Books (by topic)

Book Recommendations For Anxiety and Fear

Don’t Think About Purple Elephants by Susanne Merritt
Sometimes Sophie worries — not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does.

There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi
Everybody loves a day at the beach—well, everybody except for Sukie the small dog, who is frightened of just about everything there.

Too Shy for Show-and-Tell by Beth Bracken
Sam is a quiet little boy who hates show-and-tell. Just thinking about it makes his stomach hurt. Sam must find a way to conquer his fear of show-and-tell.

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cooke
Wilma Jean is a little girl who worries about everything. She wakes up with worries in her head and what if’s about the day.

Book Recommendations for Bullying

Anger Tree by John Cary
A poignant chapter book that tells the story of a neighborhood bully who is transformed by a strong, unyielding maple. The lessons the boy learns along the way will inspire thoughtful conversations about anger, self-worth and self-control.

Boomer Be Nice by Stacy Roberts
One Saturday morning, Boomer Bulldog bullies his friends at the neighborhood playground. When he finds himself sad and alone, he learns a valuable lesson about being nice to others. Follow Boomer and his friends in this story of bullying, the importance of being polite, and the power of forgiveness.

Bully By Patricia Polacco (Grades: 2-5)
Here’s a book that takes on cyberbullying and cliques. When students begin teasing classmates on Facebook, Lyla knows something needs to be done. This is a perfect read for our increasingly digitally-savvy students.

Chrysanthemum By Kevin Henkes (Grades: Preschool-3)
A popular picture book, Chrysanthemum is a story about teasing, self-esteem and acceptance. It has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association.

Each Kindness By Jacqueline Woodson (Grades: Kindergarten-3)
This book has a powerful anti-bullying message and follows the story of Chloe, who won’t let the new girl, Maya, play with her and her friends. Eventually Maya stops coming to school and Chloe realizes that a small act of kindness–like giving Maya friendship–could have gone a long way.

Ella and the Mighties by by Jonna Samuelson, Michael Hernandez
Ella and the mighties, features a tiny dachshund puppy named Ella. Ella is a very small dog especially when compared to others in school. Ella faced a troubling time in school especially being made fun of by her classmates. Ella did not know how to cope with this problem, until one day she meets another dachshund puppy named Ralphy. Ralphy stood up for Ella and explained to the others of how serious bullying can be. Ralphy and his 2 best friends Raider the black lab and Sully the cat, also helped Ella through the tough time she was having.

Enemy Pie By Derek Munson (Grades: Preschool-7)
Readers will learn about the benefits of making new friends in this book. When Jeremy Ross tries to get rid of enemies, his dad comes to the rescue. The catch? The only way for Jeremy to succeed is to spend an entire day playing with the enemy. Soon, his best enemy turns into his best friend!

Hands are not for hitting by Martine Agassi
Children learn that violence is never okay, that they can manage their anger and other strong feelings, and that they’re capable of positive, loving actions—like playing, making music, learning, counting, helping, taking care, and much more.

The Bully Book By Eric Kahn Gale (Grades: 3-7)
This book pulls from actual events as the author loosely recounts what it was like when he was bullied in sixth grade. It incorporates both sides of bullying and addresses this ongoing issue in the lives of middle-schoolers.

The Hundred Dresses By Eleanor Estes (Grades: 1-4)
The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. It addresses a classmate who is ridiculed by bullies for wearing the same dress to school every day, while other students stand by and do nothing to help.

The Invisible Boy By Trudy Ludwig (Grades: 1-4)
This book sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children and reminds readers how small acts of kindness can help other children to feel included.

The Juice Box Bully By Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy (Grades: Preschool-5)
One of the best things kids can do to combat bullying is to stand up for one another, which is exactly what The Juice Box Bully is about. Students will learn how to have each other’s backs instead of doing nothing when they witness bully confrontation.

The No More Bullying Book for Kids by Vanessa Green Allen
Your child’s guide to build the skills and resilience to confidently handle bullying whenever or wherever it occurs.

The Recess Queen By Alexis O’neill (Grades: Preschool-3)
Mean Jean is the recess queen, and it isn’t until a new girl becomes her friend that recess dynamics change for the better. This book is ideal for addressing bullying that can be resolved without adult intervention.

