What are some of the important lessons that you try to teach your child? Tolerance and acceptance? Acts of kindness and charitable giving? Inclusion? What about the importance of personal growth? While the latter is no more important than the previous examples, it is one that can perhaps get overlooked. One way to help children develop a growth mindset is to introduce them to books that will teach them things like persistence, a love of continuous learning, and how to turn mistakes into successes. To that end, we’ve partnered with Book Outlet to compile a list of 20 great books that will help to promote your child’s personal growth.
- Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan
Why you should own it: Salt in His Shoes tells the story of a young Michael Jordan’s childhood fear of not being tall enough to play basketball. He tries everything, even going as far as putting salt in his shoes to help himself grow. As the months go by with little change to his height, Jordan’s father imparts that height alone will not equate to success in his athletic pursuits. Rather, success is the result of hard work, practice and determination.
- The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett
Why you should own it: This story follows a young girl who never makes any mistakes—until one day, she does. She becomes so afraid of making another mistake that she starts to avoid doing things at all.. The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes is an important story that teaches kids that it is not only okay to make mistakes, but those mistakes also help you learn and do things better the next time around.
- The Empty Pot by Demi
Why you should own it: Honesty is always the best policy, right? This widely held truth becomes evident to Ping in this beautifully illustrated book, which tells the story of how an embarrassing failure yields a successful outcome when Ping’s honesty is unexpectedly rewarded.
- Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt
Why you should own it: Trying new things is scary, isn’t it? What if you get hurt or do it wrong? What if your friends laugh at you? In this story, Jonathan must find the strength and courage to answer all of the questions that his Whatif monster asks.
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Why you should own it: In this whimsical picture book, a young girl has a brilliant idea to make the “most magnificent thing.” She quickly comes to realize that making a magnificent thing is not as easy as she has expected or hoped—but perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from trial and error.
- What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
Why you should own it: In this book, a young boy is faced with a problem he’s never encountered and has no idea how to solve. His uncertainty quickly turns to fear, worry, and avoidance of the problem until, one day, he decides that he’s had enough and is going to face the problem head-on. He realizes that not only can a seemingly unsolvable problem be solved, but is nothing to fear and represents an excellent learning opportunity.
- Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
Why you should own it: In Beautiful Oops, the reader learns that the key to the artistic process is not in perfection, but in making mistakes along the way. In this visually impactful book, we learn that a mistake can sometimes highlight new opportunities, inspire new projects, or change the intended outcome!
- he Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Why you should own it: For many, drawing is no easy task. For Vashti, a young girl who becomes discouraged at her progress during her art class, this sentiment is all too familiar. However, Vashti is determined to improve her ability and learns that she can, in fact, draw quite well when she puts her mind to it. With success in her corner, Vashti begins to encourage her classmate who faces a similar predicament.
- Thanks for the Feedback, I Think by Julia Cook
Why you should own it: It’s one thing to receive a compliment, but what do you do with constructive criticism the first time you receive it? In this story, RJ receives compliments from his friends and criticism from his teachers.. After initial uncertainty, RJ quickly learns what receiving different forms of feedback means, and the best ways to respond to both.
- She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
Why you should own it: This book, inspired by some of history’s most inspirational women, shows that speaking up for the things you believe in, even when you’ve been told not to, can have a big impact on the world.
- Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Kristina Tracy and Wayne Dyer
Why you should own it: Sometimes, trying to fit in can limit a child’s potential. This book lists 10 different ways to run with some of your more crazy ideas in the pursuit of happiness, fulfillment, and achievement.
- Flight School by Lita Judge
Why you should own it: Everyone knows that penguins can’t fly— but what happens if the penguin is determined to do the impossible? In this book, we follow a persistent penguin who is determined to find a solution to his no-flight problem. The moral of the story? Even if something seems impossible, you can often find a solution if you try hard enough.
- No Excuses! by Brian Tracy
Why you should own it: In this book, readers learn all about excuses: what they are, why they exist, and how to overcome them and achieve our goals. In reading this book, we learn that it’s important to not let excuses get in the way of the things we want to accomplish.
- Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges
Why you should own it: Everyone wants Ruby to focus on getting married; every one that is, except Ruby. In the face of mounting pressure from her family, Ruby is determined to go to university, much like the boys in her family, and to not acquiesce to her family’s wishes.
- I Won’t Quit by Danny McGill
Why you should own it: Though centered on the simple theme of not giving up in the face of adversity, I Won’t Quit aims to teach children that they all have a superpower within: perseverance.
- I Can’t Do That, YET by Esther Pia Cordova
Why you should own it: It’s okay to acknowledge when you aren’t able to do something, as long as you take action to complete it one day. In I Can’t Do That, YET, Enna is often left feeling discouraged at her inability to do something. Through the course of the story, Enna’s proclamations of “I can’t do that” gradually change to “I can’t do that, YET” as she acknowledges her current abilities and embraces a growth mindset for success in the future.
- I Think, I Am! by Kristina Tracy and Louise Hay
Why you should own it: Positive affirmations are important not just for adults, but for kids as well! In this simple and artistic book, readers learn how to avoid negative thoughts and abandon negative words, while embracing those that are positive. The result: happiness and confidence in all endeavors!
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Why you should own it: Written in the same vein as Nanny McPhee and Mary Poppins, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a series that emphasizes learning and problem-solving. The story inspires the young reader to think more critically about the world around them and stand more confidently on their own two feet.
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Why you should own it: Perfect for teaching young minds the meaning of empathy, compassion, and acceptance, Wonder follows the story of a young boy with a facial deformity as he integrates into a mainstream school. This story chronicles the events both from the boy’s point of view, as well as that of his classmates and family as they learn to adjust.
- Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker
Why you should own it: Gone are the old stereotypes of what it means to be a young girl. In this highly visual book, the message that girls can be as silly, messy and fearless as their male counterparts is driven home in a very powerful way.
A growth mindset is crucial for the development of a young reader. If one doesn’t learn to question the status quo, seek to learn from mistakes, or embrace opportunity in failure, it can be difficult to navigate the adult world. By encouraging your kids to read books that contain positive messages of growth from an early age, you will be helping to set them up for success in the future. Whether you purchase these books individually or receive them as part of a book gift box receive them as part of a book gift box like Lillypost, each and everyone one of them would make a fine addition to your child’s collection.