21 Children’s Books to Teach the Growth Mindset

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Looking for the right book to teach your kid about a growth mindset?

In today’s article, we’re sharing a curated list of growth mindset books that teach kids about the value of perseverance, hard work, making mistakes, and loving and believing in themselves.

These books help cultivate resilience in our children.

Resilience is a trait they need in order to cope with and overcome the challenges they’ll face as they make their way in the world. It’s best if they develop this trait early in life.

Briefly, a growth mindset is a belief that what we know can be improved on. It is also the belief that our intelligence can expand as time passes and we gain more experience.

Conversely, a fixed mindset is the belief that our intelligence, talents, and skills are set to a certain limit. It is the conviction that what we are at birth can not be changed.

Dr. Carol Dweck, a Stanford University professor and researcher, identified these ideas and described them in detail. You can read more in-depth information about these two mindsets and Dr. Dweck’s study in this post, and learn which is more important for success.

In the meantime, let’s check out the books in today’s collection.

21 Best Growth Mindset Books for Children

1. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett

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Kids often experience a lot of pressure to excel. This happens whether they’re in school, at home, or with friends. Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett’s book is what kids need to assure them that it’s okay to make mistakes and that perfection is overrated.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes introduces us to Beatrice Bottomwell, a girl who has never made a mistake—ever! However, Beatrice eventually does make a mistake, during an important event.

The book encourages kids (and parents and teachers, too) to dream big. Furthermore, it shows that those who have big dreams will likely experience mistakes when fulfilling them—and the process of learning from mistakes can be fun.

2. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

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The process of learning a new skill can sometimes be frustrating, especially if we’re not seeing immediate results. Kids are often prone to giving up when they don’t learn something fast enough.

In Whistle for Willie, we see the world through Peter’s eyes as he attempts to learn how to whistle for his dog Willie. Peter becomes more determined to learn when another boy who knows how to whistle gets Willie’s attention.

In this classic, beautifully illustrated children’s book, kids learn about the value of persistence.

3. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

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If you need resources for kids—especially girls—related to speaking up, having ambitions, and believing in themselves, this book is worth considering. It is also a wonderful resource for lessons on persevering in the face of adversity.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World features the stories of 13 individuals who displayed courage amidst adversity and persisted until they reached their dreams. The women featured in the book include Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Sonia Sotomayor, and Oprah Winfrey.

This book celebrates American women who changed the course of history by standing up for what they knew was right and believing that they could take on the challenges on the path to a better world.

4. Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones

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Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be is another book that assures kids that making a mistake is ok, and that something beautiful can come out of it.

The book is a compilation of familiar, every-day items that were discovered or created by accident. Take the potato chip, for example.

A customer at a restaurant kept sending her order of fried potatoes back to the kitchen because “they weren’t thin enough.” Out of frustration, the chef sliced the potatoes very thinly before frying them. His recipe became a hit.

5. What Should Danny Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy

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Kids will enjoy this interactive book that follows the story of Danny, a boy training to become a superhero, as he makes choices that impact his life in big ways. What Should Danny Do? is written in the style of a “choose your own adventure story.”

Through the outcome of every choice they make about Danny’s adventures, kids will realize how their own choices can affect their lives. They will also eventually grasp the value of making the right choices to make the day—and their lives—the way they want it to be.

6. After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat

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As a kid, have you ever wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after his great fall? This book takes that hypothetical question and explores a possible scenario in the life of one of the most famous nursery rhymes characters.

In After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again), Humpty Dumpty recovers from the fall, but was traumatized by the experience. He is now afraid of heights and can no longer function normally to enjoy the activities he previously loved doing.

This book explores how fear can paralyze us and what we can do about it if we want our lives back. It teaches kids about the importance of facing fears in order to move forward.

7. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

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“Hooray for mistakes!” this book tells us. But what exactly happens when we make mistakes?

Beautiful Oops! is a wonderful teaching resource for showing kids how we can transform mistakes into beautiful creations, especially in art.

The book also provides inspiration for creative kids to see unconventional ways of creating art and transforming errors into something magnificent. It is packed with clever paper engineering—lift-the-flap pages, bends, folds, and smudges—that show kids the beautiful possibilities of a mistake.

8. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

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The Most Magnificent Thing encourages kids to explore, create, invent, and try new things. Moreover, the book teaches young readers to appreciate hard work and perseverance.

The story is told from the viewpoint of a girl who loves to make things. However, things don’t go as she planned. After numerous frustrations, she decides to give up. Will she still be able to make the most magnificent thing?

The book is charmingly illustrated and depicts the girl’s emotions at every turn. It is also a good resource for teaching kids how to deal with their emotions.

9. I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia

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We all need affirmations—especially kids. They help kids navigate the world and show them how to cope with challenges they encounter.

I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids encourages kids to look within themselves and discover that they are capable of taking on what the day brings.

The affirmations contained in this book introduce kids to the practice of mindfulness. More importantly, this book teaches kids to value their self-worth.

10. The Bad Seed by Jory John

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In The Bad Seed, we are introduced to a self-confessed bad seed. He disturbs the peace. His manners and hygiene are an abomination. However, he was made that way by the circumstances in his past.

Unfortunately, when an opportunity for him to change arrives, others still think of him as a bad seed.

