The best books about courage

Who picked these books? Meet our 73 experts.

73 authors created a book list connected to courage, and here are their favorite courage books.
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What type of courage book?


Amal Unbound

By Aisha Saeed,

Book cover of Amal Unbound

Dayna Lorentz Author Of Wayward Creatures

From the list on exploring ideas of justice and accountability.

Who am I?

As a parent, I’ve been struck by the fierce sense of justice my children have, from the unfairness of one getting more screen time to bigger injustices, like bullying or discrimination. Kids have an innate sense of what’s right, of what’s fair, but they can also lack a sense of nuance and have rather Byzantine notions of what justice requires. I wrote Wayward Creatures to explore a different way of thinking about justice and accountability. Restorative justice practices seek to bring the offending party together with the people hurt by their actions to acknowledge the harm caused and find a solution together. These five books explore other aspects of what it means to seek justice.

Dayna's book list on exploring ideas of justice and accountability

Discover why each book is one of Dayna's favorite books.

Why did Dayna love this book?

Amal’s story asks the question of how to fight for justice against seemingly impossible odds. In rural Pakistan, Amal faces responsibilities to her family that force her to leave school, seemingly crushing her dreams of becoming a teacher. After a run-in with the son of the village’s landlord, Amal finds herself forced into indentured servitude. Injustice upon injustice weigh against her, but through her intellect and ingenuity, she finds a way to escape her service and free her town by bringing the corrupt landlord to justice.

By Aisha Saeed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller!

Amal has big dreams, until a nightmarish encounter . . .

Twelve-year-old Amal's dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village's ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate.

Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal's increasing…

Snow Treasure

By Marie McSwigan,

Book cover of Snow Treasure

Sandy Brehl Author Of Odin's Promise

From the list on young characters with courage and resistance in WWII.

Who am I?

I am not Norwegian, or even Scandinavian. My interest in history came from my dad being a veteran after serving in Europe in WWII, even though he talked about it very little. I’ve always loved to read, write, and think, so I especially loved to read WWII stories and share them. After I met new friends on a trip to Norway, people who had lived through the five-year German occupation, I felt compelled to write about their experiences. Their stories, and ones like Snow Treasure, earned my deep respect, compelling me to research, and eventually to write, a novel that might capture the spirit and stories I had heard and loved.

Sandy's book list on young characters with courage and resistance in WWII

Discover why each book is one of Sandy's favorite books.

Why did Sandy love this book?

If you’ve read this, you’ll nod your head in agreement. If not, what are you waiting for? This novel was first published in 1942 and has remained in print ever since. Germany invaded neutral Norway on April 9, 1940, with massive, overwhelming forces, but was resisted from the start. I often read Snow Treasure aloud to students, hanging on every page-turn just as my students do. I always make it clear that this is a fictionalized account of the daring (and true) escape of Norway’s king and cabinet, along with their national treasure, which allowed them to continue the fight from England. When I speak about my own books, I am often asked about Snow Treasure—by adults! It’s the unforgettable book of their youth that they still believe to be entirely true. That’s a testament to terrific writing and reading!

By Marie McSwigan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An actual incident in which Norwegian children smuggled gold past the Nazis is the basis for this story of courage and patriotism


By Kathryn Otoshi,

Book cover of Zero

Jennifer Frank Author Of The Worm Family Has Its Picture Taken

From the list on building self-esteem and self-love.

Who am I?

As a mom of three girls, I taught my daughters to celebrate the differences in themselves and others. My older two girls were diagnosed with Celiac Disease prior to the trend of gluten-free foods being widely available. They had to bring their own food to birthday parties and food-based school events, and it was harder to be spontaneous and stay at a friends’ house for dinner or sleepover. Needless to say - they felt different. One of the things that helped them begin to appreciate their difference, was reading picture books that demonstrated that it is differences that make people special and keep life interesting. I am hopeful that my story will do the same for the kids who read it.

Jennifer's book list on building self-esteem and self-love

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

This is a fabulous book about self-love and self-acceptance. Zero does not think she counts like all the other numbers. She sees herself as empty inside. Over the course of the book, we watch zero’s self-discovery and self-acceptance. It is beautifully written and an important book about not trying to change yourself in order to fit in. I wish I had this book when I was a kid.

