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Hard Work: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about hard work?

Teaching our children the value of hard work is one of the best lessons we can help them experience. Many children’s books address the topic directly or indirectly, showing children the satisfaction a character experiences from working hard to achieve a goal or overcome a challenge. This list shares some of our favorite stories sharing a message about hard work.

Top 10 Books About Hard Work

#1
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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
#2
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McToad Mows Tiny Island
Written by Tom Angleberger & illustrated by John Hendrix
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.
#3
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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!
#4
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How to Catch a Star
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes a story about wishing, persevering, and reaching for the stars. Once there was a boy, and that boy loved stars very much. So much so that he decided to catch one of his very own. But how? Waiting for them to grow tired from being up in the sky all night doesn’t work. Climbing to the top of the tallest tree? No, not tall enough. The boy has a rocket ship . . . but it is made of paper and doesn’t fly well at all. Finally, just when the boy is ready to give up, he learns that sometimes things aren’t where, or what, we expect them to be. Oliver Jeffers offers a simple, childlike tale of reaching for the stars, and emerging with a friend.
#5
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What Do You Do with an Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A New York Times Best Seller and award-winning book, What Do You Do With an Idea? is for anyone who's ever had a big idea. This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's just getting started.
#6
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Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll
Written by Jay Miletsky & illustrated by Erin Wozniak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Unlike the other rocks that he plays with, Ricky can't roll because he isn't round. His friends help him to overcome his challenge and find a way for him to play like everyone else.
#7
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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Written & illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.
#8
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Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.
#9
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Ike's Incredible Ink
Written & illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.
#10
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Earn It!
Written & illustrated by Cinders McLeod
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
I thought this was a cute book about a bunny who wants to be rich and famous. :) I loved that her mom did a fantastic job of encouraging her to follow her dreams, but gave realistic and practical advice for how she could do it. The illustrations are cute, too!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
In this delightful introduction to the simple concept of earning money, an exuberant little bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned. Bun wants to be rich and famous. She loves to sing and knows she’s meant for a career on stage. It should all be pretty easy—her mom can just drive her to the concert hall to perform! But her mom reminds her that most good things, like the garden they are growing, take time and work. At first, Bun isn’t terribly excited by the idea of singing lessons and practice, but as she does the math and daydreams about her future singing career, the more she starts to like the idea of earning her way to stardom—a feeling just as good as being rich and famous!
Table of Contents
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Books About Hard Work and Friendship

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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
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How to Catch a Star
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes a story about wishing, persevering, and reaching for the stars. Once there was a boy, and that boy loved stars very much. So much so that he decided to catch one of his very own. But how? Waiting for them to grow tired from being up in the sky all night doesn’t work. Climbing to the top of the tallest tree? No, not tall enough. The boy has a rocket ship . . . but it is made of paper and doesn’t fly well at all. Finally, just when the boy is ready to give up, he learns that sometimes things aren’t where, or what, we expect them to be. Oliver Jeffers offers a simple, childlike tale of reaching for the stars, and emerging with a friend.
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Holes
Written by Louis Sachar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
Winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award! This book is a #1 New York Times bestselling, modern classic in which boys are forced to dig holes day in and day out. Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
Honorable Mentions
Anything is Possible book
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Fast Break book
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Tiger's Roar book
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My Life as a Youtuber book
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  1. Anything is Possible - A determined sheep and his practical wolf friend try their hand at building a flying machine together, but when their plans don’t work like they wanted, they must find a new way to make their dreams come true.

  2. Fast Break - In the sixth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, young Derek bites off more than he can chew when he decides to enter the school talent show and try out for the basketball team. Between promising Vijay that he’ll compete in the school talent show and promising Dave that he’ll try out for the basketball team, Derek Jeter has a lot he’s trying to juggle. A commitment is a commitment, and Derek is determined to work hard and try his best, but he worries he might be in over his head and fears he’s going to let his friends or himself down. How can Derek do it all? Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, Fast Break is the sixth book in Jeter Publishing’s New York Times bestselling middle grade baseball series that focuses on key life lessons from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

  3. Tiger's Roar - Tiger was the champion of all the jungle. He was strong and bold and proud, and he sat at the top of the very tallest tree. But one day the winds blew, the birds shrieked, the tree shook, and…Tiger fell all the way down to the mud at the bottom of the tree, and bumped his head on a rock. What will it take for Tiger to be able to climb back to the top of the tree? A hugely entertaining picture book about teamwork and never giving up.

