One of the things I try to help my kids with is to dream big and overcome the obstacles to achieve those dreams. And, of course, reading stories about those two things is one of my favorite ways to drop those wisdom nugget seeds. Today, I bring you books for kids about pursuing your dreams and overcoming obstacles. Of course, we adults can take the messages to heart too.
Pursuing Dreams and Overcoming Challenges Books for Children
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Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites by Jamie Michalak introduces us to a chef who had to overcome many obstacles to achieving her dream. Nakayama had to prove that a woman can be a master chef in a male-dominated field. In 2019, her restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars for excellent food. The book will take you from Koreatown, Los Angeles, California to Tokyo, Japan, and make it to California again. The book includes a recipe for Wonton Pizzas, a dish Niki made when she was a child.
It also happens to be a Family Dinner Book Club pick. You can use this book with our themed menu and conversation starters to hold your very own Family Dinner Book Club.
Determination can take you a long way. Imagine running a marathon at age 100. Well, that’s just what one man does in Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon by Simran Jeet Singh. Don’t let challenges stand in your way of a dream.
Sometimes we don’t make a start on our dream because we are paralyzed with fear or indecision. But, taking that first step is so important for putting the ball in motion. Perfectly Imperfect Mira by Faith Pray is the story of a young child who learns that our attempts at doing something don’t have to be perfect. Imperfect is just fine.
We all experience challenges when pursuing dreams. In A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant we meet artist, Horace Pippin. Horace enjoyed drawing and painting. Then, he was injured during the war and lost use of his arm. However, he overcame this challenge to pursue his passion.
Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady shows us you are never too young to dream. Nigel dreams of going to the moon as an astronaut. But, can he share this dream with others on career day at school?
Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson is an inspirational story about a boy who overcomes his physical challenge to accomplish great physical feats along with changing the minds of many people who deal with challenges. Emmanuel was determined to travel by bike almost 400 miles in 10 days to raise awareness and spread his message.
Spin by Rebecca Janni reminds us to keep pedaling towards our goal or dream. Riding the hill to that dream can be difficult, but it’s so rewarding to meet your destination.
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a wonderful and inspirational book about nurturing new ideas and watching them grow. It is a great reminder not to discount an idea that seems too big, too hard, or too odd. Give it time and space then watch it grow!
Mindset is huge when it comes to achieving goals. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi reminds us to add the powerful word “yet” to those “I can’t” statements we tell ourselves.
The North Star by Peter Reynolds is about knowing which path to follow because it isn’t always easy to know! The reader is encouraged to wonder, observe and dream to find her right path.
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle is inspired by Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a young Cuban woman, who became the first woman drummer in her country. It used to be considered taboo to be a woman drummer in Cuba, but Millo Castro Zaldarriaga changed that through her courage and determination.
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, and really the whole The Questioner Series, by Andrea Beaty encourages us to solve problems and dream big. Thanks to my friend Jen for reminding me of this series.
Chapter Book Recommendation
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Discussion Questions to Use With the Books
- What is something you dream about achieving one day?
- How did a character in the story we read deal with obstacles to their dream?
- Why do you think we have challenges when trying to reach a goal or dream?
- Why is it important to have goals or dreams?
- How would it feel to accomplish your goal or dream?
- Have you reached any goals or dreams yet?
Printable Book List
Grab a printable book list of the books shared above including the discussion questions. Just click the purple printer button below to download.
Happy reading and dreaming!
MORE BOOK LISTS YOU MAY ENJOY
Books for New Graduates (lots of books about pursuing dreams)