10 books like I Really Want to Win

By Simon Philip, Lucia Gaggiotti (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like I Really Want to Win. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Janine and the Field Day Finish

By Maryann Cocca-Leffler,

Book cover of Janine and the Field Day Finish

Janine is good at lots of things like singing, spelling, and cheering.  But she’s not good at sports and is bullied and teased by her competitive classmate, Abbie. Janine runs the race and doesn’t mind being in last place. She’s just glad to participate.  When Abbie falls, Janine is the one who stops, helps her up, and together they cross the finish line.

Janine is the best kind of competitor – kind and encouraging as she urges everyone to do their best. Children with different abilities are included in all the activities making this book an inclusive celebration of sportsmanship.

Janine and the Field Day Finish

By Maryann Cocca-Leffler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Janine and the Field Day Finish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Janine is back!

Today is field day and even though Janine is not good at sports, she is ready to compete. Her body just doesn't work like the other kids'. But no matter what, Janine cheers for everyone and tries her best. During the big race, her classmate Abby trips and falls. Janine is right there to help. But Abby is crushed that she won't win the race. Can Janine teach Abby and her classmates that being a winner is not always about being number one?


Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

By Christianne Jones, Marisa Morea (illustrator),

Book cover of Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

Llama Lucia may be the self-appointed founder and president of the Get Gaming Club but she is a terrible sport. She pouts when she loses and gloats when she wins. Before long, her friends won’t play with her. Her grandfather will play but it turns out he’s a worse sport than Lucia who begins to realize how her bad behavior upsets her friends.

This child-friendly book is perfect to begin discussions on cheating, fairness, and how to be good at both winning and losing.

Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

By Christianne Jones, Marisa Morea (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lucia Lacorte loves games. But few friends enjoy playing games with her. When she loses, she cries and yells. And when she wins, its even worse: she dances around and rubs it in. You see, Lucia Lacorte is a very poor sport. Can anyone get through to Lucia and show her that being a good sport is the fun in fun and games? Author Christianne Jones uses humour and rhyme to teach early learners about the importance of good sportsmanship in this entertaining picture book from the Little Boost series.


Jackie Wins Them All

By Fabian E. Ferguson, Alisa Aryutova (illustrator),

Book cover of Jackie Wins Them All

Talented Jackie seems to be good at everything from tennis to chess. She expects to win the race and is shocked when another girl passes her. Jackie isn’t used to losing and the hurt it causes. After acknowledging her disappointment, Jackie reaches out and congratulates her competitor.

This upbeat story features athletes of color who exemplify good sportsmanship and remind readers that “things won’t always work out – you can’t win them all. Work hard, give your best, and do all you can do.” It shows children how to graciously accept defeat.

Jackie Wins Them All

By Fabian E. Ferguson, Alisa Aryutova (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jackie Wins Them All as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether Jackie wins or loses, she is still amazing. This book helps guardians and parents open up the discussion with kids on how to win and lose gracefully.

Jackie Wins Them All?is an unforgettable coming-of-age picture book for children. It tells the story of a gifted sixth grader, Jackie J. Spade, who has a knack for winning everything she's tried her hand at. Science fairs, spelling bees, swimming, and skating, and just about anything you can imagine!

But Jackie is about to take on her biggest challenge, the big city track meet! Will she win the trophy or will she…


Winners Never Quit!

By Mia Hamm, Carol Thompson (illustrator),

Book cover of Winners Never Quit!

Written by soccer superstar, Mia Hamm, this book shows her as a young girl and how she learned to deal with disappointment while learning the sport with her brothers and sisters. She loved being praised when she did well but she became angry and quit when she missed goals. There was a consequence – when she returned to play, she wasn’t welcomed back because “winners never quit.”

There is so much to love about this book as it shows a phenomenal athlete as a girl and the origins of her love of soccer. Also, difficult emotions that children experience are explored (without being preachy) as the young Mia learns a valuable lesson. The illustrations are adorable!

Winners Never Quit!

By Mia Hamm, Carol Thompson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winners Never Quit! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An inspiring tale.” —Parents Magazine

Mia Hamm, American soccer champion and bestselling author of Go for the Goal, tells a true-life-inspired story in this picture book.

Winners Never Quit! can help with the emotional side of playing sports—how to deal with a loss without getting angry or quitting, and how to be a good teammate. A strong choice for the young athlete in your family or classroom.

Soccer superstar Mia Hamm knows the value of teamwork and perseverance. She shares this lesson, paired with energetic illustrations by Carol Thompson, in this motivational story.