  4. My Life as a Youtuber - Book 7 of the much-loved My Life series that has the irrepressible Derek Fallon starting his own Youtube web series! Derek Fallon finally found something to get excited about at school—an extracurricular class on making videos! Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek can’t wait to create his own Youtube web series. But he soon realizes Youtube stardom is a lot of work. On top of that, it’s time for his foster monkey Frank to go to monkey college so Derek must scramble to find a reason for Frank to stay with his family—if only a little while longer. Can Derek solve both problems at once? What if Frank became a part of Derek’s Youtube videos? Here’s another funny and thoughtful novel in the series that centers around most every tween today’s pastime—Youtube! A Christy Ottaviano Book

Books About Hard Work and Perseverance

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Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll
Written by Jay Miletsky & illustrated by Erin Wozniak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Unlike the other rocks that he plays with, Ricky can't roll because he isn't round. His friends help him to overcome his challenge and find a way for him to play like everyone else.
Add to list
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.
Add to list
Earn It!
Written & illustrated by Cinders McLeod
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
I thought this was a cute book about a bunny who wants to be rich and famous. :) I loved that her mom did a fantastic job of encouraging her to follow her dreams, but gave realistic and practical advice for how she could do it. The illustrations are cute, too!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
In this delightful introduction to the simple concept of earning money, an exuberant little bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned. Bun wants to be rich and famous. She loves to sing and knows she’s meant for a career on stage. It should all be pretty easy—her mom can just drive her to the concert hall to perform! But her mom reminds her that most good things, like the garden they are growing, take time and work. At first, Bun isn’t terribly excited by the idea of singing lessons and practice, but as she does the math and daydreams about her future singing career, the more she starts to like the idea of earning her way to stardom—a feeling just as good as being rich and famous!
Honorable Mentions
The Carrot Seed book
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I'm Done! book
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You Can! Words of Wisdom From The Little Engine That Could book
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  1. The Carrot Seed - When a little boy plants a carrot seed, everyone tells him it won’t grow. But when you are very young, there are some things that you just know, and the little boy knows that one day a carrot will come up. So he waters his seed, and pulls the weeds, and he waits … First published in 1945 and never out of print, this timeless combination of Ruth Krauss’s simple text and Crockett Johnson’s eloquent illustrations creates a triumphant and deeply satisfying story for readers of all ages.

  2. I'm Done! - Little Beaver would rather play with friends than build a proper dam, but finally he is ready to get it done.

  3. You Can! Words of Wisdom From The Little Engine That Could - The classic character that has inspired generations of children to believe in themselves will now inspire readers of every age in this book filled with encouraging words of wisdom. Everybody needs a little downtime for maintenance. There will always be obstacles you don’t anticipate. Wake up ready for an adventure. The Little Engine That Could is one of the most popular and enduring children’s stories of all time, and for more than eighty-five years, this classic character has encouraged readers to try their hardest to achieve their dreams. This story of determination and inspiration has now been reimagined in a charming, illustrated gift book that will speak to readers no matter what the age and no matter what the challenge. This is the perfect gift for graduation, and for everyone who may need to be reminded, “You Can!”

Books About Hard Work and Action And Adventure

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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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Ike's Incredible Ink
Written & illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.
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The Haymeadow
Written by Gary Paulsen & illustrated by Ruth Wright Paulsen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Fourteen-year-old John comes of age and gains self-reliance during the summer he spends up in the Wyoming mountains tending his father's herd of sheep.
Honorable Mentions
Blueberries for Sal book
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The Night the Stars Went Out book
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Zelda's Big Adventure book
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Pedro the Ninja book
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  1. Blueberries for Sal - What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born! Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one? With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.

  2. The Night the Stars Went Out - Alien is very small, but it is his job to shine all the stars and make sure they keep shining, and he has no time for anything else—so when the stars go out one night he is desperate to find the solution, a quest that takes him to Earth.

  3. Zelda's Big Adventure - Zelda has big plans—she wants to be the first chicken in space. She leaves nothing to chance as she builds her spaceship, plans her experiments, and packs for the journey. All she needs now is a little help from her friends, and if they won’t step up, Zelda will just have to manage on her own! Eye-popping art and a story of perseverance and ingenuity prove that for a plucky hen, the sky is never the limit. This modern twist on the traditional The Little Red Hen story features an endearing and resourceful chicken determined to fulfill her dream

  4. Pedro the Ninja - After watching a ninja cartoon, Pedro dreams of being a ninja himself. Luckily, his dad gets him karate lessons. With hard work and a little practice, maybe Pedro can become ninja star, just like the ones he sees in the movies! A glossary and reading questions make this title a black-belt level book.

