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Responsibility: Books For Kids

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

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

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.

When it comes to children’s stories about responsibility, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Yasmin the Teacher to popular sellers like Slacker to some of our favorite hidden gems like Caterpillar Summer.

We hope this list of kids books about responsibility can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Caterpillar Summer
Written by Gillian McDunn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond. When Chicken has a “meltdown”, Cat’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s always knows what he needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat is the glue holding her family together. When a summer trip doesn’t go as planned, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they’ve never met. With their help, Cat can be a kid again for the first time in years, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes. Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, this special novel features an unforgettable voice and is brimming with heart.

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Even Superheroes Make Mistakes
Written by Shelly Becker & illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

Even superheroes slip up and err. When that happens, do they complain or give up in despair? NO! Whether they’ve nabbed the wrong guy by mistake or bashed into a planet while zooming through space, all superheroes ‘fess up their mess-up and keep on saving the world in the most super way! This follow-up to Even Superheroes Have Bad Days teaches kids another humorous lesson in overcoming adversity.

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The Hula Hoopin' Queen
Written by Thelma Lynne Godin & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A spunky girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood—young and old alike—joins in on the fun.

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood’s got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch!

With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

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Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge
Written by Kristin L. Gray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Vilonia must prove she is responsible enough to get a dog in order to help her mom get over her grief”–

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Love Is
Written by Diane Adams & illustrated by Claire Keane
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Perfect for Valentine’s Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.

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  • Jupiter Storm - A curious chrysalis changes Jackie's life forever.

  • Mia Measures Up - Mia is being cyber-bullied, and she’s determined to find out who is responsible in the latest addition to the Cupcake Diaries series. Mia is upset when her parents tell her she’s too young to go to a concert without adult supervision. She’s old enough to help run a cupcake business! Why can’t her parents see that she’s also responsible enough to do whatever she wants? And just when she’s reached a compromise with her parents (her older brother Dan will go to the concert with her), Mia finds out she’s being cyber-bullied on social media. It’s the Cupcake Club to the rescue as they all help Mia solve her online bullying mystery!

  • But It's Not My Fault! - Things just don’t seem to be going Noodle’s way. But it’s not his fault that he didn’t finish his homework or that her forgot to turn in his library book. <P> Join Noodle on his journey as he learns not to blame others or try to find fault; but instead practices accepting responsibility.

  • Operation Frog Effect - If one small act can create a ripple across the universe . . . what happens when a whole group of kids join together and act?

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One Boy's Choice: A Tale of the Amazon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
On the bank of a river in the Amazon, a boy learns from his grandfather about a father fish that cares for his offspring, and the importance of preserving the species for future generations
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The Purr-fect Scoop
Written by Coco Simon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

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Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Book Five Frozen Fiasco
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

When Salem’s school puts on an ice pageant during winter break, our reluctant witch is determined to be a snow angel. But there’s one problem: Salem doesn’t know how to skate. So instead of preparing for the Frosty Follies, she’s stuck babysitting her neighbor’s son, Fergus. Just when Salem thinks her winter break is ruined, she’s offered the part of a snow angel. Now she just has to figure out how to balance her responsibilities <i>and</i> learn to skate before the big show. With a little magical help and some advice from the overanxious cat Whammy, Salem is sure she can get everything done . . . unless it all snowballs out of control first!

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Pearl
Written by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle dazzles with an original mermaid tale about how small, persistent actions can achieve great things.
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Yasmin the Teacher
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When Ms. Alex is called away from the classroom, she leaves Yasmin in charge, but the other children just ignore her and start acting silly and noisy–until Yasmin thinks up a way to motivate them to finish the math assignment, quietly.

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  • The Thundermaker - The Thundermaker is based on Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy’s spectacular mixed-media exhibit of the same name. In the book, Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility he has in making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi’kmaw identity through his father’s teachings and his mother’s traditional stories. Syliboy’s spectacular, vibrant artwork brings the story of Little Thunder to vivid life.

  • Slacker - From the bestselling author of Swindle and Ungifted comes the funny, fantastic story of an underachiever who ends up achieving much more than any overachiever could ever imagine.

  • The Incredible Twisting Arm - Want to see something incredible?
    I can twist my arm all the way around.
    All it takes is a little magic... Life is a little easier for Mike now that he's found The White Rabbit magic shop. But after missing a special show from a visiting magician, Mike realizes he needs a way to get to the shop by himself. Unfortunately, he's exhausted after only a week of being a model student, and Nora, his magician assistant and expert on good behavior, is distracted by a new friendship. Convincing his parents he's responsible enough to ride his bike downtown alone will take a miracle...or maybe, magic.

