From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Courage

Life’s greatest challenges require bravery and persistence.

Feb 09, 2022



From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Courage

Feb 09, 2022

Having courage means being brave to try new things, confront the difficult things, and stand up for yourself and your values. A courageous person believes their efforts to be worthwhile — and the potential reward of their efforts to be greater than making no effort at all

As a parent, you have the opportunity to talk to your child about courage through the characters in the books they read.

For its 100th anniversary, Scholastic spoke with experts to identify a set of tips, articles, and books that make starting a conversation with your child about courage easier. These resources are part of a broader initiative, called the Scholastic Bookshelf, created for Instagram to raise awareness around contemporary issues affecting children today.

Check out the following articles and books for young readers, which are sure to inspire and motivate your child to pursue their ambitions.

For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter! 

Inspire Beginner Readers:

In “Malala the Powerful,” from Scholastic Action magazine, readers meet Malala Yousafzai, who fought for her right to an education in a Taliban-controlled city in Pakistan, where women and girls are prohibited from going to school and doing any work outside of the home. One day while she was waiting for a school bus to go home, Yousafzai, 15, suffered an attack on her life by the Taliban for her outspokenness. The incident garnered worldwide attention, and Yousafzai went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of human and civil liberties.

Based in New York City, Alexandria Villaseñor also channels a courageous spirit in her mission to raise awareness for climate change. "Can These Kids Save the Planet?”, from Scholastic Action magazine, highlights the weekly school strikes co-opted by Villaseñor and other students around the U.S. after 15-year-old activist Greta Thunberg started the trend in Sweden. When skipping classes proved not enough to bring attention to her cause, Villaseñor rallied her peers on Twitter — and co-founded what we know as the March 15 U.S. Youth Climate Strike, which saw thousands of students nationwide march in support of government action.

Inspire Advanced Readers:

Several best-selling fiction series feature courageous characters your child can conquer challenges with vicariously. 

In Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series, readers meet Emily, a fearless girl on a mission to fight evil with the help of a powerful talisman. This #1 New York Times best-selling series comes in graphic novel format, which educators and parents agree can be particularly engaging for reluctant readers

Many readers are familiar with the Harry Potter series and this famous wizard's time at the prestigious Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is a reminder of the bravery and resilience Harry possesses to move past losses while still honoring his ambitions.

Meanwhile, New York Times best-seller Allies offers a fictionalized account of D-Day through the eyes of Dee, a shaken young U.S. soldier on a boat racing toward the coast of France. But he’s not alone: Behind enemy lines is Samira, a spy; in the sky, paratrooper James; and in the thick of battle, medic Henry. All are in a race against time to complete their missions. It’s a thrilling read that shows readers the courage it takes to be victorious.

Be sure to visit the Scholastic Bookshelf for more resources on courage. If you’re planning to talk with your child about other complex topics and seek tips or book recommendations, visit our Tough Topics hub. You’ll find a wealth of advice from Scholastic editors to help you navigate challenging conversations thoughtfully.

Related topics include:

Raise a Reader Blog
Age 13
Age 10
Age 12
Age 11
Age 9
Age 8
Courage, Bravery, Heroism