The best books about perseverance

7 authors have picked their favorite books about perseverance and why they recommend each book.

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Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Book cover of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

This is such a fun book. Between Mac's clever writing and Jon's perfect illustrations I seem to always feel the same anticipation I did on the very first read. Sam and Dave keep digging deeper and deeper, nearly revealing incredible things along the way. It's such a compelling and entertaining story to read aloud to your kids as you turn the pages and dig alongside the persistent Sam and Dave and their dog.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sam & Dave Dig a Hole as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With perfect pacing, the multiple award-winning, best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humour.

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour. Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find ... nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all.…


Who am I?

I'm a cartoonist, animator, and Oscar-nominated film director who's worked and continues to work in the mediums of books, film, and video games all the darn time. When I think about great stories I've had a chance to read, the element of friendship always stands out for me. When there's a special, authentic bond between characters that you feel with every page and frame there's nothing better! You live the moments in the story and they stay with you forever. Like a true friend would.


I wrote...

Book cover of Peter and Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

What is my book about?

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths is the first book of my series, Peter & Ernesto, and it's a story of two very different sloths who experience the world in their own ways with equal value. Ernesto is a bombastic adventurer always looking to dive head first into the latest idea he's consumed with, but could perhaps use a lesson or two in pre-planning. Peter is the polar opposite, a fellow who knows what he likes and sticks very close to it without much courage to expand his world in any given situation. A Tale of Two Sloths explores this odd couple friendship and shows how both perspectives have their advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, it's truly the friendship that counts. 

Perseverance

By Margaret J. Wheatley,

Book cover of Perseverance

Amazon tells me I have bought this book 8 times. Honestly, I’m surprised it’s that few. I tend to give Perseverance to colleagues and leaders I am coaching. We all need a little help “keepin' on keepin’ on” when we are doing the heavy lifting of inner development and this little book does that. Perseverance manages to be simple and profound, short and deep, and oh, so helpful for functioning in the midst of chaos. You can open it to any “random” page and get the message you need in the moment, or to prepare your mind and heart for the day ahead. Given the permanent whitewater we leaders find ourselves in, the need for this kind of inner resourcefulness is essential, and the need to replenish it constantly.

Perseverance

By Margaret J. Wheatley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this inspiring and beautifully illustrated book, bestselling author Margaret Wheatley offers guidance to people everywhere for how to persevere through challenges in their personal lives, with their families, at their workplaces, in their communities, and in their struggles to make a better world. She provides hope, wisdom, and perspective for learning the discipline of perseverance.

Wheatley does not offer the usual feel-good, rah-rah messages. Instead, she focuses on the situations, feelings, and challenges that can, over time, cause us to lose heart or lose our way. Perseverance is a day-by-day decision not to give up. We have to notice…


Who am I?

For over a decade I helped people develop their skills and expand their leaderful-ness in Agile Coaching and I kept hearing the same blocker: “This is great and all, but my leaders don’t get it. They are the impediment.” After working with many thousands of Agilists I decided to go into the “belly of the beast” and personally coach leadership teams. What I found were not beasts or even garden variety egomaniacs. Instead, I found well-meaning people who are genuinely confounded by the complexity of today’s business landscape and who struggle with performance-killing team dynamics. Good news: the human technology to “solve” these issues is widely available. We know how.


I narrated...

Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business

By Brent Lowe, Susan Basterfield, Travis Marsh

Book cover of Lead Together: The Bold, Brave, Intentional Path to Scaling Your Business

What is the book about?

Despite the advent of disruptive technologies that have upended the business landscape, the structure of most companies remains largely unchanged, with traditional top-down leadership still the norm. Couldn’t there be a better way to organize work that reflects our modern world - one with nimble, invested leaders rather than disengaged, disinterested employees? The answer is yes!

