We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell [ISBN: 978-1580897723] - (Ages 3 - 7) Cherokee words and lettering thread throughout the book and open a door onto a heartfelt expression of thanks and gratitude. Readers also get an intimate glimpse into a Native American culture through colorful, simple pictures of people and daily activities.
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds [ISBN: 978-1419731525] - (Ages 4 - 8) Book 2 in the I Am series by Susan Verde. Verde uses colorful illustrations and a plain but gentle way to describe difficult feelings and how to handle them. Although I Am Peace is aimed at children, adults can find much here to find their own peace.
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh [ISBN: 978-0553351392] - (Ages 18+)
Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn [ISBN-13: 978-0786886548] - (Ages 18+)
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn [ISBN: 978-1401307783] - (Ages 18+)
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and his student, Jon Kabat-Zinn are well-known for writing about Buddhism in clear, accessible language. These three titles - Peace is Every Step, Coming to Our Senses and Wherever You Go, There You Are - introduces the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to Western readers.
Brave Beauty by Lynn Cowell [ISBN: 978-0310763147] This book is great for daily devotional time. It offers encouragement for young people by helping them grow confidently in their faith.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown [ISBN: 978-1592408412] OR
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown [ISBN: 978-1592858491] - (Ages 18+)
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything Brené Brown! If you want to get a feel for her work or aren’t up for reading- there are TED talks and books on audio. The Call to Courage, her lecture special that debuted on Netflix last year, will have you wanting to recommend it to everyone and may even make you shed a tear or two.
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle [ISBN: 9780804189279] – (Adult) What does it mean to be a Christian artist? and What is the relationship between faith and art? Madeleine L’Engle ponders these questions for her own life and opens the door to other artists (and non-artists) to contemplate how faith and art can work beautifully together.
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster [ISBN: 9780060628468] – (Adult) Quaker writer and teacher, Richard J. Foster, looks at the varied forms (21!) of Christian prayer. He introduces three ways (inward, upward, and outward) prayer can be directed and how prayer meets three main human needs (transformation, intimacy, and ministry). While Foster focuses on the Christian tradition, he invites readers to look at the ways humans can use prayer (or a type of mindfulness) to lift oneself out of personal concerns and into a broader way of looking at life and one’s purpose in it.
Self Help/Self Esteem
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae [ISBN: 978-0545392556] - (Ages 4+) Gerald the giraffe doesn’t think he’s a good dancer until he discovers his own song. Little ones learn an important lesson about discovering their own strengths and being themselves.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López [ISBN: 978-0399246531] - (Ages 5 - 8) There will be times when you walk into a room/ and no one there is quite like you.
Woodson and López tell the story about how we all feel, at times, out of place and outside of what’s going on around us. In vivid pictures and lyrical language, they celebrate the courage we show in moving forward anyway and in those who meet us halfway.
Self Help/Self Esteem
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson [ISBN: 978-0374312718] - (Ages 14-18) A necessary and timely memoir that covers a number of topics from toxic masculinity and marginalization to consent and Black joy. It’s important to recognize the battle of living with multiple identifiers that don’t allow you to safely be your true self in a society working against you. So, this is for those wanting to feel seen and for other readers to reflect how they’ve contributed to any of the issues mentioned in order to work towards change.
Self Help/Self Esteem
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg [ISBN: 978-0358003328] - (Ages 18+) Change is easy. Or it can be if you break it down into small actions. Tiny Habits gives you both the science of why tiny habits work and practical examples of how to form those habits.
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazzard [ISBN: 978-1433828546] - (Ages 9+) A direct look at racial injustices, like police brutality, through conversations with families from two different backgrounds with accessible language and supplemental resources for further conversations and research.
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand [ISBN: 978-0711245211] (ages 11+) It provides children and young adults with validation for their experiences and gives them the information and confidence to be able to stand up to those with problematic behaviors, including adults. Not only is it beautifully illustrated, but it also provides activities to do while you’re reading. Overall, it’s a good resource for anyone.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi [ISBN: 978-1568585987] - (Adult)
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi [ISBN: 978-0316453691] - (Ages 12+)
The titles - Stamped from the Beginning and Stamped: Racism, Antiracisim, and You - traces the history of racist ideas in America. Kendi and, in the shorter remix, Reynolds follow the birth, growth, and power of racism in American through the lives of intellectuals - Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.