Books About Hard Work and Self-esteem

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What Do You Do with an Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A New York Times Best Seller and award-winning book, What Do You Do With an Idea? is for anyone who's ever had a big idea. This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's just getting started.
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I Can Do Hard Things
Written by Gabi Garcia & illustrated by Charity Russell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
I Can Do Hard Things is a beautiful reminder to tune into and listen to that quiet voice inside so that you can do what's right for you. I don't always feel brave, confident or strong. Sometimes it seems easier to follow others along. It's hard to navigate a world in which we get so many messages about how we should be. We pause. We listen to the quiet voice inside. I connect with the love and strength it brings. It helps me remember: I can do hard things. I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids is the perfect addition to your home or school library. (The book is available in Spanish as Yo Puedo Hacer Cosas Dificiles: Afirmaciones Concientes Para Niños).
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The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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…
Honorable Mentions
Sunrise Summer book
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Hey, Coach! book
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If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi book
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Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee book
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  1. Sunrise Summer - Sunrise Summer is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions. When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it’s not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra―where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim―including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do at home. She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step. She’s ready for her first real sunrise. An Imprint Book

  2. Hey, Coach! - “Hey, Coach! Guess what? I m on your team.” GOAL! This sprightly rhyming picture book captures all the fun and energy of very young children having a blast on the soccer field. Over the course of their first season, the players progress from unsure newcomers to enthusiastic good sports who love the game and even score! The humor and the real-kid voices will have readers rooting for this spirited and determined team.”

  3. If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi - The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! Katie always thought her dad was smart—he is one of the busiest attorneys in town! People are always asking him for advice. She has been a bit confused ever since asking him for help with her weekly spelling list. How can her very smart dad struggle with one of her spelling words? This definitely didn’t make sense. The word Mississippi has changed everything… This frank and thoughtful approach to dyslexia is an important exploration of the various ways people learn and that some difficulties do not have to be restrictions on what a person can achieve. “Challenges in reading and spelling are often accompanied by special abilities in areas like complex pattern recognition and spatial reasoning. If You’re So Smart How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? is a fantastic way of bringing this information to the many smart children who find reading and spelling especially difficult—especially to those who are beginning to doubt their own potential.” —Drs. Brock (M.D., M.A.) and Fernette (M.D.) Eides, authors of The Mislabeled Child and founders of the Eide Neurolearning Clinic. Praise for the series: “This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children.” —Dr. Carol S. Dweck

  4. Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee - It is Gracie’s first time at the Pig Jubilee with her synchronized swimming team, the Water Sprites, and she is the youngest pig with a chance to win a gold medal—the trouble is that she keeps getting distracted and missing her solo part, a triple spin dive.

Books About Hard Work and Places And Regions

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Ruby's Wish
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author's grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby's Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who's full of ambition and the family who rewards her hard work and courage.
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Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Danny Popovici
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.
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Stella Diaz Never Gives Up
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
From award-winning author Angela Dominguez, comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, a novel about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community. Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can't wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can't do it alone. It's going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author's experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.
Honorable Mentions
Feast of Peas book
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Cartwheel Katie book
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Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy book
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Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market book
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  1. Feast of Peas - Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch A feast of peas for lunch. But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. What has happened? From the award-winning author and illustrator team who created Tiger in My Soup, this original story set in India features a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity.

  2. Cartwheel Katie - Katie is enrolled in a gymnastics class, but when she has trouble doing some of the moves she gets discouraged and considers dropping out.

  3. Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy - Extreme weather affects two children’s lives in very different ways and shows how the power of nature can bring us together. One girl. One boy. Their lives couldn’t be more different. While she turns her shoulder to sandstorms and blistering winds, he cuffs his pants when heavy rains begin to fall. As the weather becomes more severe, their families and animals must flee to safety—and their destination shows that they might be more alike than they seem. The journeys of these two children experiencing weather extremes in India highlight the power of nature and the resilience of the the human spirit.

  4. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market - When unexpected things happen to Farmer Falgu’s cargo for the market, he must come up with a plan to salvage what he can. The next of the successful Farmer Falgu series follows the hardworking farmer as he turns a succession of obstacles into an incredible opportunity. Chitra Soundar’s onomatopoeic text makes this read-aloud riot a delight for both the reader and the listener. Falgu’s relentless optimism, the enticing food and vividly described smells, and Kanika Nair’s evocative illustrations showcasing life in rural India make this an authentic and entertaining picture book about the power of hope.

