Books That Build Self-Esteem

Growing up is hard work, but liking who you are makes it easier. That's why we've put together this list of books that encourage kids of every age to value themselves -- even the things that make them stand out from the crowd. For more affirming messages, check out our Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image and Books With Strong Female Characters

Browse Books That Build Self-Esteem

Happy to Be Nappy Book Poster Image
Lighthearted tribute to Black girls' hair.
By bell hooks
(2020)
(1999)
Continue reading
We Believe in You Book Poster Image
Warm, softly illustrated animals inspire and reassure.
By Beth Ferry
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Brown Book Poster Image
Beautiful depiction of a family's colorful shades of love.
By Nancy Johnson James
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Cannonball Book Poster Image
Warm story of individuality and achieving a perfect splash.
By Sacha Cotter
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
I Am Perfectly Designed Book Poster Image
Gentle, loving tale of an affirming father-son relationship.
By Karamo Brown, Jason "Rachel" Brown
(2020)
(2019)
Continue reading
Ambitious Girl Book Poster Image
Motivating words and pictures reinforce drive, big goals.
By Meena Harris
(2021)
(2021)
Continue reading
Black Is a Rainbow Color Book Poster Image
Smart verse and bright art assert the sanctity of Blackness.
By Angela Joy
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Chocolate Me! Book Poster Image
Candid charmer a positive intro to self-esteem and race.
By Taye Diggs
(2011)
(2011)
Continue reading
Don't Touch My Hair! Book Poster Image
Girl speaks up, sets boundaries in funny picture book.
By Sharee Miller
(2019)
(2019)
Continue reading
I Am Enough Book Poster Image
Girl celebrates herself in poetic picture book.
By Grace Byers
(2019)
(2019)
Continue reading
I Believe I Can Book Poster Image
Poetic picture book encourages self-esteem and optimism.
By Grace Byers
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
I Promise Book Poster Image
Inspiring pledges encourage kids to try hard, aim high.
By LeBron James
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
I Talk Like a River Book Poster Image
Beautiful, personal tale of boy's struggles with stuttering.
By Jordan Scott
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You Book Poster Image
Gorgeous, upbeat book about strength in our differences.
By Sonia Sotomayor
(2019)
(2019)
Continue reading
Mixed Me! Book Poster Image
Boy embraces his uniqueness in exuberant identity tale.
By Taye Diggs
(2015)
(2015)
Continue reading
Not Quite Snow White Book Poster Image
Heartwarming story shows a princess can be any color.
By Ashley Franklin
(2020)
(2019)
Continue reading
Speak Up Book Poster Image
Uplifting message of individual empowerment and joy.
By Miranda Paul
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
You Matter Book Poster Image
Beautiful message of self-worth has gorgeous illustrations.
By Christian Robinson
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
All Because You Matter Book Poster Image
Poetic declaration to children that their lives matter.
By Tami Charles
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Book Poster Image
Joyful, foot-tapping celebration of fresh haircut, culture.
By Derrick Barnes
(2018)
(2017)
Continue reading
Hey Black Child Book Poster Image
Motivational poem brought to life in full color.
By Useni Eugene Perkins
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
I Am Every Good Thing Book Poster Image
Dynamic art, poetry enhance vivid celebration of Black boys.
By Derrick Barnes
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Freckleface Strawberry Book Poster Image
Teased girl learns self-acceptance in fun friendship tale.
By Julianne Moore
(2012)
(2007)
Continue reading
Princess Hair Book Poster Image
Jubilant celebration of girls' hairstyles, hair textures.
By Sharee Miller
(2017)
(2017)
Continue reading
Bookmarks Are People Too!: Here's Hank, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Boy finds smart ways to overcome challenges in fun story.
By Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver
(2014)
(2014)
Continue reading
Crouching Tiger Book Poster Image
Boy learns to appreciate his heritage in universal story.
By Ying Chang Compestine
(2012)
(2011)
Continue reading
Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration Book Poster Image
Joyous look at the color brown in the world around us.
By Samara Cole Doyon
(2021)
(2020)
Continue reading
Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself Book Poster Image
Endearing monster finds we're all a bit weird in sweet tale.
By Matthew Gray Gubler
(2019)
(2019)
Continue reading
Absolutely Almost Book Poster Image
Sweet, funny, poignant tale of struggling 10-year-old.
By Lisa Graff
(2014)
(2014)
Continue reading
May B. Book Poster Image
Riveting and moving account of girl's struggle for survival.
By Caroline Starr Rose
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Olivia Bean Trivia Queen Book Poster Image
Fun story of tween girl getting her shot on Jeopardy!
By Donna Gephart
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
Big Nate: In a Class by Himself: Big Nate, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Milder than Wimpy Kid and a sure hit with boys.
By Lincoln Peirce
(2010)
(2010)
Continue reading
Black Girl, White School: Thriving, Surviving, and "No, You Can't Touch My Hair" Book Poster Image
Remarkable anthology brims with solidarity for Black girls.
By Olivia V. G. Clarke
(2020)
(2020)
Continue reading
Okay for Now Book Poster Image
A troubled boy discovers his self-worth through art.
By Gary D. Schmidt
(2011)
(2013)
Continue reading
Ask Elizabeth Book Poster Image
Sweet advice scrapbook is a helpful choice for teens.
By Elizabeth Berkley
(2011)
(2011)
Continue reading
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Poster Image
Literary story of two boys' life-changing friendship.
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
(2012)
(2012)
Continue reading
The Color Purple Book Poster Image
Edgy tale of poor, abused woman's journey to independence.
By Alice Walker
(2011)
(1982)
Continue reading
King Dork Book Poster Image
Dark, funny coming-of-age with lots of mature content.
By Frank Portman
(2006)
(2006)
Continue reading