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Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! : Penguin Random House. I’m Brave: Holiday House Publishing, Inc. Planting Stories: HarperCollins. Magic Ramen: Little Bee Books. The Red Zone: Abrams Books. Survivors of the Holocaust: Sourcebooks. Love, Z: Simon & Schuster.

Books that Encourage Perseverance

This month's Read to Me column shares a selection of books to encourage kids to keep trying.

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A friend of mine placed a sign in the room where her kids do their homework. It says: We Can Do Hard Things. I thought it was perfect, but I also know—as most of us do—that persevering is much easier said than done. The next time your children think they just can’t, remind them that they can with these stories.

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2019)

“Every goodbye…leads to a hello,” begins Cori Doerrfeld’s book about the difficulty of adjusting to change. The story acknowledges that transitions are hard for everyone, but shows that for each change or ending, a new beginning occurs.

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I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five!

by Cari Best; illustrated by Boris Kulikov (Margaret Ferguson Books, 2019)

Sasha struggles to go to sleep at night because of all the scary things she imagines in her room. Then she realizes she can use her imagination to conquer her fears—all on her own—without getting her parents.

Planting Stories

by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illustrated by Paola Escobar (HarperCollins, 2019)

When Pura Belpré first came to America, she worked in a garment factory until finding a place in the New York Public Library, as a bilingual assistant. She later became the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. The book, with Spanish words sprinkled throughout, shows Belpré’s perseverance as she becomes a published author herself.

Magic Ramen

by Andrea Wang; illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz (Little Bee Books, 2019)

Momofuku Ando saw food scarcity and starving people in Japan after World War II. He dreamed of creating a quick and easy noodle soup that could be enjoyed by just adding water. After experimenting with recipes and failing, again and again, he finally perfected the method used to make one of the world’s most popular foods, instant ramen.

The Red Zone

by Silvia Vecchini and Sualzo (Amulet, 2019)

Based on true events, this graphic novel focuses on an Italian town dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake and the emotions that come along with physical destruction. Three friends—Matteo, Guilia, and Federico—work together to rebuild their lives, resulting in even stronger friendships.

Survivors of the Holocaust

Edited by Kath Shackleton; illustrated by Zane Whittingham (Sourcebooks, 2019)

In graphic novel format, learn the true stories—in the survivors’ own words—of six individuals who were children during the Holocaust, based on a series of animated documentaries. In the back, find photos of the children as adults and learn what happened to them next. A timeline illustrates the story of the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945.

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Love, Z

by Jessie Sima (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018)

Z the robot finds a note that reads “Love, Beatrice,” but the meaning of those words does not compute. Z sets out to find Beatrice and to discover what love is. He questions everyone he meets, showing that it takes perseverance to discover the meaning of life’s important things, and that love, too, perseveres.


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