By Kathryn Otoshi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Zero is a big round number. When she looks at herself, she just sees a hole right in her center. Every day she watches the other numbers line up to count: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ...!" "Those numbers have value. That's why they count," she thinks. But how could a number worth nothing become something? Zero feels empty inside. She watches One having fun with the other numbers. One has bold strokes and squared corners. Zero is big and round with no corners at all. "If I were like One, then I can count too," she thinks.…

Scaredy Squirrel

By Mélanie Watt,

Book cover of Scaredy Squirrel

Tom Lichtenheld Author Of Louis

From the list on pictures about crabby characters.

Who am I?

I am an author and illustrator who makes books for children and people who used to be children. I have worked as a sign painter, set designer, printer, and art director. After a long career in advertising, I stumbled into the job I was always meant to do, creating children’s books. Seven of my books have been New York Times bestsellers and all are noted for their humor, expressive characters, and rich – sometimes hidden – detail. In my spare time I enjoy riding my bike, eating chocolate, and getting other peoples’ kids all wound up then sending them home.

Tom's book list on pictures about crabby characters

Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.

Why did Tom love this book?

I love this book because the character doesn’t completely transform themselves, so it’s easier for us to relate to them. Scaredy Squirrel’s crabbiness comes in the form of fear, and he’s afraid of everything: tarantulas, green Martians, killer bees. You name it, Scaredy is pretty sure it’s right around the corner, so he’s always lugging around a kit full of antibacterial soap, band-aids, and, of course, a parachute. While he conquers his fears to get where he needs to go, it’s just enough to get to the next challenge. He doesn’t change his personality or turn into a superhero. He’s still a little afraid of everything, just like us. 

By Mélanie Watt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Scaredy Squirrel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in the Scaredy Squirrel series is a comical story of an endearing squirrel who learns what can happen when he’s brave enough to take a risk.

Embattled Courage

By Gerald Linderman,

Book cover of Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From the list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Who am I?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Discover why each book is one of Lesley's favorite books.

Why did Lesley love this book?

This book, first published in 1987, was (and is) harshly attacked by some scholars including James McPherson who blasted the book for its overreliance on postwar, published sources. Yet Linderman’s central thesis, that war negatively affected Civil War soldiers and for some, alienated them from families and communities at home, remains valid. It is not true that all Civil War soldiers were negatively affected by war, but many were, and Linderman was one of the first to challenge the mythology of the all-heroic and stoic Civil War soldier. For a book that makes you think differently about the war and the mythologies that continue to linger about it, I’d still go back to Linderman.

By Gerald Linderman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Linderman traces each soldier's path from the exhilaration of enlistment to the disillusionment of battle to postwar alienation. He provides a rare glimpse of the personal battle that raged within soldiers then and now.


By Alexi Pappas,

Book cover of Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas

Dean Karnazes Author Of A Runner's High: My Life in Motion

From the list on running from an ultrarunner.

Who am I?

An internationally recognized endurance athlete and New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He's run across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures, and run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. On ten different occasions, he's run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His long list of competitive achievements include winning the world's toughest footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, running 135 miles nonstop across Death Valley during the middle of summer. His most recent endeavor was running 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in three hours flat.

Dean's book list on running from an ultrarunner

Discover why each book is one of Dean's favorite books.

Why did Dean love this book?

Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker and writer, Alexi Pappas’ wisdom and wit are beyond her age. This book will have you laughing, crying and cheering, sometimes all at once!

By Alexi Pappas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she’s learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE •“Heartbreaking and hilarious.”—Mindy Kaling • “A beautiful read.”—Ruth Reichl • “Essential guidance to anyone dreaming big dreams.”—Shalane Flanagan • “I couldn’t put it down.”—Adam Grant

run like a bravey
sleep like a baby
dream like a crazy
replace can’t with maybe

When “Renaissance runner” (New York Times) Alexi Pappas—Olympic athlete, actress, filmmaker, and writer—was four years old, her mother died by suicide, drastically altering…


By Kathryn Otoshi,

Book cover of One

Trudy Ludwig Author Of The Invisible Boy

From the list on picture books that address bullying.

