17 Best Childrens Books About Perseverance and Determination

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Childrens Books about Perseverance. This list of books includes some of our favorite books. Books that are based on true stories, hard times, big dreams, and struggles.

Perseverance is steadfast action in accomplishing a big dream or a purpose in the face of discouragement, hard work, difficult obstacles, and even pessimistic attitudes.

I love introducing topics and opening up conversations with my kids through reading books. This list of books will help you have conservations and aid in teaching perseverance to your precious kiddos. I want my girls to dream big and know they can do hard things.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you on qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. 

A Collection of Childrens Books About Perseverance and Determination

1. Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renée Felice Smith

A curious and courageous dog named Hugo inspires his forest friends, and they learn together that the impossible thing is only the extremely difficult thing with the help of friends. This is another one of our all-time favorite children’s books. I love good books that inspire the reader that difficult things are not bad. This is the perfect book to ignite a fire of curiosity and bravery.

Like this book? Check out these books.

2. After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat

Humpty Dumpty is an avid bird watcher who loves to sit high on the wall amongst the birds. After his famous fall, he has a great new fear of heights. “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fearful, Humpty misses his birds. Humpty breaks free of his fear in this story after the fall.

3. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

When one of Rosie’s inventions brings chuckles rather than praise, she no longer builds things publicly but hides in her room. Until her great-great aunt Rose expresses her regret of never flying. Rosie builds a flying machine for her aunt, which fails. Just when she is ready to give up building things, aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure and says now you can try again. This is a great book to encourage kids to keep trying even if the fail the first time.

4. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

The Little Engine That Could

It’s time to introduce your young readers to the smallest, most determined blue engine. The historical little engine that could pull all the toys and goodies for “all those good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain.” This is such a valuable lesson for all and is a must for this list of books of childrens books about perseverance.

5. Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

In the face of skepticism, a small boy plants a carrot seed, waters it, and cultivates it into the biggest carrot in many neighboring counties. This is a classic book that focuses on a little boy’s determination and patience.

6. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Hubbard

This beautiful book is based on the true story of the oldest person to learn to read. Mary Walker learned to read at age 116. Mary was born into slavery, and reading was prohibited. At age 15, slavery was outlawed. She was given a bible but continued to delay her goal of learning to read. After outliving all her family members, she enrolls in a literacy program and becomes the oldest student. An inspirational story that should be shared with all.

7. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Peter, the main character wants to whistle so his dog, Willie, will respond. He tries all day while doing the activities of an imaginative little boy in the city. At the day’s end, determined Peter gets it. Young children will love the bold, warm colors and the simple text.

8. The Boy Who Grew a Forest by Sophia Gholz

This story is based on the true story of Jadav Payeng, a young boy who plants and cultivates bamboo plants after devastating erosion and destruction from deforestation to his island home. He works hard, and as the years pass, he grows a forest that covers 1300 acres.

9. Brave Irene by William Steig

A dressmaker’s daughter named Brave Irene sets out to deliver a ball gown to the duchess after Irene’s mother becomes ill. She faces harsh wintery weather on her long walk. Irene demonstrates determination, bravery, and persistence in the face of discouragement.

10. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

A young girl shares the story about her home burning and the only furniture the family has to sit on are hard, straight kitchen chairs. Her mama works hard and puts all her tips into a glass jar. Her grandma contributes as well from her market savings. When the glass is full, they go together to search for the perfect chair. This is a sweet, simple story with such feelings.

11. Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Drawing came naturally to Trisha, but reading did not. She struggled to read and was even bullied by her classmates. Mr. Falkner notices that Trisha has a reading disability and works alongside her to overcome it. This story is encouraging for all but of great help to older kids who need a little bit more help. (contains hard words such as dumb and bullying)

12. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Liam lives in a gray city without any trees or gardens. He discovers a struggling garden on top of an abandoned railway and determines to take care of it. Eventually, the garden grows through the gray city and transforms the city into a lively green city. This is a great way to encourage kids to be observant and look for positive changes they can make in their community.

13. Granny’s Kitchen by Sadé Smith

Shelly-Ann’s grandmother is a wonderful cook who masters the delicacies of Jamaica. But Shelly-Ann struggles to cook like her grandmother. Her determination and love for food motivate her to keep going with a little help from her beloved granny. Kids will love the colorful illustrations.

14. Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor

Snail has his eyes on the green leafy cabbage across the road. Along his journey, he demonstrates kindness and hospitality. He experiences a life-threatening obstacle only to find himself further from his dreamy head of cabbage. But his kindness towards the rowdy ants is returned. While humorous, Snail is a great example of demonstrating kindness even during hard times and trials.

15. Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

Mirette’s mom runs a boardinghouse in Paris with some interesting guests. A famous tightrope walker has become fearful and hides out at the boardinghouse. Mirette observes him walking across a wire outside his window. He teaches Mirette to walk gracefully across the wire, and she helps him overcome his fear. This great book is filled with beautiful illustrations.

16. Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne

A determined mama kangaroo sets out to solve a big problem. She is a mama kangaroo with no pocket to carry her baby, Freddy. She seeks advice from the other animal moms. Their responses leave her discouraged, but she is determined and keeps persevering for the sake of her little one. This heart-warming story is a great addition to the childrens books about perseverance.

17. Akiak: A Tale From The Iditarod by Robert Blake

Akiak’s hurts her paw on day 10 of the famous 1,151-mile dogsledding race over the frigid Alaskan terrain. Her musher drops her off to be cared for and sent home. But this is her last race and she pushes on, running the race alone to catch up with her team. The rules prevent her from being harnessed again. People come from everywhere to cheer Akiak on. “Nothing was going to stop this dog from winning.” The perfect ending to the booklist of childrens books about perseverance.

Interested in More Booklists for Kids: Check These Out!

35 Best Farm Books for Kids

A white gravel road leads up to a red barn with white trim and white fencing up on a hill. The sky is blue with white fluffy clouds and the sun is just starting to set behind the trees.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

27 Books about Snow: Winter Picture Book Collection

A collage of book covers featuring books about snow for toddlers and kids with cool-colored decorative snowflakes and black bold text.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

20 Fantastic Frog Books

13 frog books for toddlers all stacked on a wooden table with a pathos house plant in a blue pot. A green, smiling frog is centered at the top of the image.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

More Booklists Coming Soon!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Finally, I want to thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite book about perseverance or tell one that you are excited to read with your kiddos. I hope you and your children find a favorite book from this list of children’s books about perseverance and determination.

– With Great Joy, Katie


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