The Secrets of the Pond by Mario Company
Cora and her two turtle friends experience the mean side of Haley at the school in the Pond. Not knowing who to talk to Cora keeps it secret from her mother and teachers.

The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen by Aija Mayrock
This kid-friendly book offers a fresh and relatable perspective on bullying. The author offers guidance as well as different strategies that helped her get through even the toughest of days.

The Weird Series #1: Weird by Erin Frankel
Dealing With Bullies at School. A story of an ongoing case of bullying through the perspectives of three different third-graders.

The Weird Series #2: Dare by Erin Frankel
Standing Up to Bullies at School. A story of an ongoing case of bullying through the perspectives of three different third-graders.

The Weird Series #3: Tough by Erin Frankel
How to Stop Bullies at School. A story of an ongoing case of bullying through the perspectives of three different third-graders.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale
What happens when your best friend since forever starts hanging out with the “popular” crowd? A story about how hard it is to find your real friends in life, but how the journey is worth it.

Wonder By R.J. Palacio (Grades: 4-6)
This uplifting novel follows August Pullman to fifth grade, which is his first time entering a mainstream school. August was born with a facial deformity so he’ll have to convince his classmates that he is normal, just like them, despite his appearances.

You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders
A very helpful book for teaching children about empathy, feelings, kindness, compassion, tolerance and recognizing bullying behaviors.

Book Recommendations for Development (Puberty)

Bobby and Mandee’s Good Touch Bad Touch by Robert Kahn
This children’s safety book describes how to recognize each kind of touch, the differences between them, and how to respond.

Friendship Troubles: Dealing With Fights, Being Left Out and the Whole Popularity Thing by Patti Kelley Criswell
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles. From backstabbing to bullying to just being left out, here’s advice for girls about a whole host of friendship problems.

Girls Guide to Feeling Fabulous by Barbara Sheen
Designed to equip students with the skill sets they need to move confidently into the adult world, this book explores issues of health and fitness, skin care, hair, and body piercing, as well as balanced diet, handling stress, and drugs and alcohol.

Girl Talk: Staying Strong, Feeling Good, Sticking Together by Judith Harlan
A few years ago—maybe even a few months ago—you did whatever you enjoyed without even thinking about the fact that you were a GIRL. But now you might be getting the message that there are things girls can and cannot do. Don’t allow yourself to get pushed to the sidelines. Life is not a spectator sport!

Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen A Jenson, MA and Gail Poyner, PhD
A comfortable, read-aloud guide to porn-proofing for today’s young kids. About a mom and dad who teach their child what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it. Using easy-to-understand science and simple analogies.

How to Make (and Keep) Friends by Elizabeth Karlsberg
A guide for girls on how to deal with cliques, patch up arguments, and keep friendships going strong.

Hygiene… You Stink! By Julia Cook
In this ingenious tale, young readers are sure to get the message that good hygiene will improve their health and their relationships.

It’s MY Body: A Book to Teach Young Children How to Resist Uncomfortable Touch by Lory Freeman
This powerful book for enhancing self-esteem teaches preschool safe boundaries and how to respond appropriately to unwanted touches.

Manners: The Secrets to Grace, Confidence, and Being Your Best by Nancy Holyoke
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Manners. Girls learn through fun quizzes, advice, and letters from other girls, that manners aren’t about being stuffy, boring, or formal.

My Body is private by Linda Walvoord Girard
Julie, who is eight or nine, talks about privacy and about saying “no” to touching that makes her uncomfortable.

The Body Book for Boys: Guy Stuff by Cara Natterson
From the bestselling Care & Keeping of You series! This book will provide you with the answers that will help you take care of yourself better, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to shaving, acne to voice changes, and everything in between.

The Body Book for Girls: The Care and Keeping of You by Valorie Schaefer
This “head-to-toe” guide answers all your questions, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between.

What’s happening to me? (Boys and Girls Books) by Usborne
These collection is a straight forward manual for the physical, mental and passionate progressions of Boys and Girls.