Tidesong

By Wendy Xu,

Book cover of Tidesong

If, like me, you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away or Ponyo, then this graphic novel is for you. It not only tackles a story revolving around growing up with magic but it adds in many other things that many of us have struggled with such as family expectations, living up to your potential, and more. Of course, everything feels a little more exciting when magic is added to the mix, but those themes that exist in the real world ground this story and allow for a strong connection to Sophie, our young protagonist.

Tidesong

By Wendy Xu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tidesong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship.

Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy—the best magic school in the realm—even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she’s never met.

Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her…


Taran Wanderer

By Lloyd Alexander,

Book cover of Taran Wanderer: The Chronicles of Prydain, Book 4

If you’ve wandered through kid’s fantasy for long, you’ve probably encountered The Black Cauldron. It’s a great book and well worth your time! That said, my favorite of the entire series is book four, Taran Wanderer. The other books in the series tell epic tales with huge stakes. This one, though, is all about Taran trying to figure out who he is and if he’s worth anything. He sets out on a quest, and his answer at the end shook me when I read it in… sixth grade? I might have been younger yet! I highly, highly recommend this book to kids trying to find themselves!

Taran Wanderer

By Lloyd Alexander,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Taran Wanderer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taran the assistant Pig-Keeper has led heroic adventures and is a friend of princes, yet he is still troubled by his lowly status, and determined to discover the secret of his true identity.

He sets out to consult the powerful witches of Morva and the mysterious Mirror of Llunet. On his quest to find the truth, Taran must journey through distant realms and undertake a series of challenging tasks. But his greatest struggle is against his own pride and fears, as he learns where true greatness lies.

Taran Wanderer is the fourth book in Lloyd Alexander's classic fantasy epic The…


My Heart

By Corinna Luyken,

Book cover of My Heart

This book describes feelings in such a beautiful and lyrical way. It covers everything from happiness to sadness and is an excellent conversation starter. Using only a few colors, the accompanying illustrations are simple and impactful.
Sometimes, emotions such as depression can be a hard concept to talk about with children. The soft illustrations and metaphors in this book will resonate with young readers.

My Heart

By Corinna Luyken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed...or opened up wide.

Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.

With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.


A Monster Like Me

By Wendy S. Swore,

Book cover of A Monster Like Me

This is a story about a girl with a port-wine stain under her eye. Looking different, people treat her differently. The main character, Sophie, copes by carrying around a book called "The Big Book of Monsters" and identifying the monsters and humans around her. I found Sophie pretty knowledgeable on the subject of old legends! There were a few I hadn't heard of and had to look up myself. I also like her character development, and how she becomes more empathetic. Overall, it was entertaining and informative.

A Monster Like Me

By Wendy S. Swore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Monster Like Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?

Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie's new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She's convinced she is definitely a monster because of the "monster mark" on her face. At least that's what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it…


The Practice of Groundedness

By Brad Stulberg,

Book cover of The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds--Not Crushes--Your Soul

I found Brad Stulberg’s latest book when I was researching my book and immediately toned down my prose to meet the challenge of distilling practices nearly impossible to explain in simple terms anyone can understand. Sound impossible? Brad makes it look effortless. There’s just enough science balanced by personal experience and other anecdotes that what could have been a PhD dissertation (was it?) reads with ease. The power and simplicity make it elegant and ever so useful.

The Practice of Groundedness

By Brad Stulberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Practice of Groundedness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join thousands of readers and learn about the foundations of sustainable excellence and concrete habits for peak performance and a more genuine kind of success.
 
"A thoughtful, actionable book for pursuing more excellence with less angst." --Adam Grant, author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
 
"Ambitious, far-reaching, and impactful" -- David Epstein, author of Range

"This book taps into something that so many of us feel but can't articulate." --Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
 
***
 
From the bestselling author of Peak Performance comes a powerful antidote to heroic individualism and the ensuing epidemic of…


I Don't Want to Be a Frog

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Book cover of I Don't Want to Be a Frog

I Don’t Want to be a Frog is a hilarious conversation between a young frog and his dad. When the young frog wants to be a cat, rabbit, pig, owl, or really anything but a frog, it’s up to his dad to stay calm and remind him why it’s so great being exactly who he is. I love that the dad is so matter-of-fact. That he never loses patience, and he never tells his son to just stop. True dad love is sometimes as simple as being there and answering questions. Oh, and the awesome ending will crack you up! Such a fun book.

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Don't Want to Be a Frog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hit book about a willful young frog with a serious identity crisis and his heard-it-all-before father is now available in paperback. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back!

Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that being himself isn’t so bad after all. In this very silly story with a sly message, told in hilarious dialogue between a feisty young frog…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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