Grit-Building Books For Children: Recommended Reads For Educators

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Last Updated: May 2024

Are you an educator looking to instill grit and resilience in your students? One effective way to do so is through the use of ‘grit-building books.’

These are books that feature characters who overcome obstacles and setbacks through perseverance and determination, inspiring readers to do the same.

In this article, we will recommend a selection of grit-building books for children of different ages and reading levels. From picture books for younger readers to non-fiction books for older ones, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll also provide tips on how to incorporate these books into your curriculum and help your students develop the grit and resilience they need to succeed in school and beyond.

So, let’s dive in and discover some great reads for building grit in children!

Key Takeaways

  • Grit-building books can instill resilience and perseverance in children, making them an important tool for educators to incorporate into their curriculum.
  • Picture books such as ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’, ‘The Most Magnificent Thing’, and ‘The Dot’ are great for younger readers, while chapter books like ‘Fish in a Tree’, ‘Wonder’, and ‘The One and Only Ivan’ are suitable for middle readers.
  • Parental support is crucial in developing grit in children, and collaborative activities and discussions can be used to explore the themes and lessons in these books.
  • Non-fiction books such as ‘Unbroken’, ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’, and ‘I Am Malala’ can also serve as examples of resilience and determination for older readers.

The Power of Perseverance

You can’t give up now, because the power of perseverance is what will help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacle in your path!

The importance of perseverance in childhood development cannot be overstated. Children who learn to persevere are more likely to become successful adults who can handle adversity and overcome challenges.

Teaching resilience through literature is a great way to help children learn the power of perseverance. Books like ‘The Little Engine That Could’ and ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’ teach children about persistence and the importance of never giving up.

As educators, it’s important to expose children to these types of books so they can learn the valuable life lesson of perseverance and apply it to their own lives.

So, even when the going gets tough, remember that the power of perseverance will help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacle in your path.

Picture Books for Younger Readers

If you’re looking for picture books to help build grit in younger readers, you might want to check out ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ by Andrea Beaty, ‘The Most Magnificent Thing’ by Ashley Spires, and ‘The Dot’ by Peter H. Reynolds.

These books all feature determined young characters who persevere through challenges to achieve their goals. With engaging illustrations and relatable stories, they’re sure to inspire and encourage your students.

"Rosie Revere, Engineer"by Andrea Beaty

When you introduce your students to ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’, they’ll be inspired by the story of a young girl who learns to never give up on her dreams.

This picture book is a fantastic tool for analyzing engineering concepts and encouraging creativity in children.

The story follows Rosie, a young girl who loves to invent and create. However, after a failed invention, she becomes discouraged and gives up on her dreams.

It takes the encouragement of her great-great-aunt Rose, an iconic figure in aviation history, to teach Rosie the value of persistence and to never give up on her dreams.

Throughout the book, children are exposed to engineering concepts such as designing and creating prototypes. The story also encourages creativity by showcasing how Rosie uses everyday items to invent machines.

This book is a fantastic way to teach children that failure is a natural part of the creative process and that it’s important to never give up on their dreams.

Overall, ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ is a must-read for educators who want to inspire their students to pursue their passions and to never give up on their dreams.

"The Most Magnificent Thing"by Ashley Spires

Get ready to join a young girl on her journey to create the most magnificent thing in ‘The Most Magnificent Thing’ by Ashley Spires. She learns the importance of perseverance and problem-solving in the face of obstacles.

The story follows an unnamed girl and her loyal pup as they set out to make the most magnificent thing. The girl knows exactly what she wants to create, but as she starts working on her project, she realizes that things aren’t going as planned. She tries again and again, but each attempt falls short of her expectations.

Through her struggles, the girl discovers that exploring creativity and overcoming obstacles are not easy tasks. She learns that it takes patience, determination, and a willingness to take risks to create something truly magnificent.

This heartwarming story teaches children the importance of embracing failures and never giving up on their dreams. It is a lesson that is essential for building grit and resilience.

"The Dot"by Peter H. Reynolds

In ‘The Dot’ by Peter H. Reynolds, a young girl named Vashti discovers the power of creativity and self-expression with the help of a caring teacher. Vashti is initially frustrated and uninspired in her art class, claiming that she can’t draw. Her teacher encourages her to just make a mark on her paper, and from that small dot, Vashti discovers a whole world of possibilities.

The book highlights the importance of exploring creativity and building confidence in oneself. As Vashti becomes more confident in her abilities, she inspires others to do the same. ‘The Dot’ is a great read for educators looking to encourage their students to embrace their own creativity and to believe in themselves. Use the table below to brainstorm activities or discussions to have with your students after reading ‘The Dot’.

Activity/Discussion Goal Materials Needed
Dot Art Encourage students to create their own dot art using different materials and colors Paper, markers, paint, stickers, etc.
Positive Self-Talk Discuss the importance of believing in oneself and have students write positive affirmations about themselves Paper, pens/pencils
Collaborative Dot Have students work together to create a large dot using their individual dot art pieces Large paper, glue, scissors Mindful Breathing Teach students different breathing techniques to help them calm down and focus in stressful situations Quiet space, guided meditation recordings

Chapter Books for Middle Readers

If you’re looking for chapter books for middle readers, you should check out ‘Fish in a Tree’ by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio, and ‘The One and Only Ivan’ by Katherine Applegate.

These books have all been praised for their relatable characters, engaging storylines, and valuable life lessons.