What’s Happening to Ellie?: A book about puberty for girls and young women with autism and related conditions by Kate E. Reynolds
Following Ellie as she begins to notice changes to her body, this simple resource helps parents and carers teach girls with autism and related conditions about puberty. It covers all the changes that they will experience, both emotional such as new feelings and physical such as periods. This fully illustrated positive and entertaining book provides the perfect opportunity to talk about puberty with girls and young women with autism or related conditions.

What’s Happening to Tom?: A book about puberty for boys and young men with autism and related conditions by Kate E. Reynolds
Following Tom as he begins to notice changes to his body, this simple resource helps parents and carers teach boys with autism or other special needs about puberty. It covers all the changes that they will experience, both emotional such as new feelings and physical such as wet dreams. This fully illustrated positive and entertaining book provides the perfect opportunity to talk about puberty with boys and young men with autism or special needs.

Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Spelman
In simple, reassuring language, the author explains that a child’s body is his or her own; that it is all right for kids to decline a friendly hug or kiss, even from someone they love; and that you can still be friends even if you don’t want a hug now.

Book Recommendations About Feelings

Crabby Pants by Julie Gassman
When things don’t go Roger’s way, he gets crabby. However, Roger thinks he has found a solution to being such a crabby pants.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts) by Jo Witek
Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside.

Steps and Stones: An Ahn’s Anger Story by Gail Silver
When Anh’s friends leave and he feels left out at school, his anger shows up to keep him company. Anh the protagonist of Gail Silver’s previous book Anh’s Anger, is a typical and easy-to-relate-to elementary school-age boy. His anger, personified as a red hairy impulsive creature, teaches him some valuable lessons about not getting carried away by his strong emotions. By counting his steps and coordinating them with his breathing Anh is able to slow down and take his anger for a peaceful and magically transformative walk.

The Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions by Lynda Madison
This companion to The Care and Keeping of You helps girls understand their emotions and learn to deal with them.

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Feelings are neither good nor bad, they simply are. Kids need words to name their feelings, just as they need words to name all things in their world.

When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
This beautifully designed book tells the story of a little girl named Sophie, who learns that it’s okay to be angry.

Book Recommendations for Friendship

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too!

Cool Down and Work Through Anger by Cheri J Meiners
Everyone gets angry, so it’s never too early for children to learn to recognize feelings of anger, express them, and build skills for coping with anger in helpful, appropriate ways.

How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them (Dino Life Guides for Families) by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Fun dinosaur characters teach young children all about friendship–the value of friends, how to make friends, and how to be a good friend.

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler
One morning, Jonah decided to become ruler of the playground. Everyone agreed to obey his rules to play in King Jonah’s kingdom … Everyone except for Lennox … because she wanted to rule the playground, too.

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party … until a new kid comes to class.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?

Book Recommendations for Grief

Big Tree is Sick: A Story to Help Children Cope with the Serious Illness of a Loved One by Nathalie Slosse
Snibbles and Big Tree are best friends! They have always hung out together, and Snibbles loves Big Tree very much. When Big Tree unexpectedly falls ill with woodworm, Snibbles is very upset and angry.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved
Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must.

Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement by Rebecca Cobb
Missing Mommy focuses on the positive―the recognition that the child is not alone but still part of a family that loves and supports him.

My Very Own Space by Pippa Goodhart
A little rabbit is trying to read his book in peace, but there’s so much going on around him! Maybe he needs some space just for himself …

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to find joy in colors and laughter as we play. But what happens when that special someone who encourages such wonder and magic is no longer around?

The Memory String by Eve Bunting
Each button on Laura’s memory string represents a piece of her family history. The buttons Laura cherishes the most belonged to her mother—a button from her prom dress, a white one off her wedding dress, and a single small button from the nightgown she was wearing on the day she died.

Book Recommendations About Identity

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet.

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison
Jane is an ordinary dog in an extraordinary circus. She isn’t strong, graceful, or brave like her family. When she tries to be those things, Jane just doesn’t feel like herself, but she also doesn’t feel special.

I’m a Girl! by Yasmeen Ismail
Meet a little girl who’s spontaneous, fast, and strong and loves winning. Sometimes she’s mistaken for a boy, but she definitely isn’t one!