Who am I?

I wrote my first picture book, My Secret Bully, to help kids who have experienced bullying and friendship issues. Over the years, I’ve written numerous award-winning children’s books, including The Invisible Boy, a School Library Journal Best Picture Books Selection and a recommended back-to-school book by USA Today and Scholastic Instructor. I’ve also had the honor of collaborating with leading experts and organizations including Sesame Workshop, International Bullying Prevention Association, Committee for Children, and My books and presentations focus on promoting social-emotional learning, empathy, kindness, and inclusion in the classroom and beyond.

Trudy's book list on picture books that address bullying

Discover why each book is one of Trudy's favorite books.

Why did Trudy love this book?

One, by author-illustrator Kathryn Otoshi, is one of my favorite bullying prevention picture books. Why? The story brilliantly shows young readers through color characters and numbers how each of us “counts” when it comes to being an upstander in bullying situations. This is a popular book used by teachers in elementary classrooms.

By Kathryn Otoshi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Blue is a quiet color. Red's a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don't like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand - until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other's differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.

The Glory Wind

By Valerie Sherrard,

Book cover of The Glory Wind

Sylvia McNicoll Author Of Revenge on the Fly

From the list on friendly, feel good historical fiction.

Who am I?

When I was invited to write a historical fiction that appealed to male readers, I wanted to showcase the struggles and dramas in peacetime rather than in war. Scientists vilifying the fly in order to demonstrate the connection between microbes and disease—and enlisting children to kill the flynow that was a battle I could get behind. Revenge on the Fly, in all the forty books I’ve written, is my only foray into historical fiction. However, like most writers, I read across the genres voraciously. What I most love to read and write about are strong characters who demonstrate unwavering resilience.

Sylvia's book list on friendly, feel good historical fiction

Discover why each book is one of Sylvia's favorite books.

Why did Sylvia love this book?

The Glory Wind is set on the prairies in 1940 and is a wonderful story for the reader who enjoys a good cry. Eleven-year-old Luke is attracted to an imaginative and impulsive new classmate Gracie. Their innocent friendship is tried and tested by small-town prejudices over Gracie’s mother’s morality and Luke struggles to stay true. Then tragedy in the form of a tornado throws Luke’s heart to the wind.

By Valerie Sherrard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in rural 1950s Ontario when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met – fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother’s past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

Wolf Hollow

By Lauren Wolk,

Book cover of Wolf Hollow

Rachel Hruza Author Of Dear Isaac Newton, You're Ruining My Life

From the list on female protagonists curious about the world.

Who am I?

As a young reader, I was most inspired by protagonists that wanted to understand the world, just like I did. I would scour the library shelves for books that showcased smart characters who didn’t just ask questions, but also sought answers. Most often, I connected with female characters who were driven to overcome the assumptions and stigmas placed on them by society, characters who were willing to change the world, or at the very least, the local world around them. The characters I create and write about have this same sort of drive—I hope!—to see the world for what it is and, even better, for what it could be. 

Rachel's book list on female protagonists curious about the world

Discover why each book is one of Rachel's favorite books.

Why did Rachel love this book?

This historical novel set in 1943 features brave and curious Annabelle who lives in Wolf Hollow, Pennsylvania. She and her family befriend a man living as a hermit since WWI, and the reader sees how empathy can change a person’s perspective. While featuring issues of bullying, lying, and trust, the vivid imagery from Wolk’s words bring out the beauty in even the ugliest events. The descriptions of farmland, woods, and walks home from school, make readers feel as if a time that has passed is as real as the world outside their front door. 

By Lauren Wolk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Newbery Honor Book
New York Times Bestseller

"Wolf Hollow has stayed with me long after I closed the book. It has the feel of an instant classic." -Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author of A Long Walk to Water

"This book matters." -Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax

Despite growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and…

Sticky Icky Vicky

By Alysia Ssentamu, Michael Ssentamu, Noor Alshalabi (illustrator)

Book cover of Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne Author Of My Life at Sweetbrier: A Life Changed by Horses

From the list on encouraging children to believe in themselves.

Who am I?