Books About Hard Work and Animals

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The Rhino in Right Field
Written & illustrated by Stacy DeKeyser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.
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Froggy Rides a Bike
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Froggy just got his very first bike, and it's exactly what he wanted. Almost. Finishing touches like a bell and a horn have to be added before Froggy is ready to ride. Then, surrounded by cheering friends, Froggy starts to pedal. Oops! He falls off. He tries again. Oops! Riding a bike is hard! After a long day, and a few bumps and bruises, Froggy finally learns to ride?and once he does, he can?t wait to go again. Froggy Rides a Bike is a reassuring reminder that practice makes perfect and it's sure to make kids eager to learn to ride on their own.
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Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Introducing Bizzy Bear from Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press! Introducing Bizzy Bear, the busiest bear on the block! With chunky sliders to push and pull, these robust little board books are perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, they are set to become firm favorites in the family library. Bizzy Bear's off to lend a hand on the farm. Toddlers can help him count the ducks, feed the goats, and f ind the eggs before he waves bye-bye.
Honorable Mentions
Red Wagon book
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The Fox and the Fisherman book
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Gracie Laroo at Training Camp book
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The Very Clumsy Click Beetle book
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  1. Red Wagon - A simple story about complex imaginations, now in board book! All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn’t want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy’s fun. Renata Liwska’s vibrant art takes center stage in this imaginative book for the youngest of readers, just the way it did in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling titles The Quiet Book and The Loud Book!, both written by Deborah Underwood.

  2. The Fox and the Fisherman - A gentle story of a lonely fisherman and a curious fox who develop an unexpected friendship. Barabas is a lonely fisherman. Every morning he goes out to sea on his small fishing boat, throws his net in the water and hopes to bring some fish home, where no one is waiting for him. His meager catches and gloomy home make him sad, until one day when Barabas discovers footprints near his home. Whom could they belong to?

  3. Gracie Laroo at Training Camp - Training camp has opened, and Gracie LaRoo is excited to be back with her synchronized swimming team, the Water Sprites—but the other members of the team seem strangely uninterested in training, and it will be up to Gracie to set an example with a perfect triple spin.

  4. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle - A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! When a little click beetle falls onto his back, he seeks the help of a wise old click beetle. “Look at me,” says the more experienced click beetle, giving a loud CLICK and flipping onto its feet. But try as he might, the clumsy little click beetle just can’t get the hang of it–or can he? In the tradition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle creates a winning story of perseverance and pride in achievement complete with an ingenious fiber-optic microchip that truly gives voice to the valiant little beetle as it CLICKs its way through the colorful pages and somersaults into your heart.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Hard Work and African Americans

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Salt in His Shoes
Written by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Thoughts from The Goodfather
This is a great book, especially for young readers who enjoy sports. It's an inspiring story of the perseverance, hard work, faith and family of a young Michael Jordan that helped him become a star athlete.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Young Michael Jordan, who is smaller than the other players, learns that determination and hard work are more important than size when playing the game of basketball.
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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9
This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met. Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community. An Author's Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.
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Firebird
Written by Misty Copeland & illustrated by Christopher Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird. Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers’s best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.
Honorable Mentions
A Dance Like Starlight book
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Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe book
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Keep Your Eye on the Prize book
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Hiking Day book
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  1. A Dance Like Starlight - Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

  2. Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe - A beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe, a little-known African-American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and went on to become one of society’s top designers. Wisps of cloth would fall from their worktables like confetti, and Ann would scoop them up and turn them into flowers as bright as roses in the garden. Ann’s family came from Alabama. Her great grandma had been a slave, so her family knew about working hard just to get by. As soon as Ann Cole Lowe could walk, her momma and grandma taught her to sew. She worked near her momma in their Alabama family shop in the early 1900s, making glorious dresses for women who went to fancy parties. When Ann was 16, her momma died, and Ann continued sewing dresses. It wasn’t easy, especially when she went to design school and had to learn alone, segregated from the rest of the class. But the work she did set her spirit soaring, as evidenced in the clothes she made, including Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress and Olivia de Havilland’s dress at the Oscars when she won for Best Actress in To Each His Own. Rarely credited, Ann Cole Lowe became “society’s best kept secret.” This beautiful picture book shines the spotlight on a little-known visionary who persevered in times of hardship, always doing what she was passionate about: making elegant gowns for the women who loved to wear them.

  3. Keep Your Eye on the Prize - The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! The biggest day of the year at Morecaster School is filled with ideas, hard work, and pressure—it’s time for the annual science fair! Like many kids, Dylan is caught between doing his project on his own, and accepting help from his enthusiastic parents. This year he’s determined to do all the work himself, even if it means his project won’t be perfect. Keep Your Eye on the Prizeis an honest and humorous look at encouraging children to be independent in their work and proud of their results. “Barbara Esham deftly deals with what can be a difficult subject for students or teachers to broach. How do you help parents understand when the help they’re giving is too much?…This book is as valuable for parents and teachers as it is for young people, and is a great way to help everyone understand how to give just the right amount of assistance.” —Academics’ Choice Foundation, Dr. Corinne Hyde, Professor of Clinical Education, University of Southern California Praise for the series: “This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children.”—Dr. Carol S. Dweck

  4. Hiking Day - Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates nature and the outdoors with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first mountain hike! A young girl and her family go hiking up a nearby mountain for the very first time. As they climb up and up the path, they see everything from a friendly toad to a prickly porcupine, tall leafy trees to tiny red berries. Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day the little girl will never forget, especially when she reaches the mountain’s summit. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Hiking Day brings the joys of spending an afternoon outdoors to life.

