Books to Inspire Bravery & Courage

When You are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller is the story of a young girl who is moving away from the home that she knows and loves.  The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the colors reflect the feelings and emotions that the young girl feels as she is on the journey to her new home.  This book encourages readers to remember those times when they showed courage and call on those memories when facing new and scary situations.  I LOVED this book (a new favorite) and would recommend it for ages 4 and up.

the dot by Peter H. Reynolds is a favorite book in our house.  In this story Vashti is afraid to draw in art class.  Her art teacher inspires creativity, courage and bravery by telling her to just make a mark and see where it takes her.  That first dot takes Vashti on a journey of self discovery.

After the Fall-How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Sanat is the tale of Humpty Dumpty after he fell from the wall.  It is a story of perseverance, bravery and taking one step at a time to overcome your fears.  This book is a family favorite and great for ages 6 and up.  Please Note–At first many people think that this book ends badly for Humpty Dumpty…pay close attention.

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismandy is about a girl named Lucy who is being made fun of for being different.  In the story she finds courage inside and uses advice from her grandfather to help her overcome this challenging situation.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall is the story of a young boy who sets a goal of jumping off the diving board at the community pool.  He starts off the story very brave and excited to take on this goal but as his time to jump comes closer, he becomes more and more unsure and scared.  Will Jabari find the courage to jump off the diving board?  This book is wonderful for ages 3 and up.

Brave Enough for Two by Jonathan D. Voss is the story about Olive and her very best stuffed friend, Hoot.  Hoot loves brave adventures and Olive prefers a quiet time and reading about adventures in books.  Throughout the story, Hoot encourages Olive to be brave and step out of her comfort zone and onto some wild adventures.  In the end Olive ends up being brave enough for both friends. This fantasy story would be great for ages 3 and up.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel is the true story of Clara Lemlich who is a young immigrant in America at the turn of the century.  When her father can’t find work, she finds a job at a factory making shirts.  Working in the factory is hard work and unsafe due to the poor working conditions.  Brave Clara becomes a young activist and inspiration as she organizes others to fight for better rights at the factory.  This story is the true story of a BRAVE and COURAGEOUS girl who did not stop fighting for what she believed was right.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

I am Enough by Grace Byers (ages 3 and up) is an award winning book that is all about believing in yourself. This book encourages kindness, loving others and self-respect.  “We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.”  Grace Byers has also written a book called I Believe I Can.  This book is for ALL children and it is to inspire them to love and believe in themselves.

The Little Yellow Leaf
  by Carin Berger is the perfect book for autumn.  This story illustrates that sometimes all you need to be brave, is someone by your side.  I LOVE the illustrations in this story and think it would be a great read aloud for ages 3 and up.

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully is the story of a young girl who’s mother runs a boarding house.  A famous wire-walker comes to stay at the boarding house and Mirette’s life changes forever.  This beautiful story is about perseverance, facing fears and finding our own courage from within.  My daughter LOVES this book and we’d recommend it for ages 5 and up.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman (ages 4 and up) is the story about a little girl named Grace who loves stories and using her imagination.  When her class is going to put on the play of Peter Pan, she wants to play the role of Peter.  The children in her class tell her that girls and black children can not play Peter.  Grace’s grandmother teachers Grace a valuable lesson.

Be Brave Little One  by Marianne Richmond (ages 3 and up) is a book that will help inspire children to be brave. This sweet book will help them to understand what bravery looks and feels like.  The author/illustrator reads her book in the video below.  Marianne’s website has FREE printables that go along with the book!  Check them out here!

I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia (ages 4 and up) is a book filled with positive and mindful affirmations.  This book is one that should be shared with people of all ages.  The power of our mind is incredible and it is important to teach our children these positive affirmations so that they can use them as they navigate difficult situations.  I LOVE the illustrations in this book and that EVERY child will find someone who looks like them in its pages.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (ages 4 and up) is the story of a little girl named Molly Lou Melon.  Molly Lou Melon’s grandmother teaches her to stand up be proud of who she is.  When she moves to a new school and meets a bully, she uses her grandmother’s advice and stands up for herself!

The Ordinary People Change the World books by Brad Meltzer are well LOVED in our house.  I think my daughter has almost every one of them (she may be missing 2 or 3) and reads them daily.  I love them because they show that famous people who have changed the world are still people after all.  Most have have had to overcome a lot of adversity and challenges to make change happen. Brad makes the world of biographies so much fun and the illustrations by Christoper Eliopoulos are wonderful.  They always hide the next famous person they are planning to write a biography for at the end of the book and it so much fun to hunt for them.  The Harriet Tubman book is my daughters favorite in the series.  She loved learning about how brave Harriet was and how many people she helped to escape slavery. This series also has books about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller and so many more.  Ages 5 and up

Books that Will Inspire Bravery in Older Children

  • Green Ember Series (ages 9 and up)-This series is jam-packed with adventure!  It can be a bit dark at times but my sensitive 9-year-old is just fine with it.  She even named her pet bunny after one of the lead characters.
  • The Land of Stories Series (ages 8 and up)-This series of stories was an ABSOLUTE family favorite.  We devoured these stories and loved the way the fairytale world and our world collided.  These creative stories are read by the author and so much fun to listen to aloud.
  • The Tuesdays at the Castle Series (ages 8 and up)-This fantasy series is about a royal family who lives in a magical castle and the many challenges they face.  This book is filled with adventure, magic and friendship and each book will leave you running to the next to see what happens.  We truly loved this series and hope that there will be a few more in the series.
  • The How to Train Your Dragon Series (ages 8 and up)-This series is very different from the movie (we like the books better) and read by the amazing David Tennant.  My son and I devoured this series but it was too much for my daughter who was 7 and 8 at the time.
  • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series (ages 6 and up)-This book series is so much fun! The main character is the young daughter of the admiral and her dream is to sail the seas as a PIRATE.  Her companion is a magical gargoyle and their adventures will keep you laughing and saying, “ARGH”.  This is such a fun series.
  • The Peter Nimble Series by Jonathan Auxier (ages 9 and up)–The Peter Nimble books will keep you guessing until the end.  Jonathan Auxier is a gifted story-teller and his characters are like no others.  These stories are filled with humor, adventure and will leave you on the edge of your couch.