Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

“I can’t do anything right.”

“Why bother? I am just going to mess it up anyway.”

“Nothing goes well for me. I have too many problems.”

It’s been an interesting season for my youngest son.

Most of us would agree that almost 13 is a tough age in general. Add to it a growing awareness of his differences and challenges, and what you get is a man-boy trying desperately to figure out his place in the world.

As he struggles, one thing is becoming increasingly clear – the desire to give up versus the desire to fight through the obstacles he faces daily is one of the most important factors in his overall mental health and development.

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories


I received Candlewick Press books and was compensated for my time in writing this post. 
Please know, I only share products that have worked well for my family in the hopes they might help yours too!

Because of this, I have been looking for ways to help bolster his confidence and instill in him a sense of resiliency that will help carry him into adulthood.

Right now, there is only one real outside influence that I have seen have any effect whatsoever – powerful stories about kids who may be underdogs, but fight back, choose kindness and never give-up.

He can identify with these characters. He can see the obstacles they face and how they tackle them.

With this in mind, I have been searching for new and engaging stories of adversity and excellence to use together as read-alouds.

Candlewick Press made it easy on me.

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories And Engaging Books

I have been a fan of Candlewick Press for years. Not only are their picture books absolutely beautiful, but the quality of stories is excellent. As my boys have grown into more chapter book territory, I have been thrilled to see the variety of options they also provide for older children.

Using the new Fall Catalog, I selected several books that seemed most in line with my goal of celebrating resiliency and overcoming adversity.

Using Engaging Books To Teach Resiliency

Here are the Candlewick Press Books I am using this year to help inspire my son and encourage him to remain strong in the face of adversity.

Otherwood by Pete Hautman


Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

This is a book about memory and loss and the destructive nature of secrets, but also about the way friendship, truth, and perseverance have the ability to knit a torn-apart world back together. This novel touches on secrets and mysteries — and the power of connections with family and friends.


Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T. R. Simon

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

In this coming-of-age tale, award-winning author T. R. Simon champions the strength of a people to stand up for justice. A powerful fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood adventures explores the idea of collective memory and the lingering effects of slavery.


Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.

Thoughtful, strong-willed  Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between in this new novel.

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

From the moment of his birth, Elliot’s life has been governed by fear of almost everything, even of his own fear — a beast that holds him prisoner in his room. With plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats, multi-award-winning author Kevin Brooks offers a high-suspense exploration of fear and what it means to truly be afraid.


1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

As we face our own moments of crisis and division, 1968 reminds us that we’ve clashed before and found a way forward — and that looking back can help map a way ahead.

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories And Engaging Books

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories

I think we are off to a great start with these choices. Each of these books describes events and circumstances that require strength and resiliency from the main character or society in general, with encouraging results.

This is exactly what I want for my son.

Teaching Our Kids Resiliency With Powerful Stories And Engaging Books

Candlewick Press Offer and Giveaway

If you are interested in these titles and so many more, now is the time to invest in these wonderful books! Order directly from Candlewick.com and enter discount code CANDLEWICK at checkout to receive 25% off your order.

Even better, enter to win a 14 Book Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for this post!!!! We needed this one at our house.

  2. I just finished a graphic novel with some underdogs winning through… Lowriders blast from the past. Might be something you want to consider as well? You’ve listed off what looks like some decent books here too.

Comments are closed.