Books to Encourage a Growth Mindset
If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you will know our Shift your Mindset series. If not, go look at our blog explaining what a growth mindset is here. If you've read that or know what a growth mindset is but don’t know how to talk to your kids about it or how to inspire them to have a growth mindset, you’re in the right place.
Try reading some of these books with your family. They are a great starting point to discuss growth mindsets. What do the characters do when they fail? How do they feel? Have you ever felt that way before? What can we learn from the characters? What is something that is new and scary but you want to give a try?
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Rosie Revere Engineer is a fun story written in rhyme about an aspiring engineer. She sets out to build her own flying machine but very quickly realizes it will not be very easy. Her first attempt fails and she learns an important lesson about perseverance. The message that a flop is not something to be scared of, but is a valuable part of the learning journey, is one that all new learners should hear. Knowing that failure is not the opposite of success but rather a part of success is integral to having a growth mindset. Meet Rosie’s friends in similar books about creative kids including Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect.
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do
This story tells a familiar tale for many young children. When Lou’s friends suggest that they climb a tree, Lou is scared because she has never done that before! She comes up with excuse after excuse to avoid trying something new and challenging. At the end, Lou realizes that she needs to be brave and just give it a try. This exemplifies a growth mindset - trying something even though you’re not sure you will succeed. Also check out The Most Magnificent Thing for another story where Lou learns to have a growth mindset.
Meg is a boxitect - an architect who works with cardboard boxes. She was the only boxitect at her Maker School until a new student showed up. This student was a brilliant boxitect and gave Meg suggestions to improve her structures. Did Meg like this? Of course not! She thought her structures were amazing already. By the end of the book they learn to work together to create an even better structure. Learning to take feedback and continue to improve is an essential part of a growth mindset.
What Do You Do with A Problem
I love this book for its beautiful illustrations that really help you to feel the emotions of the main character. It tells the story of a little boy who has a problem and doesn’t know what to do. He worries and worries and worries. He tries shooing the problem away, he tries ignoring it - nothing works. Eventually he realizes that the more he avoided the problem, the bigger it got. The only thing for him to do with a problem is to face it. Even though he was afraid, he tackled the problem and discovered that his problem is truly an opportunity to grow. What a beautiful way to look at problems and have a growth mindset. Also check out What Do You Do with An Idea if you liked this book.
The Magical Yet
This book is perfect for the little one who gets discouraged when they fail and wants to give up. What do you do when you try something and it doesn’t work out? You use the magical yet! The power of yet is the key to having a growth mindset. Yet tells us to keep trying and be patient while we learn. After reading this book, hopefully your child will have the magical yet in their pocket as a powerful tool to help them on their learning journey.