Children’s Books about Perseverance and Determination
These children’s books about perseverance show examples of how grit and determination are the ability to push through challenges and give things another go in the face of setbacks.
Perseverance and Determination
Grit, determination and perseverance are the ability to push through challenges. The key to perseverance is motivation, positivity and the courage to see things through to completion no matter the setbacks.
Fostering an attitude of not giving up, resilience and determination help your students develop independence. They are all important attitudes to have throughout life.
Questions to Use With Children’s Books about Perseverance
- When have you shown perseverance?
- Why can it be difficult to persevere? What are the obstacles?
- What characteristics did [character] have that made them able to persevere?
- Why was it important that [character] persevere?
- Do you think [character] could accomplish their task by themselves?
- How can positive relationships with others help us preserve in difficult situations/tasks?
- What does it mean to show perseverance or to be committed?
- How does having determination make a difference to your work or achieving your goals?
- When you try something new how does perseverance help?
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Children’s Books about Perseverance and Determination
These children’s books about perseverance illustrate how hard work and persistence can overcome setbacks. Characters show perseverance and determination and are an example to your students that they can reach their own goals and overcome challenges. The characters overcome various challenges and find different ways of achieving their goals.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
A severe drought in Malawi caused 14-year-old Kamkwamba to drop out of school to save his family money. He researched how he could bring electricity to his village and built a working windmill from scraps.
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Drummer Girl by Hiba Masood
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
People dismissed Emmanuel because of his deformed leg, but his mother’s belief gave him the courage and determination to be himself. As he got older he became a cyclist, eventually cycling 400 miles across Ghana to promote the message that disability is not inability.
Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon by Simran Singh Jeet
Fauja Singh was born with determination and confidence. He overcame a disability in his legs to become a farmer. In his 80s he ran his first marathon, and he was still running them after he turned 100!
Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart by Dion Leonard
Running a 177-mile race in the Gobi Desert, Dion discovers a little dog running with him. Through trials and tribulations, they finish the race together. Dion names the dog Gobi and takes him home to Scotland.
This true story promotes determination, perseverance, and strength.
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White
Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
Lillian's Right to Vote by Jonah Winter
Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, is determined to walk up the steep hill to her polling station to make her voice heard. During her journey, she remembers the difficult voting history of her family. After the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment her great grandfather voted for the first time, she witnessed her parents registering to vote and she marched from Selma to Montgomery.
Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida
Little Kunoichi comes from a ninja family. She attends a secret ninja school for girls but has difficulty training. Her friend, Chibi Samura struggles with samurai practice but he trains with determination. This attitude inspires Little Kunoichi to train for the upcoming Island Festival where they both wow the crowd.
Manjhi Moves a Mountain by Nancy Churnin
Dashrath Manjhi shows how determination, grit and patience can literally move mountains. He uses a hammer and chisel to break through a mountain to a town where people in his village can access schools, health care and running water.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time by Linda Sue Park
One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom Moore by Captain Tom Moore
Our Little Inventor by Sher Rill Ng
Nell has an ingenious invention to solve the pollution problem in the Big City. She sets off on a journey to the city, far from where she lives. She finds the pollution is much worse than she expected. Nell is dismayed when she is mocked by city leaders. With unexpected help and Nell’s determination, she shows her machine to the city.
Papa's Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
Papa is a persistent inventor, though he has had little success in making anything that works. A family trip to Lake Michigan sparks an idea that ends with him creating a submarine the family can use. Based on a true story.
Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Ixchel wants to continue the weaving tradition of her Mayan community. She walks around her village to find items to weave with, but only finds colourful plastic bags. As the bags pile up she decides to cut them into strips and starts weaving them, producing a rainbow fabric.
Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby
A new school opens in a small Afghan village. Razia has to convince her father and brothers that she should attend and follow her dreams of receiving an education. This book is based on true stories from the Zabuli Education Center for Girls.
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden
Ron loved visiting his local library to read books about the world of aviation. But the policy of segregation in South Carolina meant he couldn’t take home books. This brave young boy challenged this injustice through determination and peaceful resistance. His success meant that anyone, regardless of background or ethnicity, could have a library card.
Based on a true event in the life of Ron McNair, a scientist and astronaut. He tragically died, along with six others, in the 1986 Challenger explosion.
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty
After Sofia’s Abuelo hurts his ankle at the Mount Trashmore, she brainstorms ways to make it safe. She develops a plan to turn it into a park, but when City Hall turns the idea down she gets the community involved to make her dream come true.
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
When Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree he throws his shoes to dislodge it. That doesn’t work so Floyd attempts to use more and more outrageous objects (and people) to free the kite!
Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival
Tilda loves her life, but when it is turned upside down, she wants to give up. Everything seems so hard. She sees a ladybird, stuck on its back, keep trying until it gets back on its feet and flies away. Tilda takes inspiration from this tiny insect and adapts to the changes in her life.
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of equal voting rights, but she had to overcome prejudice, verbal abuse and a beating which nearly killed her. In 1964 she gave a televised speech that prompted people to support the Freedom Democrats.
When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson
A young girl asks her grandmother why she has long braided hair, wears colourful clothes and speaks another language. She learns about her grandmother’s time, along with many other First Nation children, in a Canadian residential school. They were stripped of their Cree culture, which is why she proudly expresses the traditions and language every day.
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