During difficult times having a growth mindset can help you be more confident, resilient, have a positive outlook, be willing to try and willing to make mistakes.
Growth Mindset is a life skill that important for young and old, so it’s never too early to start teaching it to kids of any age.
One of the best ways to demonstrate a growth mindset to kids is to read books. Here’s a list of the best growth mindset books for kids from primary school age to middle schoolers, starting with early readers through to independent reading chapter books.
You can also find the best growth mindset books for toddlers and preschoolers ie kids under 5 and the best growth mindset books for tweens ie kids 8-12 years.
What is a Growth Mindset and why is it important for kids?
A growth mindset teaches kids that their brains are capable of growing and developing; that they can put in the right effort and use the right strategies to become better at things and that challenges and mistakes are opportunities to grow.
Kids with a growth mindset feel empowered and try harder. They are more confident, resilient and are not afraid to fail!
Developing a Growth Mindset is a life skill and allows children to develop healthy habits with their education and relationships.
Growth Mindset Books for kids: Age 5-8 years
An epilogue to a story that everyone knows – Humpty Dumpty! After falling off the wall, Humpty Dumpty has a fear of heights. How will he face his fear? Life sometimes begin when you get back up and dust off your hands.
Buy After The Fall from Amazon | Dymocks
Learn about your brain’s anatomy, and how it works. You can stretch and grow your brain – and making mistakes allows your brain to develop. By persevering and overcoming fear you make your brain stronger.
Buy Your Fantastic Elastic Brain Stretch It, Shape It from Amazon |Dymocks
In this fun and engaging workbook, children aged 6-12 get 60 creative exercises and a 7 day journal to help them learn about their mind, how to grow it, the power of mistakes, becoming an incredible problem solver, and dreaming big!
4. The Whatif Monster Chapter Book Series: A New Friend for Jonathan James by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt
The Whatif Monster helps Jonathan James to concentrate on the positive what ifs and overcome his fears to make friends with Sam, the coolest girl in the class. Learn the Whatif Monster’s worry-busting game.
Buy The Whatif Monster Chapter Book Series: A New Friend for Jonathan James on Amazon | Dymocks
Books on growth mindset philosophise that intelligence can be developed, rather than it being a fixed quotient. Making A Splash tells the story of Lisa and Johnny, siblings with different attitudes towards learning and how their achievements differ as a result.
Buy Making A Splash from Amazon (Kindle edition only)
A book about a girl and her best friend, a dog. The girl is going to make a magnificent thing, and she knows how to do it.
But when it doesn’t work as expected, the girl quits. Her dog convinces her to go for a walk and she is then able to revisit the project with enthusiasm.
Looking at growth mindset books for first grade, this is a perfect example. The choice of words, detailed illustrations and STEM concepts make The Most Magnificent Thing an engaging read.
Buy the Most Magnificent Thing on Amazon | Dymocks
Beatrice Bottomwell is nine years old and has never made a mistake. She has a perfect record until she makes a very public first mistake. How will Beatrice recover?
Buy The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes from Amazon | Dymocks
This bright and engaging story teaches children that it’s ok to make a mistake. The artistic examples in the book show readers how to turn a smudge into a bunny, cumpled paper makes a lamb’s coat and other errors can be celebrated to make something new and unexpected.
Buy Beautiful Oops! from Amazon | Dymocks
Sarah Jean’s favourite relative is Uncle Jed. Set in America’s South in the 1920s, the story tells the journey through life until Uncle Jed can realise his dream of opening his own barber shop.
Buy Uncle Jed’s Barbershop from Amazon | Dymocks
10. Some Brains
Some Brains celebrates neurodiversity (conditions like Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and the like) as a normal, essential part of human biodiversity. Yes, neurodiverse kids sometimes require a bit of extra help and patience but Some Brains encourages us all to look for our unique strengths.
Buy Some Brains from Amazon | Dymocks
11. Bubble Gum Brain
Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain are two kids with very different mindsets. After a simple action Brick Brain doesn’t want to change things, until they realise how much more fun life can be by changing their mindset to allow new ideas.
Buy Bubble Gum Brain from Amazon| Dymocks
12. Not Yet
The authors Lisa Cox and Lori Hockema, both former educators, believe that students need to learn to enjoy the process of striving for a goal and not to be defeated by mistakes. The setting of this book is one full day in the life of Lorisa, the main character. She makes mistakes and has successes, while displaying a growth mindset with kindness and perseverance, regardless of any imperfections.
