries a man she loves in spite of his impending death. Due to her devotion and persistence, she is granted a wish, which she uses wisely. Themes: love, devotion, bravery.
The Girl and the Wolf - While picking berries with her mother, a little girl wanders too far into the woods. When she realizes she is lost, she begins to panic. A large grey wolf makes a sudden appearance between some distant trees. Using his sense of smell, he determines where she came from and decides to help her. Through a series of questions from the wolf, the little girl realizes she had the knowledge and skill to navigate herself—she just needed to remember that those abilities were there all along.
Medio Pollito - The story of Medio Pollito, a chicken born with only half of his body, is one of inspiration and purpose. He travels to find adventure, and with the help of the wind, finds his true calling as a weather vane.
Ella and Penguin Stick Together - Sometimes all you need is a good friend to help you be brave. Ella has a surprise for Penguin—glow-in-the-dark stickers! But to see the stickers glow, Ella and Penguin must be in the dark. And the dark is so . . . dark! If only they could see the stickers glow in the light—but that won’t work. Soon Ella and Penguin find out that if they stick together, they can face anything. Megan Maynor’s sweet and lively text, paired with Rosalinde Bonnet’s irresistible illustrations, will have readers clamoring for more Ella and Penguin.
Daredevil Duck - Meet Daredevil Duck He is afraid of everything. But that doesn’t stop him from DREAMING of being brave. Then one day he is given the biggest challenge of all . . . Can Daredevil Duck prove that he is the bravest duck in the whole wide world?
George Did It - Everyone wanted George Washington to be the president. He was responsible, led the army in a fight against the British, and helped write the Constitution. But being the president is a very important job, and George was too nervous. So, to everyone’s surprise, he said no! However, George had many supporters, and with the help of the cheering crowds and loyal advisers and dignitaries, George realized that he didn’t have time to think about how nervous he was, he just had to do his job. With little-known facts and a bit of humor, Suzanne Tripp Jurmain gives readers a glimpse into the more personal side of the first president of the United States.
The Matchlock Gun - A Newbery Medal Winner In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came? This classic, first published in 1941, has an updated, kid-friendly format that includes the original black-and-white illustrations.
River Runs Deep - Twelve-year-old Elias is sent to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky to fight a case of consumption—and ends up fighting for the lives of a secret community of escaped slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad.
Into the Night to Save the Day! - Go into the night to save the day with Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko in this 8x8 storybook based on PJ Masks, the hit preschool series airing on Disney Junior! It’s a Cat-astrophe! When Romeo kidnaps Amaya and Greg and steals their pajamas, it’s up to Catboy to save his friends! But can Catboy do it on his own, or will it take teamwork to save the day? PJ Masks © Frog Box / Entertainment One UK Limited / Walt Disney EMEA Productions Limited 2014
A Nearer Moon - Long ago the dam formed, the lively river turned into a swamp, and the wasting illness came to Luna’s village, and now that her little sister is sick Luna will do anything to save her, even offer herself to the creature that lives in the swamp on the day of the nearer moon—a lonely and bitter water sprite who was left behind when her people fled through a door to another world.
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