These Books for Kids About Perseverance provides 24 different book ideas for younger readers and 7 books about perseverance for tweens and teens.
Providing literature resources is part of my character building education series. For more lessons on perseverance visit this tab.
Character Building Lessons About Perseverance
Welcome to my character building education series where we work on 52 traits throughout the year. 52 traits? Yes! That is one character building trait for every single week of the year.
More good news! Each trait comes with over a week’s worth of lessons. You could work on character with your kids every single day of the year if you chose to follow along.
This character building activity focuses on perseverance. Here is our initial lesson in perseverance. If following the series, always do that lesson first. Click here for all of my lessons on perseverance.
Today I am providing a list of books for kids about perseverance.
Objective: Kids will explore literature to better understand perseverance.
Books for Kids About Perseverance
Here you are going to find 24 books for kids about perseverance. Kids learn through literature, so I am happy to provide a reading list for your enjoyment.
Ideally, parents, teachers and care givers would be reading many of these with their children. However, it is also good to head to the library or shop on Amazon to have a good pile of books for our character building week about perseverance.
Note: Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience. Anything you purchase through these links help to provide the free resources I provide at Meaningful Mama. Thank you for your support.
- “Dream Big, Little Pig” by Kristi Yamaguchi – I found this book at the library. It is a great book about a little pig who is encouraged to dream big. This pig wants to be a star. Although it takes the pig awhile to find her “niche,” she finally nails it and becomes the star she always dreamed she would be. After reading the book, we also watched a YouTube video of Kristi in the Winter Olympics so they could better understand the author and how real perseverance has transformed her own life.
- “Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss – This is another book we found at the library and is about a little boy who plants a carrot seed. No one thinks it will sprout, but he is diligent in watering and caring for it. He sees the fruit of his labor. It is a short and sweet book.
- “Click, Clack, Moo – Cows that Type” by Dorren Cronin – This is a book we had on hand, and it is a favorite. It’s a book with a lot of humor. The cows are cold in the barn and become very insistent on receiving heating blankets from the farmer. Although he initially refuses, their perseverance eventually convinces him to cave.
- “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle – This book was really able to drive home the “I Will” statement that encourages us not to get distracted from our goals. I love the artwork of this book, and I love how focused the spider remains. This was found at the library.
- “Today I Will Fly” by Mo Willems – This is a great book for beginning readers. It is super cute and super easy to read. It has a pig who is convinced he will fly. The elephant is not so convinced that will happen. It’s the pig’s journey to make his dream a reality. We found this book at the library and after reading it watched a YouTube clip on the Wright brothers. I talked to them about how the Wright brothers also had a dream of flying that many thought was crazy, but in their perseverance they were able to see their dreams take flight…quite literally.
- “Go Out for the Team” is a Berenstain Bear book by Stan Berenstain – You find a character lesson in all the Berenstain Bear books. This one we had on hand, and I felt like it related to perseverance because it shows how the cubs had to persevere through a challenging tryout process to make the team.
- “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess. Everyone is familiar with persistence of “Sam I am,” and his convincing ways to get his friend to try green eggs and ham.
- “I Will Try” by Marilyn Jonovitz – This is a book we had on hand and is about a girl using role models as her influence to keep trying hard at gymnastics.
- The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper – We all know the story about the little train engine that repeats the mantra, “I think I can, I think I can,” until he proves it out in his action.
- Oh the Places You will Go by Dr. Seuss – A classic gift at graduation, kids can read it young to realize how far they will go as they continue to persevere in life.
More Kids Books About Perseverance
The books about perseverance listed above I read and reviewed with my kids. The following books I have not read. If there is any concern about content, please read them for yourself before introducing them to kids.
- Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist – Django was a famous guitarist who got caught in a fire and was left with a paralyzed 3rd and 4th finger on the left hand. Doctors said he would never be able to play guitar again. But instead of giving up, he became world famous for creating an entirely new style of jazz using the few fingers remaining. Also a great way to expose kids to jazz music!
- Fanny by Holly Hobby – This story is about a girl who is told by her mom that she can’t have a certain doll because her mom doesn’t like how it looks. So instead of whining and frustrated, she finds a solution – to make her own doll! I think it’s a great book to teach kids that perseverance doesn’t necessarily mean doing something over and over when it’s obviously not going to work (such as trying to convince mom to change her mind!). Sometimes, the better course of action is to find another solution and work hard to resolve the problem.
- Betty Bunny Wants a Goal by Michael Caplan – Cute story that shows that although optimism is key, perseverance and practice is often needed in order to get results.
- Oops a Daisy by Claire Freedman – Great story about a little bunny who just can’t seem to learn to hop
And Even Books About Perseverance
I do not have any book reviews for any of these books. I hope you take time to discover them for your own.
- Pizza for Everyone by Josh and Dottie McDowell
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Inch & Miles by John R. Wooden
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy
- Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
- Koala Lou by Mem Fox
- The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola
- I Can’t Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
Looking for Books About Perseverance for Tweens and Teens
- Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
- Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper
- A Very Young Dancer by Jill Krementz
Note: This Post was originally written in 2014, but it was updated in 2020 with even more resources and better formatting.
Want More Lessons on Perseverance?
I have a number of lessons about perseverance here, but here are some specifics:
First Character Building Lesson on Perseverance
Thanks for sharing,
Nice list of books, will get some myself.
So glad to hear this was helpful. Thank you for letting me know.
I’ve been looking for a curriculum based on character, instead of academics for my kids’ preschool and fell across your blog – It’s exactly what I was looking for! I love everything about it! I don’t know if you would be interested, but in addition to many of the books you’ve listed above (especially Horton Hatches the Egg), my kids have enjoyed the following:
Fanny By Holly Hobbie – about a girl who is told by her mom that she can’t have a certain doll because her mom doesn’t like how it looks. So instead of whining and frustrated, she finds a solution – to make her own doll! I think it’s a great book to teach kids that perseverance doesn’t necessarily mean doing something over and over when it’s obviously not going to work (such as trying to convince mom to change her mind!). Sometimes, the better course of action is to find another solution and work hard to resolve the problem.
Betty Bunny wants a Goal by Michael B. Kaplan – Cute story that shows that although optimism is key, perseverance and practice is often needed in order to get results.
Oops-a-Daisy! by Claire Freedman – about a little bunny who just can’t seem to learn to hop
Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist – Django was a famous guitarist who got caught in a fire and was left with a paralyzed 3rd and 4th finger on the left hand. Doctors said he would never be able to play guitar again. But instead of giving up, he became world famous for creating an entirely new style of jazz using the few fingers remaining. Also a great way to expose kids to jazz music!
Thanks, again, for the awesome ideas! We’ve used them all!
I love your contributions. I’ve been so busy that I am sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’m going to be adding these now. Thanks.
I came across your character development tonight while trying to figure out how i wanted to go about teaching my children. It’s wonderful! I didn’t know what i was looking for until i came across your blog – previously i just kept seeing ideas that weren’t quite right for my family and me. thank you so much for all your hard work documenting everything you’ve done – books, activities, verses. I adore the tie ins with books! thank you!