This book teaches several important lessons. It teaches kids the value of self-reflection. Furthermore, it demonstrates the negative effects of bullying. It also shows the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies and a fixed mindset.

11. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

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Rosie Revere, Engineer is for those who have been told “no” repeatedly while pursuing their dreams. It teaches kids the value of keeping their passion alive for the things they care about, despite the challenges and setbacks on the way to achieving the things they want in life.

The story introduces us to Rosie Revere, a shy girl who loves to invent marvelous gizmos. She is afraid of showing her work to others for fear of failure, but all of that changes when she receives a visit from a formidable relative.

The book tells readers that “You can only truly fail if you quit.

12. Unstoppable Me! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Kristina Tracy

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Unstoppable Me!: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life encourages children to expand their thinking and make it limitless. Written by the father of motivation, Dr. Wayne Dyer, this book reflects his belief that all of us were born without limits, and children should tap into this rather than just trying to fit in.

Through this book, kids learn 10 important lessons about becoming unstoppable in going after their dreams. It assures young readers that they have greatness within them, no matter what!

The book also comes with questions to help reinforce its message and facilitate discussions about self-acceptance, believing in yourself, and persistence.

13. The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids by Modern Kid Press

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Children can benefit from being introduced to a gratitude habit early on. The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids is an avenue for cultivating this habit in young people.

It teaches them to look for the simple joys in life and appreciate them. The gratefulness prompts include looking for three things to be thankful for from the day. The book also encourages children to write about or draw the best parts of their days.

It’s not only children who can benefit from cultivating a habit of gratefulness. Adults can also infuse their days with positivity by writing in their own gratitude journals. Check out this review to help you choose the best gratitude journal for you.

14. Rumple Buttercup by Matthew Gray Gubler

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Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself teaches the reader about acceptance, self-love, belonging, and individuality.

Children will be inspired by the story of Rumple Buttercup, a creature who has green skin, three strands of hair, and five crooked teeth. As far as appearances go, Rumple is weird.

Follow Rumple’s story as he discovers the marvels of individuality and the heartwarming magic of belonging.

15. Strong Is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker

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Kids need to see their potential, and what their futures can contain. They need the affirmation that what they are on the inside matters more than their physical appearances.

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves celebrates strong girls in their element. It assures every child that real beauty is more than skin deep. As the title declares, “Strong is the new pretty.”

16. Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan

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Michael Jordan’s name is synonymous with basketball itself. Many people admire him for his accomplishments on the basketball court, as well as his philanthropy.

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of His Dreams tells the story of when Michael Jordan started becoming passionate about basketball. It tells of how he felt limited because of his stature.

The book reminds kids that a willingness to work hard for their dreams is often the ticket to making them a reality.

Michael Jordan’s mother Deloris and sister Roslyn teamed up to write this book and share his story with the rest of the world.

17. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

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The word “Yet” holds so much power and promise, and is a perfect growth mindset word. This book is for kids who feel frustrated over the things they cannot do yet.

The Magical Yet teaches kids how to transform a negative experience into a positive one. It encourages them to look for possibilities. The story invites them to embrace challenges they encounter for the valuable lessons they impart. In the end, we all have stuff we don’t know—yet.

To learn more about the power of language in teaching kids about growth mindset, read this post on growth mindset phrases.

18. Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak

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How fantastic it is to know that our brains can grow?! Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It shares this wonderful news, encouraging kids to develop a growth mindset.

This book is ideal as a classroom staple. Readers are encouraged to exercise their brains, just like their bodies. The book is an entry point to anatomy and provides a wonderful introduction to the parts and functions of the brain.

Most importantly, it encourages children to view mistakes as a very good way for brains to grow.

19. What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

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What Do You Do With a Problem? is a helpful resource for dealing with the issue of rumination and overthinking.

Kobi Yamada’s work shares techniques for dealing with problems. Often, when kids (and even grownups) encounter problems, they worry so much about them that they fail to look closely at what can be done to solve the problems.

Instead, they ruminate, and the problems appear to loom over them, becoming bigger and bigger. The more upset they get about the problems, the bigger they become.

This book offers a unique way of looking at problems, and a whole new way of looking at ourselves as well.

20. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

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In The Dot, we meet Vashti, a kid who can’t draw. She knows for sure that she’s not an artist.

To get her point across, she makes a dot on her paper. However, Vashti must sign her dot, and when she does, something interesting happens. The book affirms the use of play and experimentation to overcome failure. 

21. Ursa's Light by Deborah Marcero

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The story of Ursa the bear encourages children to dream big and never give up. It is a story of perseverance and believing in yourself, no matter what.

In Ursa's Light, we meet Ursa, a bear who wants to fly. However, Ursa meets a lot of detractors as she works to make her dream a reality. Her initial attempts at flight have failed, but will her audition as a shooting star be the ticket to her dream?

Final Thoughts About Growth Mindset Books for Kids

Having a growth mindset is essential for success in life. Kids can benefit from learning about this mindset that can help them navigate life’s obstacles.

Books like the ones featured above are engaging visual tools for showing how the growth mindset is embodied and applied in different life situations. We hope you and your kids found a favorite title among those featured today.

And if you're looking for more resources on how to teach the growth mindset to your kids, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to level up your parenting skills, then check out this resource that will show you how to get your kids to listen WITHOUT yelling, nagging, or losing control.

Never stop growing!

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