Books About Hard Work and Trucks

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McToad Mows Tiny Island
Written by Tom Angleberger & illustrated by John Hendrix
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.
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Alphabet Trucks
Written by Samantha R Vamos & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Truck lovers find familiar and unusual trucks and learn where they work and what they do.
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Construction
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Digging, pushing, mixing and tipping! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work.
Honorable Mentions
The Old Truck book
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Roadwork book
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Construction book
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Farm book
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  1. The Old Truck - When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family's young daughter.After long days and years of hard work leave the old truck rusting in the weeds, it's time for the girl to roll up her sleeves. Soon she is running her own busy farm, and in the midst of all the repairing and restoring, it may be time to bring her faithful childhood companion back to life.With an eye-catching retro design and cleverly nuanced illustrations, The Old Truck celebrates the rewards of determination and the value of imagination.

  2. Roadwork - Big machines and their drivers work together to build a road.

  3. Construction - Big machines and their drivers work together to build a library.

  4. Farm - Collecting, lifting, transporting, and delivering! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work. Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

Want to see books about trucks?

Books About Hard Work and America

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Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire
Written by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville & illustrated by Brigette Barrager
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Brigette Barrager team up to tell the joyful and unique story of the trailblazing Disney artist Mary Blair. Mary Blair lived her life in color: vivid, wild color. From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary wouldn’t play by the rules. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted twinkling emerald skies, peach giraffes with tangerine spots, and magenta horses that could fly. She painted her world.
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How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals
Written by Michael Phelps & illustrated by Ward Jenkins and Alan Abrahamson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
With his record-breaking eight gold medals won for swimming in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Phelps became an international sensation. In this picture book, Phelps explains the mind-boggling statistics of his years of training in terms young kids can understand. Full color.
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By My Brother's Side
Written by Tiki Barber, Ronde Barber, and Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Barry Root
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Introduces twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber, who worked hard to overcome obstacles and became National Football League stars, one as runningback for the New York Giants, the other as cornerback for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Honorable Mentions
Epic Athletes: Serena Williams book
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Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan book
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Rescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America book
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Epic Athletes: Stephen Curry book
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  1. Epic Athletes: Serena Williams - An inspiring middle-grade biography of the most celebrated women’s tennis player ever, Serena Williams, from acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel! Serena Williams is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. From growing up in a tough neighborhood to combatting racism to weathering severe health issues, there is no challenge she can’t defeat, no hurdle that will get in the way of her unwavering desire to be the best tennis player in the world. As a little girl, Serena spent years training at her local court with her father and older sister, Venus, dreaming of one day winning Grand Slam titles and earning the number one ranking in the world. In this exciting biography, young readers will discover what it takes to become a champion. Bestselling author Dan Wetzel brings to life the story of an athlete and trailblazer who broke records and racial barriers. Publishing right between Wimbledon and the US Open, and featuring action-packed comic-style interior art, this uplifting biography of the most celebrated women’s tennis player of all time is sure to be a hit with young sports fans across the country.

  2. Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan - Kicking off his new series of sports biographies for young readers, journalist Dan Wetzel pens a page-turning book about the life of US Women’s Soccer star Alex Morgan! Fierce competitor. World Cup winner. Role model. U.S. Women’s Soccer star Alex Morgan has earned each of these impressive titles throughout her incredible career. As a young girl growing up in Southern California, she dreamed of being a professional soccer player, fighting to compete on the international stage against the world’s greatest athletes. Flash forward to the present and Alex Morgan has emerged as the face of U.S. Women’s soccer, famous for her clutch, late-game goals, and an inspiration to kids across the country. Just in time for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, bestselling author Dan Wetzel details the rise of an American champion in this uplifting biography for young readers, complete with dynamic comic-style illustrations.

  3. Rescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America - 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!

  4. Epic Athletes: Stephen Curry - Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Dan Wetzel tells the electric story of NBA superstar Steph Curry, beginning a new series of sports biographies for young readers! When you think of Stephen Curry, one word comes to mind: greatness. From shooting three-pointers with laser precision to his clutch ability to hit buzzer-beaters time and again, he has established himself as one of the best players in the pro basketball. But greatness was never a guarantee for Steph. The son of a talented NBA player, he dreamed of one day playing professionally just like his dad. Yet Steph, who was always smaller and weaker than the competition, was told over and over that he would never be talented enough to be a college star or NBA player—let alone the MVP of the entire league. Through tenacity and hard work, he proved them all wrong and went on to dismantle the record books. With the high energy of a TV commentator, and featuring dynamic comic-style illustrations, this engaging biography tells the story of an NBA All-Star and the path he took to achieve his dreams.