Buy Not Yet from Amazon | Dymocks
13. Mindset Matters
Amelia has a positive attitude and enthusiastically starts to ride a skateboard and build a swing set for her younger brother. Unfortunately, when something goes wrong, Amelia’s confidence declines. But with help from her Dad she adopts a new mindset.
Mindset Matters is an entertaining and eye-opening look at the power of the “gonna get it done”mindset and that failing doesn’t make people failures. It includes tips for parents and teachers.
Buy Mindset Matters from Amazon | Dymocks
14. She Persisted
Chelsea Clinton writes the stories of 13 women who helped to shape America. Women featured include Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, Virginia Apgar and others – all having displayed persistence, encouraging everyone to stand up and strive for their success. The quotes from each of the women are particularly moving and inspiring.
Buy She Persisted from Amazon | Dymocks
Banishing fairy tales and heroines who need rescuing, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a fantastic source of inspiration and a great jumping-off point to learn more about the women profiled.
Stories of one hundred remarkable women, with vibrant illustrations by sixty female artists, from all around the globe. Their stories differ as much as they do, but they are united in their success.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is now an international phenomenon. There’s also a second volume, a podcast and more resources.
Buy Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls from Amazon | Dymocks
Details of great discoveries that were unintentionally made! Such as potato chips, that were created by a chef whose customer complained that fries needed to be thinner. Combined with cartoons and weird and wonderful facts, these stories make learning about the positive side of mistakes fun.
Buy Mistakes That Worked from Amazon | Dymocks
During this book, RJ learns how to accept and learn from both positive and negative feedback during the course of his day. The story takes you inside RJ’s school, home and social situations. Perfect for a discussion with parents and / or teachers.
This story is for anyone who has had an idea that seemed a little too …. much – difficult, strange or just too big. The child in this story had a brilliant idea, and helps to bring that idea to the world.
Buy What Do You Do With An Idea? from Amazon | Dymocks
Buy What Do You Do With a Problem? from Amazon | Dymocks
Buy What Do You Do With a Chance? from Amazon | Dymocks
Basketball legend Michael Jordan’s story is told by his mother and his sister in this book about the persistence and hard work required for Michael to achieve his basketball playing dreams. Being helped by his parents to adopt the right mindset helped encourage Michael to ignore his fears, and ultimately become an elite sportsperson.
Buy Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream from Amazon | Dymocks
A biography of gymnast Nadia Comaneci, and her journey to the 1976 Olympics. A spirited child from a small town who grew up climbing trees in Romanian forests, Nadia learnt to perform exuberant gymnastics routines. Learn about the work that went into achieving 7 perfect scores at the Olympics.
Buy Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still from Amazon | Dymocks
A story about a little girl who dreams of playing the drums when doing so was not considered appropriate for females in Cuba during the 1930s.
Buy Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music from Amazon | Dymocks
This book by Dr Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned self-development author, includes 10 lessons, such as risk taking, stress and anxiety, enjoying the moment. It is designed to inspire children to use a growth mindset rather than try and fit in. Each lesson includes a practical example and a readers guide includes discussion points for parents and teachers.
Buy Unstoppable Me: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life from Amazon | Dymocks
Another title by Dr Wayne Dyer, this book explores how excuses can get in the way of your dreams, and how to eliminate making excuses.
Buy No Excuses! How What You Say Can Get in Your Way from Amazon
Beautifully illustrated and whimsically written, the Creatrilogy includes The Dot, Ish and Sky Colour. All creative stories about expanding your thinking, being positive and looking around your for inspiration.
Buy Creatrilogy Boxed Set from Amazon | Dymocks
A story of three children in a dream – they soar off in a hot air balloon, past the stars, to a fantastic land. The land includes simple rhyming life lessons, and inspires children to believe that they can make dreams come true.
Buy Dreams Come True… All They Need Is You! from Amazon
26. Brave Irene
Irene is the daughter of a dressmaker who has to deliver a ballgown to the palace. But Irene’s mother doesn’t feel well, so Irene undertakes to deliver the dress in a stowstorm herself. To succeed, she must be brave and persevere.
Brave Irene was the 1986 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.
Buy Brave Irene from Amazon | Dymocks
27. Ruby’s Wish
Ruby lives in a city in old China, and she wants to go to university when she grows up, instead of getting married. In Ruby’s Wish, inspired by the author’s grandmother, Ruby’s family rewards her independence and determination.
