100 books like I Really Want to Win

By Simon Philip, Lucia Gaggiotti (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that I Really Want to Win fans have personally recommended if you like I Really Want to Win. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Janine and the Field Day Finish

Claire Annette Noland Author Of Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way to Win

From my list on help children develop good sportsmanship.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children’s librarian, teacher, and parent, I know that children have big feelings. I write heart-filled books that speak to the issues that they deal with while navigating new experiences. I was inspired to write Evie’s Field Day because of the frustrations most children deal with when they lose. I hope that my book will encourage children to enjoy the process of playing sports and games with others and the rewards of being a friend and a good sport.

Claire's book list on help children develop good sportsmanship

Claire Annette Noland Why did Claire love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 5, and 6.

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?


Book cover of Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

Claire Annette Noland Author Of Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way to Win

From my list on help children develop good sportsmanship.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children’s librarian, teacher, and parent, I know that children have big feelings. I write heart-filled books that speak to the issues that they deal with while navigating new experiences. I was inspired to write Evie’s Field Day because of the frustrations most children deal with when they lose. I hope that my book will encourage children to enjoy the process of playing sports and games with others and the rewards of being a friend and a good sport.

Claire's book list on help children develop good sportsmanship

Claire Annette Noland Why did Claire love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 6, 7, and 8.

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.


Book cover of Jackie Wins Them All

Claire Annette Noland Author Of Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way to Win

From my list on help children develop good sportsmanship.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children’s librarian, teacher, and parent, I know that children have big feelings. I write heart-filled books that speak to the issues that they deal with while navigating new experiences. I was inspired to write Evie’s Field Day because of the frustrations most children deal with when they lose. I hope that my book will encourage children to enjoy the process of playing sports and games with others and the rewards of being a friend and a good sport.

Claire's book list on help children develop good sportsmanship

Claire Annette Noland Why did Claire love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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…


Book cover of Winners Never Quit!

Claire Annette Noland Author Of Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way to Win

From my list on help children develop good sportsmanship.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children’s librarian, teacher, and parent, I know that children have big feelings. I write heart-filled books that speak to the issues that they deal with while navigating new experiences. I was inspired to write Evie’s Field Day because of the frustrations most children deal with when they lose. I hope that my book will encourage children to enjoy the process of playing sports and games with others and the rewards of being a friend and a good sport.

Claire's book list on help children develop good sportsmanship

Claire Annette Noland Why did Claire love this book?

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!

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.


Book cover of You Are Enough: A Book about Inclusion

Norene Paulson Author Of What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair?

From my list on children’s picture books on inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former middle school language arts teacher, I’ve witnessed firsthand the struggles some students face trying to be accepted and the heartbreak they experience when they are not. Every child deserves to be seen and appreciated for who they are and not be excluded or ostracized due to factors over which they have little control. I write and promote picture books about friendship, acceptance, and inclusion because everyone deserves to be included…always. 

Norene's book list on children’s picture books on inclusion

Norene Paulson Why did Norene love this book?

You Are Enough is a powerful book celebrating diversity and inclusion. I literally had goosebumps the first time I read it. Every line is poster-worthy and each page is amazingly illustrated with kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities. Working together, the text paired with the illustrations reinforce the messages that “our differences are what make us special,” “we all belong,” and “you are just right exactly as you are.” 

By Margaret O'Hair, Sofia Sanchez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Are Enough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A positive, beautiful and inclusive picture book all
about celebrating being yourself from Down syndrome advocate Sofia
Sanchez!
Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? Being just
who we are is great!

This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez,
a twelve-year-old model and actress with Down syndrome, reminds
readers how important it is to embrace what makes you unique,
be confident, and be proud
of who you are.

Imagine all of the wonderful things you can do if you don't let
anyone stop you! You are enough just how you are. Sofia is unique,
but…


Book cover of Taran Wanderer

Jonathon Mast Author Of Stones and Swords

From my list on fantasy adventure for middle grade readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved cartoons growing up. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Thundercats? Gargoyles? All favorites. But so many of the cartoons never changed anything. There were never any real stakes. (Except for Gargoyles. I fell in love with that show because of its continuity!) I hungered for books where things mattered, where the main characters did things that changed from book to book. Give me adventures that change the world! Well, I found some of those books. Here are stories where the main characters are kids. And now I get to enjoy these same stories with my kids! 

Jonathon's book list on fantasy adventure for middle grade readers

Jonathon Mast Why did Jonathon love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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…


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

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From my list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Nita Sweeney Why did Nita love this book?

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.

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…


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

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

From my list on children and their fathers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.

Janet's book list on children and their fathers

Janet Sumner Johnson Why did Janet love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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…


Book cover of A Monster Like Me

Helen M. Pugsley Author Of The Tooth Fairy

From my list on learning the old legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember being gifted a copy of a fairy tale book for children by someone my dad worked with as a kid. "Wow, these are really close to the originals," Mom murmured under her breath.
"Wait, there are originals?" That set off a chain reaction of a lifelong love of fairy tales, myths, legends, and folk stories. Writing The Tooth Fairy forced me to double-check my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Plus, being trapped indoors with audiobooks during a global pandemic left me a lot more time to learn! In short: I simply love the old legends.

Helen's book list on learning the old legends

Helen M. Pugsley Why did Helen love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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…


Book cover of Fairest

Elizabeth Lowham Author Of Beauty Reborn

From my list on giving new life to old fairy tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

My debut novel is a Beauty and the Beast retelling because I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales all my life, and I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite retellings with you! When I was a child, my grandma gave me an illustrated collection of fairy tales. She had grown up reading stories from Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers, and she wanted to share that with me. It was an interest I gladly adopted. I love seeing my favorite fairy tales told with new twists and elements that bring the stories to life all over again and let me fall in love with them one more time.

Elizabeth's book list on giving new life to old fairy tales

Elizabeth Lowham Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Gail Carson Levine has been one of my favorite authors all my life. She and my maternal grandmother are jointly responsible for my deep obsession with fairy tales.

While Ella Enchanted is more well known, Fairest is my favorite of her fairy tale novels. It’s a Snow White retelling that made me truly fall in love with the main character. Aza’s insecurities felt real to me, and I loved the twist that she is not fairest in all the land because of looks but, rather, because of her voice.

This story breaks me down and builds me back up again. I’ve reread it many times and intend to reread it many more.

By Gail Carson Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fairest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty ...Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light-especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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