Disclosure: Contains Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are mine.
The most important thing you can teach your child is not traits of writing or how to divide whole numbers; it’s how to be kind. The world seems filled with news of hate and intolerance. Adults and children deal with bullying in person and online. It can be hard to address these issues at home before they arise.
One of the best things you can do to help your children navigate the tough stuff in the world is to promote kindness. Of course, you can do this is your own thoughts, words, and actions, but you can also introduce books that teach your children about kindness. No matter what their age level, I have some books that are perfect for you to share with your children!
Books That Teach Kindness
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët PreK-3rd Grade
Inspired by a true story, this beautiful tribute to anti-bullying will remind your children how standing up for classmates can make a world of difference not just in their school but in their community and the world. This New York Public Library best book of the year should definitely be on your shelf.
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
by Peter Reynolds
Sometimes the hardest things for kids to learn is how to be kind to themselves. Self-esteem and self-doubt can be serious struggles, even for young kids. Learning that it’s OK to make mistakes, how to say “I’m sorry”, and to see things from someone else’s point of view are three things that this book can help teach your young children.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes Grades 1-4
You may be surprised to see a book that is more than 70 years old on this list, but The Hundred Dresses has certainly stood the test of time. When Wanda is bullied for what she wears and eventually leaves school, Maddie, her classmate and friend, decides to take a stand. This beautiful story is illustrated by Louis Slobodkin to add stunning imagery to a tale of kindness.
Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh Grades 4-9
Two stories of a young Syrian refugee and an American teen in Belgium, Belgium can help your children learn what it’s like to be different, live somewhere you feel you don’t belong, and navigate a world where prejudice and hate are a part of daily life. Share this story with your upper elementary to middle school children to teach kindness and take a stand against Islamophobia.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli Grades 7-9
A popular boy meets a girl who is by every definition “different”. Stargirl marches to her own beat even when everyone turns against her. This is a brilliantly told and easy to read story about standing up for others and resisting following the crowd.
Telling your children to “be kind” is one thing, but sharing stories makes these lessons all the more powerful. Use these books that teach your children about kindness to start conversations with your children about what it means to be kind.