Want to see books about America?

Books About Hard Work and Construction

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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Written & illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.
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What Can You Do with a Toolbox?
Written by John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino & illustrated by Maple Lam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From HGTV stars, cousins, and best friends John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino comes a fun-filled picture book that introduces young readers to the tools in a toolbox and how to use them. A hammer. Nails. A screwdriver. How do we use them? Using simple language, cousins Anthony and John introduce kids to tools and their uses. As their construction project grows, so does the number of kids helping. At the end, they reveal exactly what you can do with a toolbox: We can build a playground!
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Dig, Dump, Roll
Written by Sally Sutton & illustrated by Brian Lovelock and Sally Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Diggers, dump trucks, rollers, and more—it takes a lot of big, noisy machines to build a school! Every young child who has ever gawked at a building site will gravitate to this exciting new entry in the kid pleasing Construction Crew series.
Honorable Mentions
Dalmatian in a Digger book
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Dump Truck Duck book
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  1. Dalmatian in a Digger -

  2. Dump Truck Duck - Dump Truck Duck honks and zooms and steers his dump truck all through the day, helping the other hardworking ducks build a new park. With adorable illustrations and playful rhyming text, Dump Truck Duck is certain to become a new read-aloud favorite!

Books About Hard Work and School

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Grace Goes to Washington
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
"Who's in charge here?" When Grace learns about the three branches of the United States government, she and the rest of the student council put the lesson into practice as they debate how to spend the money from a school fund-raiser. Should they buy new sports equipment? Books for the library? Instruments for the music room? The arguments continue as they travel to Washington, DC, for a field trip. Exploring government buildings and national monuments, Grace feels closer than ever to her dream of becoming president someday. But she and her classmates have a lot to learn about what it means to serve the needs of the people, especially when the people want such different things! In this follow-up to New York Times best seller Grace for President, Kelly DiPucchio not only introduces how our government makes decisions, but also shares what it takes to be a true public servant.
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Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets
Written by Barbara Esham & illustrated by Mike Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! David gets scolded a lot by his teacher, Mrs. Gorski, for not paying attention in class. He wants to pay attention but it is just so hard when an exciting idea pops into his head. And he usually can't tell that he's making a mistake until after he makes them. But after a particularly big mistake, David comes up with his own plan to tone down his wiggle fidgets. This award-winning story is a simple introduction to ADHD and the creative ways of finding solutions to the challenges that ADHD can create. Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgetsis the recipient of: the Academics' Choice Gold Seal Mom's Choice Award Gold Parents' Choice Award "A masterful tale of empowering children...Esham artfully describes the gifts and challenges of children with ADHD." -Dr. Susan Baum, professor emeritus, the College of New Rochelle Praise for the series: "This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children." --Dr. Carol S. Dweck
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The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster!
Written by Melody Reed & illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
In book three of the Major Eights series, Maggie has to ace her science fair project or she won't be able to perform with the band at the annual arts banquet! Maggie is thrilled to perform with the Major Eights at the school's annual arts fund-raising banquet. But when Maggie's science grade starts slipping (her one difficult subject), her mom refuses to let her play at the banquet unless she can get an A on her science fair project. Can Maggie and the girls find a way to make sure Maggie aces the project?
Honorable Mentions
Night Job book
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Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! book
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Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl book
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The Purr-fect Scoop book
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  1. Night Job - With lyrical narration and elegant, evocative artwork, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and illustrator G. Brian Karas share the nighttime experience of a father and child. When the sun sets, Dad’s job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night while the rest of the city is asleep? There’s the smell of lilacs in the night air, the dusky highway in the moonlight, and glimpses of shy nighttime animals to make the dark magical. Shooting baskets in the half-lit gym, sweeping the stage with the game on the radio, and reading out loud to his father in the library all help the boy’s time pass quickly. But what makes the night really special is being with Dad. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse’s quietly powerful story of a boy and his father is tenderly brought to life by G. Brian Karas in this luminous tribute to an enduring, everyday sort of love.

  2. Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! - In this winning addition to the easy-to-read bestselling series, Hank has to hustle to prove he can be his basketball team’s secret weapon! For two years running, Hank’s school has beaten their arch rivals at the annual second grade basketball game. When his friends try out, Hank is determined to play, too. There’s just one problem: Hank is terrible at basketball. Luckily Dr. Dunk (AKA Hank’s dad) and Hank’s friends have his back. With a little help, Hank just might be what the team needs to win their first three-peat in PS 87 history! This bestselling series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is perfect for the transitional reader. With a unique, easy-to-read font, endless humor, and characters every kid would want to be friends with, any story with Hank is a slam dunk! From the Trade Paperback edition.

