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Hope: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about hope?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to hope. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about hope.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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.

When it comes to children’s stories about hope, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Salmon Princess to popular sellers like Home of the Brave to some of our favorite hidden gems like Rain Before Rainbows.

We hope this list of kids books about hope 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.

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Rain Before Rainbows
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls & illustrated by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

For anyone going through a difficult passage, this uplifting, beautifully illustrated picture book is about finding optimism in the darkest of places.

Rain before rainbows, clouds before sun,
night before daybreak—a new day’s begun.

In this heartfelt story about courage, change, and moving on, a girl and her companion fox travel together away from a sorrowful past, through challenging and stormy times, toward color and light and life. Along the way they find friends to guide and support them, and when the new day dawns, it is full of promise. With gorgeous, richly realized illustrations and immense hope at its heart, Rain Before Rainbows holds out a ray of sunshine for anyone looking for light.

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A Dance Like Starlight
Written by Kristy Dempsey & illustrated by Floyd Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Little Mole Finds Hope
Written by Glenys Nellist & illustrated by Sally Garland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Little Mole is feeling sad in his dark, underground home, his mother shows him how to look for hope. He finds that signs of spring are everywhere, from the daffodil bulbs under the soil to the tiny buds on the branches above. Hope can be found—even in the darkest places.

In Little Mole Finds Hope, best-selling children’s author Glenys Nellist and illustrator Sally Garland tell an endearing story sure to lift the spirits of people emerging from the cold of winter or a challenging season of life and inspire them to look for signs that spring will come again.

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Binkle's Time to Fly
Written by Sharmila Collins & illustrated by Carolina Rabei
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Binkle cant wait until he turns from caterpillar to butterfly. Hell finally have strong, beautiful wings to take him high into the sky! But when the day comes, something is terribly wrong. Why are Binkles wings so wispy and weak? How will he ever fly like the other butterflies if his wings are nothing like theirs?

Yet with some help and creativity, maybe theres more than one way to fly . . .

As this charming, gorgeously illustrated story reminds us, life can present us with unwelcome challenges, but inventive alternatives and the support of others can make all the difference.

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The Last Christmas Tree
Written by Stephen Krensky & illustrated by Pascal Campion
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Among the grand balsam firs and pines at the Christmas tree lot is a little hunched tree that is missing several branches. Still, no tree is more filled with the spirit of Christmas. As the weeks go by, many others are selected but still the little tree keeps up its hope of finding the perfect family. On Christmas Eve, now the last tree in the lot, a special visitor (Ho, Ho, Ho!) might just give the little tree what it wants most of all.

Home of the Brave book
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The Feather book
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The Salmon Princess book
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The Wooden Camel book
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  • Home of the Brave - A man I helped to settle here taught me a saying from Africa. I’ll bet you would like it: A cow is God with a wet nose. Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she’s missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter—cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother’s fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

  • The Feather - This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognize its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and color. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.

  • The Salmon Princess - Loosely based on “Cinderella,” this story is set in Alaska, the fairy godmother is an eagle, and the hero, the son of a cannery owner, finds his true love through her Sitka slipper, a heavy rubber boot she left at the Silver Salmon Festival.

  • The Wooden Camel - Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo’s father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one’s dreams alive.

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