11 TOP MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS FOR KIDS AND TEENS TO INSPIRE AND UPLIFT
Most inspiring books with powerful and positive messages you and yours are sure to love!
We’ve scoured the bookshelves and public libraries to find the best motivational books for ages 3-18. Our recommendations below cover picture and chapter books with fiction and non-fiction stories that boost imaginations, inspire creativity, and of course, motivate! Their narratives empower your girl to achieve her dreams and determine her priorities and set of values. The tales can also encourage your girl to form original thoughts and chart her own course, entrepreneurial or otherwise. So take a peek to see which books can help your girl become the best possible version of herself.
Recommended for ages 3 to 7. A delightful children’s book that teaches readers about pluck, tenacity, and the importance of coming to terms with failure and working through feelings. The main character, an unnamed girl, makes countless attempts to build something magnificent but fails repeatedly. Soon, a meltdown replaces her motivation, and she quits her project. It’s her pet dog who reminds her that it’s OK to take a breather, regroup, and try again. This picture book also engages kids to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 3 to 7. With whimsical illustrations to capture the attention of preschoolers, The Wonderful Things You Will Be isn’t like other books that ask the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Instead of career options, it focuses on positive character traits, from being kind and clever to being bold and brave. The rhyming texts of the book encourage you to nurture these qualities in your girl so she can experience all of the exciting possibilities as she develops her personality and individuality. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 3 to 7. Tia Isa Wants A Car shares so many valuable lessons readers should learn early in life. The book’s themes include developing a strong work ethic, being driven, ambitious, and resourceful, and living a life full of gratitude to remind people to appreciate those who matter most to them. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Dear Girl, is a love letter that celebrates the uniqueness of each girl. The words and drawings remind young readers that it’s perfectly all right to be different from everyone else. The touching message also helps children discover their inner voice and believe in themselves. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 6 to 10. Having your girl explore the possibilities that present themselves in her life is a good thing. No matter how scary the options may be at times. And best-selling poet and activist Cleo Wade’s What the Road Said reinforces this idea. The picture book also advises readers that “the most important thing we can do in life is to keep going.” Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 7 to 10. An acclaimed and award-winning novel, Rickshaw Girl follows 10-year-old Naima on her brave attempt to earn extra money for her impoverished family in Bangladesh, where being a young girl in a patriarchal society is not easy. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 8 to 12. The Startup Squad adventures continue in Book #3, Party Problems. Didi secures a job making place cards for a wedding but finds herself in a bind when the wedding planner calls in sick, the caterer cancels, and the band goes missing! Girls can learn from Didi to not be afraid of trying new things or reaching outside of their comfort zones as well as how to ask for help when you need it. And like in the first two books of the series, Party Problems shares practical startup tips and features the profile of a young girl boss. You and your girl can also catch the book trailer created by 8-year-old girlpreneur Annabelle of Stop and Love here! Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 10+. Featuring 31 women bosses and their respective leadership styles, Girls Who Run the World challenges young girls to go after their dreams so they can live life to the fullest like the inspiring women profiled. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 10 to 17. “Who are you?” and “What do you want to become?” These are sample thought-provoking questions that former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama asks in her adapted autobiography. She also affirms that “finding yourself” is an ongoing process, and it’s actually the process of becoming yourself that counts. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 12+. Does your girl want to make a difference in her community, country, or even the world? She can with the help of this non-fiction book. With profiles of real-life youth activists and step-by-step guides on how to research, recruit like-minded teens, and raise funds, Be a Changemaker prompts teens to come up with impactful ideas that influence positive and lasting change. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Taking on the world before turning 20 is no easy feat. Teen Trailblazers includes true stories of historical and contemporary young women in various fields and their many accomplishments, like self-taught engineer Margaret Knight. Margaret, the flat-bottom paper bag inventor, also created a groundbreaking safety device for cotton mills when she was only 12 years old in 1850. Together with her fellow trailblazers, Margaret proves that girls can indeed change the world. Buy it on Amazon or Bookshop.
Depending on your girl’s reading level, she may be able to finish these titles independently or invite you to read them to her. Either way, we’re confident that these picks will spark your girl’s interest and teach her how to deal with life’s ups and downs with the right balance of grit, confidence, and self-compassion. Have a favorite motivational book for kids and teens that you or your girl would love to share? Tag us on social media!
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