Resilience books for kids is the topic of our blog post today!
When we talk about education, it’s not just about pumping kids full of facts and formulas; it’s about equipping them to navigate the complexities of life. And let’s be honest, the world we’re handing them isn’t always forgiving. That’s why topics like resilience, grit, and emotional intelligence aren’t just “nice to have”—they’re essential.
So, in my journey as an educator and a researcher, I’ve stumbled upon books that don’t just pay lip service to these topics but offer actionable insights and strategies. Today, I’m diving deep into a selection of books that focus on building resilience and grit in our young ones. These reads offer something for everyone: story-driven narratives for kids and research-backed strategies for adults.
And if you’re keen on exploring more reads that cater to social-emotional learning, head over to the Emotional Literacy section of this blog for more hand-picked recommendations. Trust me, this is a rabbit hole worth going down.
Related: Resilience books for adults
Resilience Books for Kids
Here are our top picks for resilience books for kids:
1. I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids, by Gabi Garcia
In “I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids” by Gabi Garcia, kids learn the importance of positive self-talk. Through mindful affirmations, this book empowers children to tackle challenges by tapping into their inner strength and resilience. It’s a culturally diverse, social-emotional gem for any home or school library.
2. The Hugging Tree: A Story About Resilience, by Jill Neimark
Jill Neimark’s “The Hugging Tree: A Story About Resilience” takes us on an inspiring journey of a tiny tree perched on a cliff, weathering life’s literal and metaphorical storms. The tree eventually grows to become a sanctuary for others, teaching children about resilience and hope. This book isn’t just a narrative; it’s an interactive tool used worldwide to spark meaningful conversations about life’s challenges, big and small.
3. The Resilience Workbook for Kids, by Caren Baruch-Feldman PhD and Rebecca Comizio MA MEd
“The Resilience Workbook for Kids” by Caren Baruch-Feldman PhD and Rebecca Comizio MA MEd is a treasure trove of actionable techniques grounded in evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology.
Designed for kids aged 7-12, the workbook aims to equip children with the skills needed to manage stress and emotions effectively. It’s a go-to resource for building emotional strength in today’s stressful world.
4. Resilient Kids: Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence, by Kathy Koch
Kathy Koch’s “Resilient Kids: Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence” delves into the importance of cultivating resilience in children from an early age. This book serves as a roadmap for parents, teaching them how to guide their children through challenges and setbacks. By emphasizing the value of self-awareness and personal growth, it helps kids develop the resilience that becomes part of their character.
5. The Resilient Sloth, by Charlotte Dane
In “The Resilient Sloth” by Charlotte Dane, kids get to meet Sloth, a character who has mastered the art of resilience through a simple life-changing tip from his friend Fox. The book serves as a lighthearted yet impactful guide for teaching kids to face obstacles with a tough mindset and emotional maturity.
It’s part of a series that aims to arm children with life skills and is recommended for ages 3-11. Adults will find the wit and charm in the story enjoyable too, making it a perfect family read.
6. The Grit Workbook for Kids, by Elisa Nebolsine LCSW
“The Grit Workbook for Kids” by Elisa Nebolsine LCSW is a resource parents will want to have on their shelf. Written in a tone that resonates with children, the book is grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy and is designed to cultivate tenacity and self-control in young minds.
From problem-solving to building good relationships, the activities in this workbook equip kids with practical skills to cope with life’s ups and downs.
7. Building Resilience in Children and Teens, by Kenneth R Ginsburg and Martha M Jablow
Kenneth R Ginsburg and Martha M Jablow’s “Building Resilience in Children and Teens” is a must-have for parents navigating the turbulent waters of raising a child in the modern world. The revised edition focuses on the crucial “7 Cs” of resilience and brings in new insights on strength-based relationships. Particularly helpful for those dealing with toxic stress or trauma, this book offers coping strategies to help children adapt to academic and social pressures.
8. The Resilience Recipe, by Muniya S. Khanna and Philip C. Kendall
“The Resilience Recipe” by Muniya S. Khanna and Philip C. Kendall addresses the growing issue of anxiety and stress in kids, providing evidence-based strategies based on cognitive behavioral therapy. The book is a holistic guide not just for children but also for adults, offering tips on recognizing early signs of stress and teaching resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
9. Bounce Back: How to Be A Resilient Kid, by Wendy L. Moss
“Bounce Back: How to Be A Resilient Kid” by Wendy L. Moss is a gem for kids navigating the turbulent waters of childhood and adolescence. The book distinguishes itself by demystifying the idea that resilience is innate. Instead, it positions resilience as a learnable skill. It guides young readers through quizzes, advice, and strategies to bolster their own resilience, making it interactive and practical.
10. Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences, by Victoria E. Romero, Ricky Robertson, and Amber Warner
“Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences” by Victoria E. Romero, Ricky Robertson, and Amber Warner takes a more specialized approach. Targeting K-12 educators, the book provides a comprehensive strategy to transform schools into trauma-informed environments.
It dives deep into the issues plaguing children exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), offering ways to explicitly teach new behaviors and create a nurturing, trauma-sensitive climate. As someone who has spent a good chunk of my career in education, I know how vital a resource like this can be for teachers and educational professionals.
11. The Yes Brain, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
“The Yes Brain” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson offers a radical shift in perspective when it comes to children’s emotional and psychological well-being. The authors talk about the “No Brain” and “Yes Brain” states, proposing that a ‘Yes Brain’ approach can drastically improve children’s receptivity, curiosity, and overall mental health.
They offer practical tools for parents to inculcate the ‘Yes Brain’ attributes of balance, resilience, insight, and empathy. I really appreciate the nuanced approach to familiar issues like screen time and food choices, helping parents navigate these daily battles in a more constructive way.
12. Resilience, by Jayneen Sanders
“Resilience” by Jayneen Sanders speaks directly to the younger audience, aiming to nurture resilience through a character named Emmi. She embodies all the qualities we would love to see in our own kids—resilience, courage, and tenacity.
What I particularly like about this book is that it’s not just a read-and-forget kind of deal. The inclusion of discussion questions and activities gives parents, educators, and caregivers a way to interact with kids, transforming the story into a teachable moment. It offers a multi-layered approach to fostering resilience, making it an interactive experience for children.
13. Grit for Kids, by Lee David Daniels
On the other hand, “Grit for Kids” by Lee David Daniels fills a gap in the existing literature about grit by focusing on its development in children. This book is a guide, helping parents and educators instill the principles of grit—passion, purpose, and perseverance—in young minds.
What makes this book stand out are the real-life stories and practical steps that can be implemented easily. It even extends beyond just fostering grit to managing emotions and planning and achieving goals. Daniels does an excellent job in breaking down these complex concepts into digestible actions.
Navigating the labyrinth of childhood and adolescence isn’t a walk in the park; it’s more like an intricate dance that requires resilience, grit, and a lot of stumbling along the way. But hey, that’s how we learn, right? These books have served as incredible guideposts for fostering emotional maturity in young minds, and I’m confident they’ll offer the same clarity for you and the children in your life.
From my own experience in the classroom and as an educational researcher, I can attest to the positive impact of embedding these principles early on. Trust me, there’s no such thing as being ‘too young’ to learn about mental toughness and emotional resilience. And let’s not forget, these skills are equally vital for us adults who are guiding them.