In Lead Together, authors Brent Lowe, Susan Basterfield, and Travis Marsh offer founders, CEOs, and other leaders a radical new way of working and scaling a business. The audiobook is narrated by Lyssa Adkins, an internationally recognized thought leader in Agile, a coach and guide to leadership teams, and a leader herself.

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Book cover of Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

I love reading Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll to my kids. It’s a book that I don’t mind reading over and over again. It’s written in verse and I absolutely adore the cute illustrations. This story is about a rock that really wants to roll, but has a flat side so he doesn’t think he ever will. His friends work very hard to help him and are able to bring a new perspective on how to solve the problem. Finally, with the help of his friends and their new ideas, Ricky is able to roll. I love the fact that Ricky’s friends bring a whole new perspective to help solve his problem and work together to help him to fulfill his dream. 

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These rocks can really roll! Well, most of them, anyway...

Get ready to meet a new rock group! From zippy, little pebbles to big strong boulders, the rocks get together to play and roll around their favorite hill, only to find that one of their friends, Ricky, can't roll with them. Unlike all of the others, who are all round, Ricky can't roll because he's flat on one side.

Except for poor Ricky, who quietly sat.
You see, Rick couldn't roll, because one side was flat.

His friends didn't get it,
"Come Roll!" they would chant.
So Ricky tried, but…


Who am I?

I've always believed in the power behind positive thinking, but it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of worry or disappointment. I picked this topic because I feel that perspective is the tool that can help us change a negative attitude into a positive one. We don’t always have control of various things happening in the world around us. However, we do have the power to try to change our perspective and look at things in a more positive way. I believe this skill is essential to find gratitude and happiness in life, and I love how each of these books approach the topic of the importance of perspective in different ways.


I wrote...

The Fun Thieves

By Carli Valentine,

Book cover of The Fun Thieves

What is my book about?

Disappointment looms when fun activities keep getting canceled due to the fun thievery by different elements in nature. But are these thieves really all bad

Children will learn to keep positive attitudes when dealing with frustrating situations and change their perspectives to help them look on the bright sideRelatable situations will help to teach kids to try to find the good in something that seems to be all bad.

The Wanderer

By Peter Van den Ende,

Book cover of The Wanderer

This book has recently been published, so I have only known it as an adult. When I opened its pages, I got lost in the complexity of the illustrations, there was much minute detail in the images. I was mesmerized. I just know I would have adored this book as a child. There are no words, just pictures to take you on an adventure. I find this an absolute treasure of a book that inspires me to make my own story to fill in the narrative. I imagine looking at this book with a child and the fun of piecing the story together using our combined imaginations. 

The Wanderer

By Peter Van den Ende,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful, Peter Van Den Ende's Wanderer is an epic dream captured in superbly meticulous detail."-Shaun Tan

As with Shaun Tan's The Arrival, it gives us collective goosebumps to introduce the singular talent and imagination of Peter Van Den Ende to North America. Without a word, and with Escher-like precision, van den Ende presents one little paper boat's journey across the ocean, past reefs and between icebergs, through schools of fish, swaying water plants, and terrifying sea monsters. The little boat is all alone, and while its aloneness gives it the chance to wonder at the fairy-tale…


Who am I?

I am an author, illustrator, and book designer. I never lost my childhood wonder at the printed page. When I write my own books, I create stories for both adults and children with deep meaning weaved into seemingly naive text and images. I enjoy creating worlds in which stories are told for children's and adults' imaginations to coexist. I think being dyslexic led me to enjoy aspects of visual storytelling so much. I have worked in publishing for many years and I am well known for my work on the Penguin clothbound classics where I use my visual illustration style to entice readers new and old to read classic stories and escape into new worlds.


I wrote...

The Fox and the Star

By Coralie Bickford-Smith,

Book cover of The Fox and the Star

What is my book about?