My parents encouraged me to become a children’s author when I was very young. At first, I thought that was the silliest idea ever, but I found creating stories to be fun and inspiring. I’ve been an award-winning published author since 2009, when I had an intuition to try writing stories for children. I love being a role model for children; someone who can show them that they can achieve much more than they imagine if they persevere. My personal story, My Life at Sweetbrier; A Life Changed by Horses, is a testament that remarkable things can be accomplished through perseverance. I’m honored my work has earned many literary awards. 

Deanie's book list on encouraging children to believe in themselves

Discover why each book is one of Deanie's favorite books.

Why did Deanie love this book?

Sticky Icky Vicky is an educational, entertaining, well-written book for children. The big, bright illustrations will help engage readers. They will want to know why Vicky is so terrified of water that she even hates bathing. What happened to make her fear water? How did Vicky overcome her fear? Readers will want to keep turning the pages to see how Vicky changes her thought process. What occurs in the story that helps Vicky make an important choice? Readers will cheer for Vicky as she tackles her fear.

By Alysia Ssentamu, Michael Ssentamu, Noor Alshalabi (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Sticky Icky Vicky, a girl who wants to get over her fear—once and for all
In Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear, the first book in the Sticky Icky Vicky™ series, authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu introduce readers to Vicky, a fun-loving girl who doesn't mind getting a little sticky and icky. She loves rolling down hills and playing in mud—but when it comes to water, Sticky Icky Vicky's fear prevents her from joining in the fun. Then Vicky gets an invitation for a waterpark party, and she decides that she really wants to go—even if it means ignoring…

When My Name Was Keoko

By Linda Sue Park,

Book cover of When My Name Was Keoko

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From the list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Who am I?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Discover why each book is one of Margriet's favorite books.

Why did Margriet love this book?

I grew up in Europe and have heard and read much about World War II in Europe. But I did not realize how similar this was to life in (South) Korea under Japanese occupation. This book was an eye-opener for me, told in two voices – Keoko and her brother who are both given Japanese names and can no longer speak their own language. A gripping novel that makes a good read, even for adults.

By Linda Sue Park,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee…

Black Dog

By Levi Pinfold,

Book cover of Black Dog

Nancy Furstinger Author Of The Duchess and Guy: A Rescue-To-Royalty Puppy Love Story

From the list on rescued dogs.

Who am I?

I’ve been speaking up for animals since I learned to talk, and I haven’t shut up yet. My goal in writing books is to enlighten and inspire young readers to have compassion for all creatures great and small while making sure that my own empathy shines through on every page. Kids are thrilled when I bring along my rescued pets—dogs, rabbits, and a chinchilla—to book events, where I spread the “adopt, don’t shop” mantra. After volunteering at animal rescues for 30+ years, I’m excited to see so many pets getting a second chance!

Nancy's book list on rescued dogs

Discover why each book is one of Nancy's favorite books.

Why did Nancy love this book?

A quirky story about a ginormous canine and a fearless young heroine? Yes, please! And bonus points for starring a big black dog—the kind that blends into the shadows at humane societies and is, therefore, least likely to get adopted (and the kind that I always adopt). Tempera paintings of an eccentric family in their Gothic house juxtaposed with tiny sepia vignettes will spur kids to explore every inch. They’ll cheer as the dog shrinks down from the magnitude of a T-Rex to an adoptable size.

By Levi Pinfold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An enormous black dog and a very tiny little girl star in this offbeat tale about confronting one’s fears.

When a huge black dog appears outside the Hope family home, each member of the household sees it and hides. Only Small, the youngest Hope, has the courage to face the black dog, who might not be as frightening as everyone else thinks.

Big Magic

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Book cover of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Rupal Patel Author Of From CIA to CEO: Unconventional Life Lessons for Thinking Bigger, Leading Better and Being Bolder

From the list on changing the way you live your life.

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in high performers and the psychology behind success, and my time at the CIA - during which I served in hostile and unpredictable environments - showed me that success and excellence at anything requires mastering one’s “head game.” When I transitioned into the private sector, I consciously chose to challenge myself and stretch myself to be bigger, better, and bolder than I would naturally be, and that lived experience combined with my CIA career inspired the work I do now in helping leaders and organizations push themselves into their discomfort zones and make the seemingly impossible possible.