  3. Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl - It’s talent show time at school, and eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is excited to show her stuff. But as she thinks about her strengths—tree-climbing, mochi making, collage—none of them feel quite right to perform on-stage. Jasmine’s friends already have a talent: Tommy yo-yo’s, Daisy dances, and Linnie plays piano. Plus, Maggie Milsap (aka Miss Perfect) is saying she’ll have the best talent. When Jasmine’s mom introduces her to the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum, Jasmine finally finds an activity that feels just right. But will she be good enough at taiko in time to beat Maggie Milsap? Join Jasmine as she discovers her talent—and the difference between being the best and trying your best.

  4. The Purr-fect Scoop - Sierra tries to find a way to balance all of the activities in her life in this third delicious book in the Sprinkle Sundays series from the author of the Cupcake Diaries series! Sierra does lots of things. She’s captain of the softball team, the director of the school play, and she’s on Student Council, but her favorite thing to do is work at the ice cream shop with her best friends Tamiko and Allie. But when her parents decide to foster three kittens and their mama, Sierra’s life gets a lot more catty! Can Sierra do it all—and maybe find homes for the cats, too?

Want to see books about school?

Books About Hard Work and Girls And Women

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Lumber Jills
Written by Alexandra Davis & illustrated by Katie Hickey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In World War II, Great Britain needed lumber to make planes, ships, and even newspapers—but there weren’t enough men to cut down the trees. Enter the fearless Lumber Jills! These young women may not have had much woodcutting experience, but they each had two hands willing to work and one stout heart, and they came together to do their part. Discover this lyrical story of home front heroism and female friendship.
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Chicks Rule
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & illustrated by Renee Kurilla
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nerdy Chick has been waiting all day for the Rocket Club meeting. But when she gets there, she finds a disturbing sign tacked to the door: “NO CHICKS ALLOWED!!!” Puzzled, then baffled, then just plain mad, Nerdy Chick sets out to change the rules. Along the way, she meets other chicks who are just like her: passionate and determined. From Soccer Chick to Science Chick and Wordy Chick to Yoga Chick, these chicks aren’t willing to take “NO” for an answer. They rally together, march to the barn at the center of town, and—when they hear “NO” once again—chart their own path forward (or, rather, up, up, and away!). A celebration of girl power and community action, Chicks Rule! is the playful, diverse, victorious anthem chicks everywhere will love.
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The Major Eights 4: Starstruck
Written by Melody Reed & illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
In book four of the Major Eights series, Becca shoots, but will she score a meet and greet with her favorite basketball player? When Becca finds out about her school's free throw competition, she is ready to put her basketball skills to the test! And if she wins, she'll get to meet her favorite basketball player! But after a series of bad practices, her nerves start to get the best of her. Can the Major Eights help Becca regain her confidence and meet her hero?
Honorable Mentions
Under Pressure book
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Superheroes Are Everywhere book
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  1. Under Pressure - It’s spring, and school soccer season is back—and so are the Kicks! Devin is excited to be reunited with her teammates, and after they performed so well in the fall, she has high hopes for a championship win this time around. But it was easier for the Kicks when nobody expected them to win. Now there are high expectations, and some of Devin’s teammates are worried about living up to them. As the start of the season approaches, the girls begin to feel the pressure. Will the Kicks get their heads in the game in time to start the season right?

  2. Superheroes Are Everywhere - From Senator Kamala Harris comes a picture book with an empowering message: Superheroes are all around us–and if we try, we can all be heroes too. Before Kamala Harris became a district attorney and a United States senator, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere! In her family, among her friends, even down the street–there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be. In this empowering and joyful picture book that speaks directly to kids, Kamala Harris takes readers through her life and shows them that the power to make the world a better place is inside all of us. And with fun and engaging art by Mechal Renee Roe, as well as a guide to being a superhero at the end, this book is sure to have kids taking up the superhero mantle (cape and mask optional).

