Children are dreamers by nature. Parents and teachers can nurture this trait by sharing motivational stories and books with the children in their lives. In addition, reading skills are critical to a child's success at school and throughout life. Motivational stories for children inspire young readers as well as offer an opportunity to advance reading and comprehension skills. Check out the following books at your library or pick them up at your local bookstore.
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Listen to the Wind
Listen to the Wind is written by Greg Mortenson and illustrated by Susan Roth. The book appeals to children ages 4 to 8 and is illustrated with striking collages. The book tells the story of how Mortenson gets lost while climbing K2, the world's second-tallest mountain. He winds up in Korphe, Pakistan, where he is astounded by the villagers' living conditions. He is particularly moved by the children, who are eager to learn but forced to write their lessons in the sand with sticks. Told to "listen to the wind" by a wise elder, Mortenson later returns to build a school for these children. The difficult terrain makes the job incredibly challenging, but with the help of the villagers Mortenson is able to complete the school amid great celebration. He later builds more schools across Pakistan and Afghanistan. The back of the book features scrapbook pages that show the completed schools.
Dare to Dream! 25 Extraordinary Lives
This book, written by Sandra McLeod Humphrey, is intended for readers ages 9-12. It features short biographical sketches of a diverse range of people, including Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, astronaut Ellen Ochoa and journalist Nellie Bly. Children can relate to many of the individuals profiled and young readers will be inspired to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their dreams. Dare to Dream is a great introduction to both historic and modern inspirational figures.
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival
Two Bobbies is written by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels. This book is an International Reading Association Teacher's Choice pick. Two Bobbies is a true story set in post-Katrina New Orleans. A dog and a cat, both with bobbed tails, wander together for four months after the hurricane. The cat is blind, which makes this story of friendship and survival even more amazing. When rescued, the two friends refuse to be separated. A touching story aimed at readers 4 to 8 years old.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Almost Astronauts is written by Tanya Lee Stone. This Sibert Award Winner is set in the 1950s and '60s, nearly 20 years before women were officially admitted into the U.S. space program. Thirteen women fight to win entrance into NASA's astronaut training program, despite opposition from male astronauts as well as vice president Lyndon Johnson.The photo-essay format features full-page pictures that bring the science and excitement of space exploration to life. Stone is passionate about the story, which will enchant young readers ages 9-12.
Spriggles Motivational Books for Children: Inspiration
Jeff Gottlieb and Martha Gottlieb author the Spriggle books, which get their titles from the words "spirit" and "giggles." This particular book focuses on inspiring and motivating readers ages 4 to 8. The unique "lift the flap" format encourages exploration and learning. Characters include "Keep on tryin', Lion" and "Study hard, Saint Bernard," The silly rhymes coupled with the vibrant, fun illustrations appeal to a young child's sense of creativity and fun.
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