Rupal's book list on changing the way you live your life

Discover why each book is one of Rupal's favorite books.

Why did Rupal love this book?

I recommend this book to everyone from CEOs to artists to students because Liz Gilbert’s reflections on “creative living” are relevant for anyone who struggles with self-doubt, feeling adrift, or finding meaning in their day-to-day lives (and let’s face it, that’s pretty much everyone at some point in their lives), and she offers relatable tough-love advice that is full of humor and humanity.

Big Magic has helped me process the mental and emotional rollercoaster of being a leader, an author, a parent, and a human, and every time I read or listen to the book it somehow delivers exactly what I need in the moment (which is why I’ve read/listened to it more than a handful of times).

If you’re feeling “stuck”, get some Big Magic in your life. 

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Big Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create…

The Magical Yet

By Angela DiTerlizzi, Lorena Alvarez (illustrator),

Book cover of The Magical Yet

Tasha Eizinger Author Of The Little Shot: Courage

From the list on how to live courageously.

Who am I?

Ever since I can remember, I have observed people. I was curious about why people are the way they are, and why do some people have fulfilling lives while others don’t. Something I have learned over the years is meaningful actions require courage first. This world certainly needs people who will live courageously in their day-to-day lives by being authentic, speaking up, being kind, lending a hand, and becoming the best versions of ourselves. When we set the example, it gives others hope that they can also be courageous. I hope you choose to live courageously!

Tasha's book list on how to live courageously

Discover why each book is one of Tasha's favorite books.

Why did Tasha love this book?

We talk a lot about our word choices and mindset in my home. When my older daughter was learning something new, she would say, “I can’t do this!” We talked about how she was learning, and she’s capable of learning. Her kindergarten teacher then taught my daughter “you don’t know how… yet!” Yet is a power-packed word because it radiates hope which leads to courageous action. This book exemplifies the power of yet so well that I had to share with you. The ending sweetly reminds us that our yet goes with us.

By Angela DiTerlizzi, Lorena Alvarez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Magical Yet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rollicking, rhyming, and inspirational picture book for fans of Oh, the Places You'll Go! andevery child who is frustrated by what they can't do...YET!

Each of us, from the day we're born, is accompanied by a special companion—the Yet. Can't tie your shoes? Yet! Can't ride a bike? Yet! Can't play the bassoon? Don't worry, Yet is there to help you out.

The Magical Yet is the perfect tool for parents and educators to turn a negative into a positive when helping children cope with the inevitable difficult learning moments we all face. Whether a child or an adult,…

Daring Greatly

By Brené Brown,

Book cover of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Clifton Corbin Author Of Your Kids, Their Money: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Literate Children

From the list on personal finance to help you master your money.

Who am I?

I’ve been curious about how money, the economy, and businesses work since I was a kid. That’s why it was so infuriating when I became a young adult and made a total mess of my finances. After getting back on solid financial ground, I’ve devoted myself to learning everything I can about building wealth sustainably. But more importantly, I dedicated myself to helping others, especially young people, become financially literate. Through my books, events, and products, I want to ensure the next generation learns how to manage their money before they need to, so that they can avoid my mistakes and embark on a path to financial success.

Clifton's book list on personal finance to help you master your money

Discover why each book is one of Clifton's favorite books.

Why did Clifton love this book?

While not a book about money per se, it was the book that helped me let go of the shame I felt from destroying my finances as a young adult.

Unfortunately, money is still a subject that isn’t discussed openly. So many people can feel shame, guilt, and anxiety from money missteps. It can be easy to get trapped in a spiral of negative thinking regarding how we have been managing our finances. And without healthy outlets to learn and grow, we may look for solace in retail therapy or other destructive habits.  

Daring Greatly gave me the inspiration and courage to face the guilt and shame I felt about my finances. It gave me a roadmap on how to be vulnerable, experience joy, and let go of my shame. It also permitted me to understand that I am enough. An excellent book that should be a must-read for anyone…

By Brené Brown,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Daring Greatly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Now on Netflix as The Call to Courage**

'She's so good, Brene Brown, at finding the language to articulate collective feeling' Dolly Alderton

Every time we are faced with change, no matter how great or small, we also face risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings - or feel guilt for feeling them in the first place.