Books About Hard Work and Jobs And Careers

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Tinyville Town Gets to Work!
Written & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
The Tinyville Town series, new from New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, launches with three books: Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents, and two board books, I'm a Veterinarian and I'm a Firefighter. The series is set in a cozy community where the people are kind, everyone says hello when they're walking down the street, the bus is always on time, and all the townsfolk do their part to keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a job to do in Tinyville Town. With a nod to the busy world of Richard Scarry and the neighborhood feel of Sesame Street, this new series will become a favorite read for preschoolers and is ideal for story time and class discussions about occupations and community helpers. Tinyville Town is a growing, thriving city full of interesting people. The townsfolk can't wait to show readers around! In Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, we see the evolution of a construction project to solve a problem. When there is a traffic jam on the Tinyville Town bridge, the residents decide to work together to build a new one. By following the hard work of the engineers and construction workers, readers will get to meet many different people in the town while watching the exciting new bridge take shape. The large picture book format and Biggs's bright art brilliantly show the bridge, which was extensively researched to make it authentic for readers. Every town has a bridge, and a trip over Tinyville's new one will be fun for kids time and time again.
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Brick by Brick
Written & illustrated by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A striking debut celebrating the warm bond between a little boy and his dad as they work hard to achieve their dreams Papi is a bricklayer, and he works hard every day to help build the city, brick by brick. His son, Luis, works hard too--in school, book by book. Papi climbs scaffolds, makes mortar, and shovels sand. Luis climbs on the playground and molds clay into tiny bricks to make buildings, just like Papi. Together, they dream big about their future as they work to make those dreams come true. And then one Saturday, Papi surprises Luis with something special he's built for their family, brick by brick.
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The Startup Squad
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship! All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks. The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa's middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa's own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa's steadfast friend—who doesn't know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one... The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!
Honorable Mentions
Great Job, Mom! book
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Bizzy Bear: Do-It-Yourself Day book
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Bea and Mr. Jones book
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Construction Cat book
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  1. Great Job, Mom! - A contemporary felted creation celebrating Mom’s many jobs from the co-creator of Cozy Classics. Being a mom is eleven jobs in one! This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A general who rallies the troops (or unruly kids), a curator of modern art (or finger paintings), an archeologist looking for buried treasures (or socks) . . . when Mom gets home from her day job as a carpenter, she never knows which job will be waiting for her, but she knows it’ll be fun! Each rhyming spread features intimate, familiar, comforting and humorous depictions of family life through a wholly original — and amazing! — needle-felted lens.

  2. Bizzy Bear: Do-It-Yourself Day - Bizzy Bear has a very special DIY project planned, and he needs lots of tools and help to get the job done. Young children will love helping Bizzy and all his friends measure, hammer, saw, and paint. But whatever can they be making? An ingeniously designed book with a fun surprise ending.

  3. Bea and Mr. Jones - Bea Jones is bored with kindergarten. Really bored. Her dad is fed up with being stuck in an office. Really, really fed up. So Bea and Mr. Jones decide to change places. Neither kindergarten nor the office will ever be the same. Originally published in 1982, Bea and Mr. Jones, Amy Schwartz’s unforgettable debut picture book, was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Reading Rainbow selection. Now back with a fresh design, this charming favorite will inspire a new generation of children to see everyday life in a whole new light.

  4. Construction Cat - Cats in hard hats make work seem like play in this cheery, rhyming picture book about building something and having a loving family to share your accomplishments with. Construction cat wakes up at dawn, grabs her boots and tugs them on… It’s time to build! Tail high, Construction Cat kisses her family goodbye and goes to work with the other cats on a construction site. They lug lumber and pound nails, they saw, sand, and sweep the dust, all to build a truly paw-some park that they can’t wait to share with friends and family! Sydney Hanson’s lively and lovable cats combined with Barbara Odanaka’s rhythmic story create a universal story that is a joy to read again and again.

Books About Hard Work and Family

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A Day's Work
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Ronald Himler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Francisco, a young Mexican American boy, tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something even more valuable to teach Francisco.
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We Are the Gardeners
Written by Joanna Gaines & illustrated by Julianna Swaney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Joanna and the kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden. From failed endeavors, obstacles (bunnies that eat everything!), and lessons learned, the Gaines family shares how they grew a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn't always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward.
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Esperanza Rising
Written & illustrated by Pam Munoz Ryan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Honorable Mentions
On Point book
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Applesauce Day book
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Gertie's Leap to Greatness book
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  1. On Point - From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the second book in an exciting new chapter book series about a scrawny fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Now that Zayd has made the Gold Team, he’s hustling hard and loving every minute of the season. But when team starts to struggle, Zayd can’t help wondering if it has something to do with him. Even worse, his best friend Adam suddenly starts acting like he doesn’t care about basketball anymore, even though they are finally teammates. He stops playing basketball with Zayd at recess and starts hanging out with other kids. Then, Adam up and quits the Gold Team to play football instead. While his uncle’s wedding preparations turn life into a circus at home, Zayd is left on his own to figure things out. He has to decide how to still be friends with Adam and step up to fill the empty shoes he left on the court. Does Zayd have what it takes to be on point and lead his team back to victory?

  2. Applesauce Day - Maria and her family visit an apple orchard and pick apples. Then it’s time to turn the apples into applesauce! Every year they use the special pot that has been in the family for generations to make applesauce. First they wash the apples. Then Grandma cuts them into quarters. Follow each step in the process as everyone helps to make delicious applesauce!

  3. Gertie's Leap to Greatness - Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she’ll be leaving behind. There’s just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

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