Buy Ruby’s Wish from Amazon | Dymocks
Inspired by her grandfather, Hana is going to play the violin at her school’s talent show, but she has only had three lessons! Her brothers doubt whether she is good enough for a talent show, but with some determination and lots of practice, will she prove them wrong?
Buy Hana Hashimoto Sixth Violin from Amazon | Dymocks
In the late 1800s, as a child, Horace Pippin loved to draw. He drew pictures for friends, colleagues and even from the trenches in WWI. Then he was shot, and couldn’t lift his right arm or make art. He practices until he can regain use of his arm, make art, and paint. His paintings were noticed, and displayed is galleries and museums.
Buy A Splash Of Red: The Life And Art Of Horace Pippin from Amazon | Dymocks
Emmanuel was born in Ghana with a deformed leg. He hopped to and from school, learned to play soccer, helped to provide for his family and became a cyclist. His mother taught Emmanuel to reach for his dreams, and he spread the message that disability is not inability.
Buy Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story Of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah from Amazon | Dymocks
Lou and her friends can do all sorts of things during their imaginative adventures. Until one of their games calls for them to climb a tree. Lou hasn’t climbed a tree before and is sure she can’t do it. Lou eventually has to face her fear, and learn that it’s ok to fail, while her friends encourage her by teaching her to climb and offering to play the game elsewhere.
Buy The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do from Amazon | Dymocks
Although he create some quite unusual creations, Iggy Peck has been building things since he was two. In second grade, Iggy’s teacher voices her dislike of architecture, which challenges him. He loves building his structures way too much to give up!
Andrea Beaty has also written other picture books dealing with themes of persistence, learning from mistakes and resilience – Rosie Revere, Engineer, Ada Twist, Scientist and Sofia Valdez, Future Prez.
Buy Iggy Peck, Architect from Amazon | Dymocks
An interactive book including 9 stories in 1, this is a choose your own story style book. Danny is a Superhero-in-Training, and the reader follows him through his day where he encounters multiple choices, which ultimately shape his day. These lessons are easily transferable to kids own lives, and teach social and emotional skills.
Buy What Should Danny Do? from Amazon | Dymocks
34. I Won’t Quit
Learn to navigate challenges by developing perseverance – a critical life skill. This book combines fun pictures and a simple message: I Won’t Quit. It is the first book in the Teaching Perseverance series.
Buy I Won’t Quit from Amazon
Enna offers says she can’t do things, until one night she dreams about all the possibilities in her life. She develops a Growth Mindset and learns to say “I Can’t Do That Yet!”
Buy I Can’t Do That Yet from Amazon | Dymocks
A picture book for children from the family that created the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book shares one fun and accessible story for each habit introduced.
Buy The 7 Habits of Happy Kids from Amazon | Dymocks
37. I Think, I Am
This book teaches the importance of the thoughts and words we use in our daily lives that express what we believe to be true, including examples of kids turning negative thoughts into positive words and actions.
Buy I Think, I Am from Amazon | Dymocks
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle teaches kids about learning and problem solving in this chapter book. She lives in an upside down house, bakes cookies and knows everything about kids – and has a solution to every problem. When choosing growth mindset books for middle schoolers, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is perfect as it is designed for independent readers to enjoy.
Buy Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle from Amazon | Dymocks
39. My Strong Mind
Kate is a sporty and happy girl. She does well at school and has many friends. But like every girl, she sometimes faces difficult situations at home or at school. Discover how Kate uses her strong mind to tackle her daily challenges with a positive attitude.
Kate applies techniques like goals setting, positive self-talk, accept failure as learning, visualisation of a problem, breathing or mindfulness exercise, gratitude, and controlled distraction. These tips to build a strong mind in children are presented in an easy to read, fun and practical way.
My Strong Mind has a sequel – My Strong Mind: The Power of Positive Thinking. The book introduces techniques for dealing with peer pressure, negative self-thoughts, showing emotions, controlling anger, exercising grit and accepting fears.
Buy My Strong Mind from Amazon | Dymocks
The Big Life Journal – Daily Edition is a science-based journal for ages 6-11 that creates daily practice to help your child grow resilient, confident, and emotionally healthy.
Writing in this journal for just 5-10 minutes a day will help your child train their brain for growth mindset, resilience, confidence, gratitude, kindness, and self-love.