In a powerful new vision Dr Brene Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it's a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is…


By Lucy Hughes-Hallett,

Book cover of Heroes: Saviors, Traitors, and Supermen: A History of Hero Worship

Andrew Bernstein Author Of Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Heroism Matters

From the list on celebrating heroes and heroism.

Who am I?

I am a kid from Brooklyn who is, and always has been, an inveterate hero worshiper. In a world that is generally mad and too often violent, I have weaned myself on the lives of heroes. I may lack their prowess, but I have striven for their dedication to excellence. I have published numerous books, including The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire. But it is my recent book that crowns a lifetime of thinking about heroes. What is their nature? What factors in the world give rise to the possibility—and the necessity—of heroes? How do we rationally define the concept “hero”? These are the questions my book addresses and seeks to answer.

Andrew's book list on celebrating heroes and heroism

Discover why each book is one of Andrew's favorite books.

Why did Andrew love this book?

This book does several things. First, it offers fascinating bios of eight heroes from history and mythology. Two legendary Homeric characters—Achilles and Odysseus—are joined by six giant figures from history: Alcibiades, Cato, El Cid, Wallenstein, Francis Drake, and Garibaldi. Morally, these men are often a mix of good and bad—but their stories are always robustly colorful. Hughes-Hallett draws a fascinating distinction between Achilles and Odysseus—one hero chose death and glory, the other lied, cheated, and stole to retain life. 

Hughes-Hallett points out the dangers of hero worshiping giants whose prowess might outstrip their character; the dangers of seeking guidance from “great men” that we would be better off providing ourselves.

By Lucy Hughes-Hallett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beginning beneath the walls of Troy and culminating in 1930s Europe, a magisterial exploration of the nature of heroism in Western civilization.
Our need for heroes is a timeless phenomenon; from ancient Greece to September 11, we have always looked to great figures for inspiration and leadership. In this riveting and insightful cultural history, Lucy Hughes-Hallett brings to life eight exceptional men from history and myth whose outsized accomplishments made them heroes of their times.

Alcibiades was Athens’s most dazzling citizen but an incorrigible traitor. El Cid was an invincible but self-interested warlord. Albrecht von Wallenstein terrified both enemies and…

Secondhand Dogs

By Carolyn Crimi,

Book cover of Secondhand Dogs

PJ Gardner Author Of Horace & Bunwinkle

From the list on with animal POV.

Who am I?

Writing children’s books from an animal’s point of view is a special art. You have to place yourself in both the mind of the child and the animal. It requires research and imagination. There aren’t many writers who like to tackle all of that. Personally, I love it! In fact, most of my books for young readers are written from an animal’s perspective.

PJ's book list on with animal POV

Discover why each book is one of PJ's favorite books.

Why did PJ love this book?

This delightful story is perfect for dog lovers! With a relatable cast of characters—from anxious Gus to enthusiastic Moon Pie—and a high-stakes adventure that will keep readers glued to the page. I loved the pack dynamics and Gus reminded me so much of myself. I know kids will absolutely love it.

By Carolyn Crimi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A heartwarming-and heart-tugging-middle grade novel about love, loyalty, and what it means to be part of a family-from author Carolyn Crimi, with adorable illustrations by Melissa Manwill. Perfect for fans of A Dog's Life and Because of Winn-Dixie.

Miss Lottie's home was for second chances.

When she adopted Gus, Roo, Tank, and Moon Pie, Miss Lottie rescued each member of the pack-including herself, her helper, Quinn, and her reclusive cat, Ghost-and turned them into a family. But when a new dog, Decker, arrives and tries to hoard Miss Lottie's heart and home for himself, the pack's future is threatened.


Brave in the Water

By Stephanie Wildman, Jenni Feidler-Aguilar (illustrator),

Book cover of Brave in the Water

Benjamin Giroux Author Of I Am Odd, I Am New

From the list on debut children's books of 2021.

Who am I?

