28 of the Best Books about Confidence and Risk-Taking
This collection of books about confidence and risking-taking follow characters approaching new and unfamiliar situations, seeking new ideas, making good decisions, communicating their opinions and standing up for their beliefs.
Confidence and Risk-Taking
What is a risk-taker and how can we help our students take appropriate risks? According to the IB, risk-taking students “approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; [they] work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. [They] are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.”
Your students are always going to come across times when they have to take risks, whether they want to or not. We can prepare them for these moments. It is particularly important once they become teenagers and peer pressure can be difficult to ignore. Let’s start preparing them now.
Risk-takers approach new and unfamiliar situations with confidence and enthusiasm. Follow characters who explore new environments and ideas, who are courageous and stand up for their beliefs. This doesn’t mean risk-takers don’t suffer from fear and anxiety. However, they are able to find ways to overcome any doubts they have. Take a look at Psychology Today for another perspective Risk-Taking for Your Children: How Much is Enough?
In a previous post, Resources to Promote Risk-Taking and Confidence in Children, I put together risk-taking books, videos and online resources.
Books about Confidence and Risk-Taking
Many of the situations in these books will help your students discuss how they feel about taking risks. They bring up the positives but also the fear and reluctance involved in trying something new. Many of the book characters are reluctant to take risks, going through a thought process children will be familiar with. You will see characters who:
- challenge their own fear to take a risk
- try something new despite their fears
- make new friends
- show curiosity
- reflect on how it felt to try something new
- experiment with solving problems in different ways
- want to try new things despite any fears
- are reluctant to step into the unknown
- confront difficult situations
- stand up for their beliefs
- explore new environments and ideas
Alec's Primer by Mildred Pitts Walter
Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
Journey by Aaron Becker
The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright
Little Mouse and the Red Wall by Britta Teckentrup
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Parachute by Danny Parker
The Real Boat by Marina Aromshtam
The Ricker Racker Club by Patrick Guest
The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman
The Visitor by Antje Damm
- Describe how the characters in the book risk-takers.
- Were the characters brave enough to stand up for their beliefs? Why do you think they may have found this difficult?
- Is there a connection between [character’s] risk-taking and their creativity? Explain.
- How would you have handled this situation?
- How do you know [character] was taking a risk?
- Was [character’s] risk-taking positive or negative? Explain.
- As a class, did you have different views or perspectives on [character] risk-taking? Why do you think this is the case?
- Will the [character] find this situation easier next time? Why?
These picture books are a wonderful way to talk about risk-taking and related emotions. It will show your students they are not the only one who finds it hard to step into the unknown. Using these risk-taking themed books also makes for fun discussions about upcoming changes, trying new things, fears and courage.
Remember to check out Resources to Promote Risk-Taking and Confidence in Children.