The Fox and the Star is the story of a friendship between a lonely Fox and the Star who guides him through the frightfully dark forest. Illuminated by Star’s rays, Fox forages for food, runs with the rabbits, and dances in the rain—until Star suddenly goes out and life changes, leaving Fox huddling for warmth in the unfamiliar dark. To find his missing Star, Fox must embark on a wondrous journey beyond the world he knows—a journey lit by courage, newfound friends, and just maybe, a star-filled new sky.

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the art of William Blake, 
The Fox and the Star is a heartwarming, hopeful tale that comes alive through Bickford-Smith’s beloved illustrations, guiding readers both young and grown to “look up beyond your ears.”

I Won't Give Up

By Daniel Kenney,

Book cover of I Won't Give Up

This book really pushes you to confront new obstacles with an attitude of mastery, which is vital in the life of a child. Facing new things is an inevitable part of life, and this story does an excellent  job of emphasizing this truth, demonstrated through typical daily child interactions & encounters

I Won't Give Up

By Daniel Kenney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Won't Give Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Want your kids to learn the power of not giving up?

Parents, guardians, and mentors play the crucial role in teaching kids how to "not give up."

Thankfully, simple books with powerful language can help!

With the help of "I Won't Give Up", you and your child can work together to explore how even the most daunting challenges can be navigated with a little creativity... and alot of determination.

Help the child in your life build confidence, conviction, and a can-do attitude.

With fun and silly pictures, and a simple but positive message, "I Won't Give Up" teaches children about…


Who am I?

Growing up in a household with a large family, I recall times when it was difficult to find my voice, having to compete with multiple family members to be heard. Over the years, I developed a special compassion for children who may feel overlooked, or unseen, which also prompted my decision to become a children’s book author, catering to write empowering stories. So, I am especially passionate about this list of children’s stories that also helps to shape the trajectory of every child, by instilling in them early on their true value & infinite capabilities


I wrote...

Beautiful Boy

By J. L. Hunt,

Book cover of Beautiful Boy

What is my book about?

"Mischief, giggles, fun & love, that's what little boys are made of"... Come uncover the mystical mysteries deep within...& what will you find? Read the book, from beginning to end! Beautiful Boy is a poetic, motivational children's book, in which each page presents a fun-filled atmosphere that celebrates the wonder every boy brings to the world.

Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

What does it take to be successful? There is a tendency in society to answer that with the response “natural talent”. In reality it is a bit different. Of course talent plays a significant role. But Angela Duckworth argues another often an overlooked factor – of effort, which she calls “Grit”. In her research, she demonstrates that where talent counts once, effort counts twice. Intertwining studies from business, sport, and academia she suggests the power of combining deliberate, purposeful, and systematic practice allows you to improve in relation to your goal. Ultimately, grit means getting “better every day”. Duckworth shares my belief that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence. Developing ‘Grit’ is key to keep improving en route to your goal.

Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

UNLOCK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain


Who am I?

I’m an Olympic Gold Medallist rower, performance coach, facilitator, and keynote speaker passionate about high performance, teamwork, and the parallels between sport and business. In 1998 I was part of a consistently underachieving Team GB rowing eight, often placing 7th or 8th. We weren’t the strongest or most talented crew. By changing the way we worked as a team, we managed to turn it around to win Olympic Gold on the waters of Sydney in 2000. Since then, I've specialized in translating Olympic-winning strategies into business success. Specifically focusing on leadership and team development, I work with individuals, teams, and organizations to help them define their gold medal goals and supporting them in achieving them.


I wrote...

Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?

By Ben Hunt-Davis, Harriet Beveridge,

Book cover of Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?

What is my book about?

I co-wrote the book Will It Make the Boat Go Faster? with Executive Coach Harriet Beveridge to share how my British men’s rowing eight crew focused only on what was most important in our quest to win Olympic Gold. This single question was at the heart of our philosophy, and we used it as a team to challenge every action and interaction around whether it would help us in achieving our goal. In our book we reveal the strategies, habits, and mindset that the crew and I adopted to show anyone how to use similar strategies to improve your own life. Our hope is that you’ll discover that whatever your challenges or goals, there are simple and straightforward concepts that you can implement right away in your everyday life.

