Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image

Body-image issues begin affecting kids as early as elementary school, and media can have a strong influence either way. Since kids come in all shapes and sizes, we chose some of our favorite books that reflect that. The titles on our list feature characters whose lives aren't limited or defined by gender stereotypes of "thin, pretty girl" or "strong, athletic boy." And they just might help young readers feel extra comfortable in their own skin. For more examples of positive media, be sure to check out these TV Shows That Defy Gender Stereotypes and Movies That Defy Gender Stereotypes

Browse Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image

Flora and the Flamingo Book Poster Image
Girl makes a feathered friend in whimsical, wordless outing.
By Molly Idle
(2013)
(2013)
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Brontorina Book Poster Image
Dino's gotta dance in sweet, body-positive ballet tale.
By James Howe
(2013)
(2010)
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Princess Grace Book Poster Image
Princesses shine more than their tiaras in refreshing tale.
By Mary Hoffman
(2013)
(2008)
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Princess Smartypants Book Poster Image
A high-spirited tale full of humor.
By Babette Cole
(2003)
(1986)
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Firebird Book Poster Image
Soaring, rhythmic story for dancers with big dreams.
By Misty Copeland
(2014)
(2014)
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Freckleface Strawberry Book Poster Image
Teased girl learns self-acceptance in fun friendship tale.
By Julianne Moore
(2012)
(2007)
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Ivy + Bean, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Friendship tale a sure hit with kids starting chapter books.
By Annie Barrows
(2007)
(2007)
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Giants Beware! Book Poster Image
Fabulous medieval fairy tale with mighty girl heroine.
By Jorge Aguirre
(2013)
(2012)
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Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child Book Poster Image
Charming, realistic take on middle school popularity race.
By Maria T. Lennon
(2013)
(2013)
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Handbook for Dragon Slayers Book Poster Image
Exciting medieval adventure with brave teens and dragons.
By Merrie Haskell
(2013)
(2013)
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Book Poster Image
Magical start of the fantastic boy-wizard series.
By J. K. Rowling
(2005)
(1998)
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The Littlest Bigfoot: The Littlest Bigfoot, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Misfits find common ground, friendship in quirky fantasy.
By Jennifer Weiner
(2016)
(2016)
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Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit Book Poster Image
Action-packed mystery teaches kids detective skills.
By Octavia Spencer
(2013)
(2013)
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Blubber Book Poster Image
Honest novel shows brutality of grade school bullying.
By Judy Blume
(2011)
(1974)
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth Book Poster Image
Greg faces puberty's horrors in funny 5th installment.
By Jeff Kinney
(2010)
(2010)
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Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. Book Poster Image
Classic coming-of-age story rings true decades later.
By Judy Blume
(2003)
(1970)
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Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith Book Poster Image
Inspiring autobiography by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
By Gabrielle Douglas, Michelle Burford
(2013)
(2012)
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Fairest Book Poster Image
Handmaid to queen discovers true beauty in charming fantasy.
By Gail Carson Levine
(2006)
(2006)
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Out of My Mind Book Poster Image
Moving story of smart disabled girl overcoming challenges.
By Sharon M. Draper
(2013)
(2010)
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Princess Academy Book Poster Image
Would-be princesses show grit, wisdom in empowering tale.
By Shannon Hale
(2007)
(2006)
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The Wide-Awake Princess, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Offbeat princess tale values girls with skills over looks.
By E.D. Baker
(2013)
(2012)
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Foiled Book Poster Image
Girl fencer fights monsters in clever fantasy graphic novel.
By Jane Yolen
(2011)
(2010)
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Uglies: Uglies Quartet, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Thoughtful sci-fi about the price of beauty.
By Scott Westerfeld
(2006)
(2006)
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Wonder Book Poster Image
Moving tale of facially different boy with inner beauty.
By R.J. Palacio
(2012)
(2012)
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The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Plus-size princess turns leader in spiritually tinged tale.
By Rae Carson
(2011)
(2011)
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Girling Up:  How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular Book Poster Image
Lots of knowledge and positivity in girl-power advice book.
By Mayim Bialik
(2017)
(2017)
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In Real Life Book Poster Image
Fun graphic novel about gamers makes strong political point.
By Cory Doctorow
(2014)
(2014)
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Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina Book Poster Image
Ballerina's frank, inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.
By Michaela DePrince
(2015)
(2014)
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The Belles Book Poster Image
Richly imagined dark fantasy explores the price of beauty.
By Dhonielle Clayton
(2018)
(2018)
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Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance Book Poster Image
Uplifting memoir of teen Olympic medalist, ex-foster kid.
By Simone Biles, Michelle Burford
(2017)
(2016)
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Starfish Book Poster Image
Biracial teen learns to love herself in heartbreaking novel.
By Akemi Dawn Bowman
(2018)
(2017)
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Dumplin' Book Poster Image
Smart, funny, plus-size coming-of-age story.
By Julie Murphy
(2015)
(2015)
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Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story Book Poster Image
Gay teen's coming out becomes a musical in fun, campy novel.
By David Levithan
(2015)
(2015)
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Holding Up the Universe Book Poster Image
Insightful, inspiring romance full of surprises.
By Jennifer Niven
(2016)
(2016)
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Only Ever Yours Book Poster Image
Disturbing, riveting dystopian novel skewers beauty values.
By Louise O'Neill
(2015)
(2015)
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The Upside of Unrequited Book Poster Image
A sweet and funny story about finally finding first love.
By Becky Albertalli
(2017)
(2017)
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