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20 Growth Mindset Books for Kids

One of the most requested posts in the past six months has been a list of growth mindset book for kids.

I may be slow, but I (usually) eventually get around to it!

This list has been such a fun one to work on, since I believe SO MUCH in growth mindset. There are few things that I can teach my children that seem as vital as understanding that they can change and improve and grow over time with effort.

These are some of my favorite growth mindset books and I hope they’ll help you and your family as well!

growth mindset books for kids

20 Growth Mindset Books for Kids

  1. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. Gerald really wants to dance, but he’s sure there is no way that, with his long neck and gangly legs, he could ever do it. But then some encouragement comes from an unlikely place – it’s such a great reminder not only that we can do big things but also that we can be the one who encourages others to reach for their dreams.
  2. Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts. I’m pretty sure this book (and the others in the series) are the #1 books on any list that talks about growth mindset. And for good reason – every family should read these!
  3. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Have you ever been really afraid of something? So has Jabari. That high dive board is TERRIFYING. Can he convince himself to jump?
  4. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by the Fan Brothers. I love this beautiful (true!) book about a little boy who dreams of being an astronaut but is also afraid of the dark. And outer space? Well. . . .it’s really dark.
  5. Owen by Kevin Henkes. Owen loves his blanket. Even though it’s getting fairly filthy and ragged. Can he grow up without leaving behind his beloved blankie? (Also check out Chrysanthemum by the same author!)
  6. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. Oliver really wants a star. But. . . how can he catch one? It’s harder than he expects, until he discovers a surprising solution to his dream.
  7. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. I love this sweet book about a little boy who desperately wants to learn to whistle. Think how great it will be when he can whistle! I love that it’s not easy, but he doesn’t give up. And his delight when he finally masters this childhood skill is so ebullient.
  8. Bike On, Bear by Cynthea Liu, illustrated by Kristyna Litten. Bear can do just about everything. But he can’t ride a bike. Is there any way for him to learn this elusive skill?
  9. The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken. This clever book shows how an accidental drop of ink or a smudge or a misplaced line can make an original idea more imaginative and wonderful than you could have ever dreamed.
  10. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L. B. Deenihan, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha. Sometimes what you want is not what you get. But can you make the most of that situation? It might turn out to be exactly what you needed!
  11. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzi, illustrated by Kerascoët. Wouldn’t a magical pencil be. . . magical? That’s what Malala wishes for as a child, but as she grows up she discovers that, even without a magic pencil, she can make the world a better place and that her hard work, not a magical pencil, can make her dreams into reality.
  12. The Bad Seed by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald. The Bad Seed is just what you expect. Rude, rule-breaking and not that fun to be around. But eventually he realizes that if he’s tired of being a bad seed, he has the power to change his behavior.
  13. Flight School by Lita Judge. Penguin wants desperately to fly. But the bad news is that penguins are built with flying bodies. Is there any way around those limitations?
  14. After the Fall by Dan Santat. I LOVE this book so much about Humpty Dumpty and what happens after he takes that famous tumble off a wall. Because the fall shouldn’t be the only part of the story.
  15. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. Sometimes you get very excited about an idea. And then, when things get hard, you get very mad. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
  16. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chiere Uegaki. Hana wants to play a violin solo at the talent show at her school, but she’s not as good as she’d like to be. Should she do what her brothers suggest and just not play?
  17. Saturday is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum. Swimming lesson day is the worst day of the week. But with a gentle, encouraging teacher and a lot of patience, this little girl eventually learns to swim and she couldn’t be more proud of herself.
  18. Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison. I discovered this book through our BookRoo subscription and I was instantly the world’s biggest fan. Bernice is terribly grouchy because everything at the birthday party is going badly. But a change of scenery changes her mood and suddenly everything isn’t so glum.
  19. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Most of us know this classic about Mike Mulligan who is out of work because no one likes steam shovels any longer. But Mike is determined to prove that his beloved old steam shovel isn’t obsolete.
  20. The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field. Kevin the Koala wants to stay in his cozy, safe tree all day, every day. After all, the ground is terribly scary. Better not to even try it out.
And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

Any other favorite growth mindset books for kids (or adults!) that I missed? I’d love to hear more!


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  1. I just maxed out the number of recommendations I can make to the SLC library. Also when I searched for some of these titles, I got a lot of romance novel recommendations.

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