Book cover of All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

I’ve read – and loved – many of Connor’s others books, but I hadn’t read this one until last year, when, after sharing the plot of Born Behind Bars with a librarian, she mentioned that it sounded a little like All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. At once, I looked it up – and when I read the synopsis, I was shocked. It seemed to begin almost exactly the way that my own novel began – with a boy whose mother is incarcerated, and who is suddenly told he’s too old to continue living with her. I wrote a frantic email to my agent, who was reassuringly calm. When I finally read the book, I felt enormous relief. While Connor’s book and mine share this single plot point, and they are both, ultimately, about the triumph of love and family and friendship, the plots diverge tremendously, the…

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

By Leslie Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Junior Library Guild Selection * Kids' Indie Next List Pick From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me. Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them…


Who am I?

Over 5 million children in the United States have had at least one parent in a correctional facility at one time or another. These children, and their parents, are our neighbors, our family, our friends. We might see them at a soccer match, or sit beside them at public libraries, or gather together with them regularly in prayer. They need to see themselves portrayed in a meaningful manner in the books they read. This shortlist includes two picture books, a middle-grade novel, and two young adult titles. I'm passionate about books on this topic because equity and inclusiveness and vital to me; and because I think excellent books such as these may enable us to start nuanced discussions and enhance our compassion. 


I wrote...

Born Behind Bars

By Padma Venkatraman,

Book cover of Born Behind Bars

What is my book about?

Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He’s never met his dad, so the only family he’s got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world. Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost “uncle” who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can–run away as fast as his legs will take him.

How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way?

Abracadabra!

By Maria Loretta Giraldo, Nicoletta Bertelle (illustrator),

Book cover of Abracadabra!: The Magic of Trying

One aspect of accepting imperfection is to recognize that new skills take practice. In this sweet tale, Little Owl believes he should automatically possess the ability to fly. His woodland friends teach him that practice and effort are required. The abracadabra magic turns out to be persistence in the face of failure. Young readers will embrace the “try, try again” message. This charming story and delightful illustrations will resonate with young children. There is also a note to parents and caregivers by a psychologist that delves into raising kids to develop perseverance.

Abracadabra!

By Maria Loretta Giraldo, Nicoletta Bertelle (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All of the little birds have learned to fly... except Little Owl. The others explain that it's easy: all he has to do is say "abracadabra!" At first, it doesn't work, and Little Owl thinks the "magic" word is broken! But as he gets better and better, he realizes that the real magic is in himself. This book teaches children how to face challenges and keep trying, despite setbacks. Includes a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" with tips for encouraging kids to persevere.

Named in 'The Best Spiritual Books of 2018' by Spirituality & Practice.


Who am I?

I am a child psychologist and an award-winning author of several books for children and teens related to emotions, behavior, and the science behind them. I believe children love to see themselves in books and to learn about others. Making complex information clear and watching children light up with understanding is my goal for every book I write.


I wrote...

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: A Kid's Guide to Accepting Imperfection

By Claire A. B. Freeland, Jacqueline B. Toner, Janet McDonnell (illustrator)

Book cover of What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: A Kid's Guide to Accepting Imperfection

What is my book about?

Explorers investigate places they have never been before. These explorers might take a while to make their discoveries. They might have trouble understanding their maps. They might make wrong turns. They might need to start their expedition all over again! If explorers could not accept their mistakes and keep going, they might never make any discoveries! Does this sound like you? If you have trouble accepting mistakes, if you try to be right all the time, or if you worry about being less than the best, this book is for you!

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake guides children and their parents through the emotions underlying a fear of making mistakes using strategies and techniques based on cognitive-behavioral principles. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to cope with mistakes — so they can explore new territory without fear!

