Top 75 Growth Mindset Books For Children And Adults

This article includes free printables

One easy way to help children develop a growth mindset is to introduce them to books which promote persistence, love of learning, learning from mistakes and other key growth mindset ideas. Here's a list of our favorite and most popular books which do just that. 

A list of 75 top growth mindset books for children and adults to help build resilience, confidence, grit, positive thinking, learning from mistakes, and more.


A printable growth mindset reading list for children and adults.


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Ages 1 - 4

The Cow Tripped Over the Moon: A Nursery Rhyme Emergency by Jeanne Willis & Joel Stewart 

Led along by bright, humorous illustrations and an energetic rhyming text, little readers will have fun guessing who the next Storyland victim might be, following hints like, "Who could be covered in egg?" and "Who went up and tumbled down?" Look out, here comes the ambulance!

 My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk

In this lyrical read-aloud, young drivers are introduced to the ins and outs of hauling, beeping, and repairing -- get ready for a fun ride!

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Tucked into bed by his mama, Baby Llama immediately starts worrying when she goes downstairs, and his soft whimpers turn to hollers when she doesn't come right back. But just in time, Mama returns to set things right. 


The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and Loren Long

The story of a train filled with toys and gifts for little boys and girls that breaks down before reaching the children. After asking several passing trains for help over the hill, a little blue train agrees to help the stranded toys. Even though she is small, the blue train tries her best to bring the toys to the children on the other side of the hill.

Brontorina by James Howe & Randy Cecil 

Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large — too large to fit in Madame Lucille’s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can’t dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. 


The Empty Pot by Demi

Demi's exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping's embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded.


Frederick by Leo Lionni

While the other field mice work to gather grain and nuts for winter, Frederick sits on a sunny rock by himself. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days,” he tells them. And when the food runs out, it is Frederick, the dreamer and poet, whose endless store of supplies warms the hearts of his fellow mice, and feeds their spirits during the darkest winter days.

Owen by Kevin Henkes 

Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. "Fuzzy goes where I go," said Owen. But Mrs. Tweezers disagreed. She thought Owen was too old for a blanket. Owen disagreed. But when school started, Owen't mother knew just what to do, and everyone -- Owen, Fuzzy, and even Mrs. Tweezers -- was happy.

Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss

Thanks to the irrepressible rhymes and eye-catching illustrations, young readers will learn kindness and perseverance from the very determined—and very endearing—Horton the elephant.


Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within.


Ages 4 - 8

Big Life Journal for children

Big Life Journal for children (ages 7-11)

This guided journal is the world's first growth mindset journal created specifically for children. It is packed with stories, poems, quotes, illustrations and writing prompts. Children explore important topics like resilience, confidence, believing in yourself, staying positive, and learning from failure. 

Also available in PDF


Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 

A story about Rosie, a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When one of her contraptions doesn't fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. She then learns that you can only truly fail if you quit.

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

This masterful picture book reminds readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.


Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It by J. Deak

This fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their Fantastic, Elastic Brain!


Making A Splash by Carol E. Reiley

Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Making A Splash is the first of its kind type of story.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

A charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. "She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing!" But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. 

Creatrilogy Box Set (Dot, Ish, Sky Color) by Peter H. Reynolds

This trio of hardcover titles includes: 
The Dot An enchanting invitation to self-expression! 
Ish A creative spirit learns that thinking "ishly" leads to a far more wonderful outcome than "getting it right." 
Sky Color The sky’s no limit in this gentle, playful tale — a reminder that if we open our eyes and look beyond the expected, inspiration will come.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett & Gary Rubinstein 

Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!

I Can Handle It! by Ms Laurie Wright

Kids learn well through repetition, and simple easy to 'get' language. Your children will incorporate the mindful mantra I Can Handle It almost immediately after reading this book!


Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

The book shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. 



Uncle Jed's Barber Shop by Margaree King Mitchell & James E. Ransome 

This book is great for story hours featuring relatives, and it could start children saving for their own dreams.