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure to work with amazing authors who, like me, have debut children's books that were released in 2021. These books range in topics, from overcoming your fears to transgender to history, to cute rats that will let your imagination run wild. Being a kid myself, my parents read every night to me. These are books that like mine, are filled with representation that was lacking in those books that were read to me.

Benjamin's book list on debut children's books of 2021

Discover why each book is one of Benjamin's favorite books.

Why did Benjamin love this book?

This book has one of my favorite covers which only accentuates the story of Diante overcoming his fears of swimming. With the help of his wise grandmother, Diante learns breathing techniques to help settle his mind in order to put his face in the water and learn to swim.

By Stephanie Wildman, Jenni Feidler-Aguilar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brave in the Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you afraid to put your face in the water? So is Diante. He would like to play in the pool with other children. He's not afraid to hang upside down, though, and he's surprised to learn his grandma is. Can Diante help Grandma and become brave in the water?

Also available in Spanish - Valiente en el Agua

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do

By Ashley Spires,

Book cover of The Thing Lou Couldn't Do

Mary Cay Ricci Author Of Nothing You Can't Do!: The Secret Power of Growth Mindsets

From the list on help kids develop stick-to-itiveness.

Who am I?

I am a mom and life-long educator who has often scratched my head and wondered why kids give up so easily when things become a little challenging. I learned about fixed and growth mindset principles and decided to apply them to an education setting. What I realized during this time is that both adults and kids give up too easily and demonstrate fixed mindset thinking way too often! As a result, I wrote a few books for teachers, parents, and kids about ways to develop a growth mindset! I am sharing some of my favorite books that can be a catalyst for discussing resiliency and perseverance with the kids in our life!

Mary's book list on help kids develop stick-to-itiveness

Discover why each book is one of Mary's favorite books.

Why did Mary love this book?

One of the reasons that I love this book is because it doesn’t end with success. It ends with a “not yet” and maybe I will be back tomorrow to try again. That is what life is about-we don’t always have success, but we can persevere and try new things without always succeeding. Lou and her friends have great imaginations when they are playing and they decide to climb a tree and pretend it is a pirate ship. The challenge is that Lou has never climbed a tree before. Her excuses are funny: “The cat needs a walk,” “I stepped on a slug and his funeral is in 5 minutes,” and the one many of us recognize, “My tummy hurts.” She thinks of lots of ways to get up the tree without climbing - but they don’t work. She finally tries, gets a few feet up, and falls. She decides…

By Ashley Spires,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thing Lou Couldn't Do as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An endearing story about a little girl who doesn’t think she can.

“Up there! The tree can be our ship!” one of Lou’s friends exclaims when they decide to play pirates. “Ummm …” responds Lou. Usually she loves adventures. But this is new. Lou has never climbed a tree before. And she knows she can’t do it. She doesn’t even want to try.

But this adventure does look fun, and when all her excuses run out, Lou realizes the bravest adventurers are those who TRY. An inspiring lesson for anyone who’s ever avoided something hard.

The Flight Girls

By Noelle Salazar,

Book cover of The Flight Girls

Sara Ackerman Author Of The Lieutenant's Nurse

From the list on remarkable women in WW2.

Who am I?

Raised in Hawai’i on her grandparents’ first-hand accounts of the war, Sara was deeply affected by the scars left behind. She believes that the best way to honor the past is by bringing these stories to light and making sure the sacrifice of those who came before us is never forgotten. She is the USA Today bestselling author of four WWII Hawai’i historical novels with a fifth on the way.

Sara's book list on remarkable women in WW2

Discover why each book is one of Sara's favorite books.

Why did Sara love this book?

The Flight Girls captivated me from the first page and never let go. Salazar’s writing is lively and fresh, as we ride shotgun with a cast of memorable characters, an epic love story, and a powerful tale of courage and sacrifice by the Women Airforce Service Pilots during WWII. This book is on the lighter side, but still packs an emotional punch. A spectacular first novel!

By Noelle Salazar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



“I read well into the night, unable to stop. The book is unputdownable.”—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Heart-breaking, validating, exciting.”—Hypable

“Rich historical detail...this saga has it all.”—Woman’s World

Shining a light on a little-known piece of history The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness, love, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train…