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town?

Millie Fierce by Jane Manning
Millie is quiet. Millie is sweet. Millie is mild. But the kids at school don’t listen to her.

The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf
“While walking through a toy store, the day before today, I overheard a crayon box with many things to say…”

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that is much too small.

Book Recommendations About Kindness

Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too and decides to send a care package of cookies to her grandson Lionel in Mexico.

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kidsby Carol McCloud
This heartwarming book encourages positive behaviour as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.

How Kind! by Mary Murphy (Ages: 2-5)
Kindness is contagious. When Hen gives an egg to Pig, she starts a domino effect of kindness that spreads throughout the barnyard. This adorable board book is straightforward and simple in its message of expressing kindness to others.

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
Can one child’s good deed change the world?

Pass It On by Sophy Henn
When you see something terrific, smile a smile and pass it on! If you chance upon a chuckle, hee hee hee and pass it on. Should you spot a thing of wonder, jump for joy and pass it on!

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
A story that teaches of the tie that really binds. The Invisible String reaches from heart to heart. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach, anyway? Does it ever go away?

The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt
A quickly built, and as quickly forgotten, snowman longs for the finery of his peers, until something unexpected makes him reconsider his priorities.

We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. Choose Kind.

Book Recommendations About Mental Health

44 Children’s Books About Mental Health
Best books for helping kids understand emotional and learning challenges. From a hedgehog too anxious to go ice skating to a puppy who can’t make his letters come out right, children’s books address many emotional, behavioral and learning challenges kids face. These books help kids name and understand feelings and experiences they may be struggling with.

Book Recommendations For Overcoming Obstacles

Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau
Argyle Fox, with his signature style, wants to play outside on a springtime day, but the wind is wreaking havoc with his fun and games. As soon as he builds a card tower, climbs into a giant spider web, or takes up his pirate sword, here comes the wind: Woosh!

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story is nothing short of remarkable. Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams.

Life by Cynthia Rylant
There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle.

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still by Karlin Gray
Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics.

Book Recommendations About Resiliency

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald the tall giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance . . . or can they?

Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey
The new girl at school has a glamorous life. What more could she want? Sunday Chutney is not your ordinary everyday girl. Sunday has lived everywhere and been everywhere. The only problem is this means she is always the new girl at school and she never really has a place to call home.

Book Recommendations About Self-Control

Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale
Clark is a shark with zing, bang, and BOOM. Clark zooms into school, crashes through the classroom, and is rowdy at recess.

David Gets In Trouble by David Shannon
When David gets in trouble, he always says . . . ‘”NO! It’s not my fault! I didn’t mean to! It was an accident!”

Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne C. Jones
Lacey Walker loves to talk. She talks all day, and sometimes all night. But when she loses her voice, Lacey learns the importance of listening.

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can’t wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions.

My Mouth Is a Volcano! by Julia Cook
All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words begin to wiggle, and then they do the jiggle, then his tongue pushes all of his important words up against his teeth and he erupts, or interrupts others.

Shelley, the Hyperactive Turtle by Deborah M. Moss
Shelley the turtle has a very hard time sitting still, even for short periods of time. During a visit to the doctor, Shelley learns that he is hyperactive, and that he can take medicine every day to control his wiggly feeling. With help from his doctor and love from his family, Shelley feels much better about himself.

Today is the day the exuberant Lucy is going to make a new friend! But she finds it’s harder than she had thought–she accidentally ruins the giraffe’s breakfast and is much too big for the frogs’ pond.

Book Recommendations For Taking Risks

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka
Learning to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones of childhood, and this book captures the emotional ups and downs of the experience.

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this book about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration.

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett
Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake!

Book Recommendations About Telling the Truth

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no.

Lying Up a Storm by Julia Cook
A Storm is Brewing… Whenever Levi doesn’t like the truth, he kinda, sorta makes up other stuff to say.

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin
Ruthie loves little things-the smaller the better. So when she finds a teeny tiny camera on the school playground one afternoon, she can hardly believe her luck. She wants to keep the camera in the worst way, but there’s one little problem: It isn’t hers.