Bubble Gum Brain by Julia Cook & Allison Valentine 

This creative story centered on growth mindset teaches children (and adults) the valuable lesson that becoming is better than being, which can open the door to a whole new world of possibilities!

Not Yet by Lisa Cox

The setting of the book is one full day in the life of Lorisa, the main character. The story takes you through her day at home and at school as she models for children a positive attitude as she makes some mistakes and experiences successes.


Mindset Matters (Without Limits) by Bryan Smith & Lisa Griffin

An entertaining and eye-opening look at the power of the "gonna get it done"mindset.


She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton & Alexandra Boiger 

The book is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. 

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo 

It is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.

Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be by Charlotte Foltz Jones & John O'Brien

The book offers forty of unusual tales, along with hilarious cartoons and weird and amazing facts.


Thanks for the Feedback, I Think (Best Me I Can Be!) by Julia Cook

Parents and teachers will love taking kids on RJ’s journey as he discovers feedback’s many forms, and learns to accept and grow from criticism and compliments at home, school and with friends.

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With a Problem? is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It's a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it's here.

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's just getting started.

Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan

Michael feels the reason he isn’t very good at basketball is because he is short. His mother suggests a little bit of salt in his shoes would help him grow. Months go by and he still isn’t any taller. Michael later learns that his practice and determination are more important than being taller.

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.This story shows that her triumph was the result of years of practice and dedication.

How to Catch A Star by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers offers a simple, childlike tale of reaching for the stars, and emerging with a friend. A great story for encouraging kids to dream big and never give up. 

Flight School by Lita Judge

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! A wonderful story for encouraging kids to think outside the box.

Brave Irene by William Steig

Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on. An inspiring story that teaches that anyone (no matter how small) can accomplishing great things.

You Can Do It! Bert! by Ole Konnecke

It is a simple, funny picture book with an encouraging positive message. It's a great gift for anyone embarking on a new venture: a child about to start school, a teenager finishing high school, a college student graduating, or anyone starting a new job or going overseas.

Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Wayne W. Dyer

In this book, Dr. Dyer teaches children how to hold on to the no-limit thinking he believes they were born with, rather than just trying to “fit in.” In doing so, they can learn to truly enjoy life and become unstoppable as they strive to attain their dreams.

No Excuses! by Wayne W. Dyer

In this book, Dr. Dyer teaches kids about excuses: what they are, where they come from, and how to eliminate them so boys and girls can reach their full potential. This is a story of a boy with a seemingly impossible dream who almost lets excuses stand in his way.

Dreams Come True...All They Need Is You! by Mike Dooley

An enchanted night reveals what every little girl and boy already knows: that dreams come true, all they need is you! 

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, this book tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges

Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. This book will inspire children to go after their big dreams. 


Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki 

Hana’s worried about playing her violin in the talent show. She’s only a beginner! She is determined to play her best, so she practices every day. This inspiring story is about mastering something difficult. It teaches that sometimes there is more than one way to be successful at a task.

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant

This story tells the tale of a talented artist with great determination and creativity. He did not allow his unfortunate circumstances to prevent him from becoming a celebrated artist. 

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson

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.


Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

A story about Willie who goes through his day, trying, trying and trying some more until finally his efforts are rewarded with a tweet!


The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires

An inspiring story about overcoming the fear of failure and trying new things.


Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Iggy has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they’re sometimes surprised by his materials. 


Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. 


Ages 9 - 12

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he's ever loved. 
The odds are stacked against him, but he isn't about to give up. He will face down deadly animals, dangerous men, and the fury of nature itself on his quest to be reunited with the only family he has left.

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny. But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. This book is about determination and following your dreams.

Marvelous Mattie  by Emily Arnold McCully

With charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, this introduction to one of the most prolific female inventors will leave readers inspired.


How to Get Unstuck From The Negative Muck: A Kid's Guide To Getting Rid Of Negative Thinking by Lake Sullivan

Using kid-friendly text, interactive cartoons, and engaging journal exercises, your child will learn priceless life skills.