Whether you’re a teacher looking for classroom reads or a parent looking to encourage your child’s love of reading, these books are definitely worth a read.

"Fish in a Tree"by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

You’ll be drawn into the world of ‘Fish in a Tree’ by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, where a young girl overcomes her struggles with dyslexia with the help of a supportive teacher and newfound friends. The main theme explored in this book is the power of perseverance and resilience.

As you follow the journey of the protagonist, Ally, you’ll witness her transformation from a struggling student who is constantly bullied, to a confident young girl who discovers her own talents and strengths. The character analysis in ‘Fish in a Tree’ is particularly noteworthy.

Ally is a relatable character who is easy to root for. She’s brave, kind, and fiercely loyal to her friends. As you read this book, you’ll also come to appreciate the other characters who play important roles in Ally’s journey. From her teacher, Mr. Daniels, who sees her potential and helps her overcome her challenges, to her new friends who accept her for who she is, every character in the book has a unique story and personality that adds depth to the story.

Overall, ‘Fish in a Tree’ is an inspiring and heartwarming read that will leave you feeling empowered and uplifted.

  • Witness the power of perseverance and resilience as Ally overcomes her struggles with dyslexia.
  • Learn about the importance of having a supportive teacher and a community of friends who accept you for who you are.
  • Appreciate the relatable and well-developed characters who bring the story to life.
  • Be inspired by the transformative journey of a young girl who discovers her own talents and strengths.

"Wonder"by R.J. Palacio

Get ready to be moved by the heartwarming story of a young boy with facial differences and the impact he has on those around him in R.J. Palacio’s ‘Wonder’. This book has become a staple in classrooms across the world for good reason. It not only teaches children about empathy and social awareness, but it also highlights the importance of acceptance and kindness towards others who may look or act differently.

One of the key takeaways from ‘Wonder’ is the role of parental support in developing grit in children. The main character, Auggie, faces numerous challenges and setbacks throughout the story, but his parents are always there to support and encourage him. This sends a powerful message to young readers about the importance of having a strong support system in order to overcome obstacles and develop resilience.

Overall, ‘Wonder’ is a must-read for any educator or parent looking to instill grit and empathy in children.

"The One and Only Ivan"by Katherine Applegate

Experience the heartwarming journey of a gorilla named Ivan and his unlikely friendship with an elephant in Katherine Applegate’s ‘The One and Only Ivan’.

This Newbery Medal-winning book is based on the true story of a real-life gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall before being rescued and taken to a zoo.

Ivan, the protagonist, is a thoughtful and artistic gorilla who struggles with his identity as a captive animal. When a baby elephant named Ruby is brought to the mall, Ivan takes her under his wing and begins to see the world in a new light.

‘The One and Only Ivan’ is not only a touching story about the power of friendship, but also an important book about animal rights and advocacy. Through Ivan’s eyes, readers see the cruelty of keeping animals in captivity and the importance of giving them a life that is as close to their natural habitat as possible.

The book also highlights the work of animal rights activists and the difference they can make in the lives of animals. This book is a must-read for educators who want to teach their students about compassion, empathy, and the importance of fighting for what’s right.

Non-Fiction Books for Older Readers

There are numerous non-fiction books tailored towards older readers that can help build grit and resilience in children. These books not only provide valuable information, but also engage readers through storytelling and personal accounts.

Here are five non-fiction books that can help children develop grit:

  • ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand: This incredible story of resilience follows the life of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini who survived being a prisoner of war during World War II.

  • ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ by Rebecca Skloot: This book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were used without her knowledge for medical research and led to groundbreaking scientific discoveries.

  • ‘I Am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai: Malala’s memoir tells the story of her fight for education and women’s rights in Pakistan, even after being shot by the Taliban.

  • ‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly: This book tells the untold story of the African American women who worked as mathematicians at NASA during the space race.

  • ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl: This classic book chronicles Frankl’s experiences as a prisoner in a concentration camp during World War II and the importance of finding meaning in life.

These books not only provide insight into important historical events and figures, but also serve as examples of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

By engaging older readers with these stories, educators can help instill grit and resilience in children.

Incorporating Grit-Building Books into the Curriculum

You can easily integrate these inspiring stories of resilience and grit into your curriculum, captivating your students with real-life examples of perseverance and determination. By incorporating grit-building books into lesson plans, you can help young learners develop the tools they need to overcome obstacles, build resilience, and achieve success.

Reading about perseverance in childhood can have a profound impact on a child’s development, helping them to understand the importance of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity. There are numerous benefits to reading grit-building books with your students. Not only can these stories help to build resilience and perseverance, but they can also teach valuable life lessons about hard work, dedication, and the importance of never giving up.

By incorporating these books into your curriculum, you can help your students develop the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond, while also fostering a love of reading and a passion for learning. So why not start exploring the world of grit-building books today and see the difference they can make in your classroom?

Conclusion

Congratulations! You now have a list of recommended grit-building books that you can incorporate into your curriculum or recommend to your students.

By exposing children to stories of perseverance, determination, and resilience, you’re helping them develop the grit and growth mindset that are essential for success in school and in life.

Remember, these books aren’t just for students who are struggling. Even high-achieving students can benefit from learning about the challenges and setbacks that others have overcome.

So don’t be afraid to introduce these books to all of your students, and watch as they develop the grit and determination that’ll help them succeed in anything they set their minds to.

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