  • Bagel King - Every Sunday morning, no matter the weather, Eli could count on Zaida to bring bagels from Merv’s Bakery. Eli loved the time they spent together enjoying their favorite treats. ?Warm. Chewy. Salty, ? Eli thought. ?Bagels were the best thing about Sunday.? But one Sunday, Zaida didn’t come. He had fallen at Merv’s and ?hurt his tuches, ? and the doctor said Zaida had to rest at home for two whole weeks. This meant Eli had no Sunday morning bagels. And neither did Zaida’s friends, who had been receiving their own weekly deliveries from Zaida. Will they all go hungry for bagels on Sunday? Or is there something Eli can do? Award-winning author Andrew Larsen’s picture book story offers a gently humorous take on the special bond between a boy and his grandfather and the simple ritual that looms so large in their lives. It also highlights a terrific character education lesson about how a young child can take responsibility and, with a little initiative, help a family member in need. With a blend of retro and contemporary styles, Sandy Nichols’s softly colored illustrations cleverly convey the story’s timelessness and capture Eli’s diverse neighborhood. This book will spark wonderful discussions about family traditions and community. A mini glossary and pronunciation guide for the Yiddish words that are sprinkled throughout the story (like mensch and oy) provides an opportunity to learn about the many words we use in English that come from other languages, and to explore the connections between culture and languag

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Mya’s Strategy to Save the World
Written & illustrated by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Mya Parsons could save the world and organize her family, if only she had her own cell phone. A Dork Diaries for today’s socially conscious young readers.

Mya Parsons runs her school’s social justice club with her best friend, Cleo. Her lifelong desire is to work for the United Nations and change the world, and then bask in all the ensuing adulation. Her more immediate desire is to get a phone, preferably one like Cleo’s, with a leopard-print case to match. When her distracted dad and her long-distance mom (temporarily in Myanmar taking care of Mya’s grandmother) both say no, no way, and possibly never, Mya launches a campaign to prove herself reliable and deserving. She advertises her babysitting services, takes on more responsibility around the house, and attempts to supervise her sister’s skateboarding lessons. Her efforts leave her ego bruised and the kitchen slightly scorched. She’s no closer to touch-screen victory, let alone the Nobel Peace Prize she deserves. But all that changes after an accident leaves Mya to take charge–an experience which helps her realize how much she’s grown, with or without access to proper communications.

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Too Many Toppings!
Written by Coco Simon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sierra learns to balance all of her responsibilities in this sixth delicious book in the Sprinkle Sundays series from the author of the Cupcake Diaries series!

Sierra thinks she has everything under control—she loves staying busy. But between working in the ice cream shop, after-school sports, and now being asked to be the lead singer in a band—has Sierra taken on more than she can handle? What’s a girl who wants to have it all to do?

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My Little Car: Mi Carrito
Written by Gary Soto
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Teresa was so excited when her grandpa gave her a fantastic little carrito for her birthday. Everyone admired it when she rode down the sidewalk and it won Best Car at the playground hands down. Over time, though, she stops taking care of it and it practically falls apart. But when it helps her escape from a neighborhood dog, she is reminded of how much she loves it. And her grandpa is just the person to help her fix it up. After all, he's old, too, but he's still fun to play with.

A funny, touching story with zippy illustrations, this is a painless way to show kids that it's important to take care of the things (and people) you love.

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Farm The Farm
Written & illustrated by Sarah Lynne Reul
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A lift-the-flap book that lets little ones farm the farm!

This interactive novelty board book encourages readers to care for animals at the farm by lifting the sturdy flaps on each spread. Feed the hens, brush the pony’s mane, and open the gate so the cow can graze in the pasture in this inventive and engaging book that teaches little ones how to be responsible.

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My Fourth of July
Written by Jerry Spinelli & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young boy and his family celebrate his favorite day, Independence Day, by seeing a parade, having a picnic, watching a talent show, and enjoying fireworks.

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  • The Goblin Princess - Bo grants the goblin princess a wish in this magical early chapter book from the USA Today bestselling author of Owl Diaries!

  • Maisy Gets a Pet - What is it like to get your first pet? Little Black Cat becomes Maisy's new companion in a purr-fect First Experiences story.

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