My Fox Ate My Homework by David Blaze 

In this book, David Blaze has done a marvelous job in capturing sentiments and problems that kids face as they grow up.


Ronia, The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

Read the book that inspired Studio Ghibli's series, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter! A thrilling adventure crafted by the author of Pippi Longstocking.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

Perfect for fans of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, this classic series is all about learning and problem-solving. Young readers will love this book.

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. 


Ages 12 +

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

After James Henry Trotter's parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen.

Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

This book features unfortunate events, but it also teaches some valuable lessons. Despite numerous misfortunes children do not give up, stay positive and come up with constructive ways of dealing with their losses.

Wizard of Oz by Beth Bracken

Dorothy never stopped trying to get home even when the Wicked Witch of the West sent flying monkeys after her. The book teaches that when the going gets tough, stick to your yellow brick road and you'll overcome your obstacles too.


Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run--and not just run away, but run.

The GRIT Guide for Teens: A Workbook to Help You Build Perseverance, Self-Control, and a Growth Mindset by Caren Baruch-Feldman

Written by a clinical-child and school psychologist and based in the latest research, The Grit Guide for Teens will help you build perseverance, resilience, self-control, and stamina.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse who lives in a garden, must move her family before the farmer begins plowing. Will the rats of NIMH - a group of highly intelligent laboratory rats - help her find a solution to her dilemma?

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, Stone Fox tells the story of Little Willy, who lives with his grandfather in Wyoming. When Grandfather falls ill, he is no longer able to work the farm, which is in danger of foreclosure.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor.


Growth Mindset Books for Adults

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter for success have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids by Mary Cay Ricci

This book gives parents and guardians powerful knowledge and methods to help themselves and their children learn to embrace life's challenges with a growth mindset and an eye toward increasing their effort and success!

The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher's Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve by Annie Brock

A complete and easy-to-follow guide for inspiring every student with the power of growth mindset.

The Growth Mindset Playbook: A Teacher's Guide to Promoting Student Success by Annie Brock

An easy-to-implement collection of creative ideas and new strategies that inspire students with the power of growth mindset.

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander

Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. 

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative.

Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching by Jo Boaler

This book provides a proven, practical roadmap to mathematics success for any student at any age.

Recommended Parenting Books


The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey

This groundbreaking manifesto focuses on the critical school years when parents must learn to allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life’s inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.

Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes

Filled with practical, solution-oriented advice, this is an empowering guide for any parent who longs to end the yelling, power struggles, and downward spiral of acting out, punishment, resentment, and shame--and instead foster an emotional connection that helps kids learn self-discipline, feel confident, and create lasting, loving bonds. 

The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively by Gary Chapman

Discover your child's primary language—then speak it—and you will be well on your way to a stronger relationship with your flourishing child.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Laura Markham

This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber

Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.

The Danish Way Of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids by Jessica Joelle Alexander

With illuminating examples and simple yet powerful advice, The Danish Way of Parenting will help parents from all walks of life raise the happiest, most well-adjusted kids in the world.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John

A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lifelong art of raising children.


No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel

Complete with candid stories and playful illustrations that bring the authors’ suggestions to life, No-Drama Discipline shows you how to work with your child’s developing mind, peacefully resolve conflicts, and inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family.

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla Kabat-zinn

With the growing interest in mindfulness as a way of living, and with increasing scientific evidence of its value for optimal health and well-being, including a new field in psychology devoted to mindful parenting, and with mindfulness being increasingly integrated into K-12 education, there has never been a better time for cultivating greater mindfulness in parenting and in family life.

The Strength Switch: How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish by Lea Waters

Unlock your children’s potential by helping them build their strengths.

The Consious Parent by Dr. Tsabary

This innovative parenting style recognizes the child’s potential to spark a deep soul-searching leading to transformation in parents. Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents’ psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parent’s development.


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1 comment

  • We just recently listened to Fish In A Tree, a story about a dyslexic girl struggling through school and learning to read. Great growth Mindset examples.


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