Rosie Revere, Engineer

By Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (illustrator),

Book cover of Rosie Revere, Engineer

I love this one for being a feminist book that never once addresses feminism. The titular character is a smart, driven little girl with a passion for engineering. The message of the book is powerful: failure is an important step in growth! The book teaches young readers that sometimes the things you put your time and energy towards will not go as planned and that’s ok! Those failures help us learn, move forward, and grow. 

Rosie Revere, Engineer

By Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the powerhouse author/illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about pursuing your passion. Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she's a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her Great, Great Aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal--to fly--Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt's dream come true. Her invention complete, Rosie attempts a test flight--but after a moment, the machine crashes to the ground. Discouraged, Rosie deems…


Who am I?

I am a creator and lover of stories. I think storytelling is the most powerful force in the universe. Lately, the world has felt scary and divided and overwhelming for adults, I cannot fathom how confusing it must be for kids. Stories like these can help them process traumas, learn kindness and compassion, and see the world from new perspectives. 


I wrote...

Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!

By Annie Sieg,

Book cover of Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!

What is my book about?

Mama Mable was my first-ever children’s book, and it was also an important lesson in the challenges of telling complex stories. With so many men away at war, the 1940s saw a rise in all-female jazz ensembles (like the International Sweethearts of Rhythm or Babe Egan and the Hollywood Redheads) who for the first time were able to tour the country as professional musicians. These women broke barriers of race, class, and gender and yet many of their stories remain untold.

The band in my book is fictional, but each character is inspired by a real female musician of that era- in the hopes of bringing attention to the many women who contributed to this amazing time in music history.

Warrior Scarlet

By Rosemary Sutcliff,

Book cover of Warrior Scarlet

From her earliest years, Sutcliff knew firsthand what it was to live with and surmount painful disability. She understood what it was to be ‘the other’—to be looking from the outside on those able to live ‘normal’ lives. It is not surprising then that many of her stories include main characters who powerfully prove you do not need to be able-bodied to triumph over life. Set in the British Bronze age, this novel is one of those stories. Dem wants to take his place as a warrior of his tribe but must kill a wolf single-handedly to claim his warrior’s scarlet cloak. How can kill his wolf when he was born with a withered arm? With great sensitivity, skill, and prose often close to poetry, Sutcliff brings the Bronze age and its people alive in this wonderfully told story.  

Warrior Scarlet

By Rosemary Sutcliff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drem longs for the day he will win his Warrior Scarlet. But with a withered spear arm, how will he take part in the ritual Wolf Slaying which will prove his worth as a man of the tribe?

With over forty books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally considered one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Winer of the Carnegie Medal and many other honours, Rosemary was awarded a CBE in 1992 for services to children's literature.


Who am I?

I’m an Australian author passionate about history. Alas, not Australian history. That would make my life so much easier. As a child, I loved tales of ancient Greece. That love took me in two directions—Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome—Ancient Rome introduced me to Roman Britain, and the Roman Britain novels of Rosemary Sutcliff. My love of history probably explains why a childhood friend gave me a child’s book of English history for my tenth birthday. One of the book’s chapters told the story of Elizabeth I. As she wont to do in her own times, Elizabeth hooked me, keeping me captured ever since, and enslaved to writing and learning more about Tudors.


I wrote...

The Light in the Labyrinth: The Last Days of Anne Boleyn.

By Wendy J. Dunn,

Book cover of The Light in the Labyrinth: The Last Days of Anne Boleyn.

What is my book about?

In the winter of 1535, young Kate Carey lives with her mother and her new family, far from the royal court. Unhappy with her life and wishing to escape her home, she accepts the invitation of Anne Boleyn, the aunt she idolises, to join her household in London.

But the dark, dangerous labyrinth of Henry VIII’s court forces Kate to grow up fast as she witnesses her aunt’s final tragic days — and when she discovers a secret that changes her life forever. All things must end—all things but love.

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