Books for Little kids and Teens
Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow
In these challenging times, we truly believe it is easier to cope with uncertainty when we decide to seek courage and let hope to become our guiding light. What better way to give children hope than through Stories! These hopeful books through stories, imbibe lessons, and coping strategies that will stay with them as they grow up, facing the challenges that life throws at them. Today, we have come with these great recommendations of books for kids and teens to nurture hope and strength in them.
Children believe in living in the moment and it’s hard for them to imagine a life beyond isolation given the current situation. At this point, it is our duty to nurture hope in kids, while also inspiring them to make that hopeful world a reality. From ancient times, stories can have a huge impact on kids and books are considered a prized possession. These books for little kids and teens are definitely worth a read to bring in lots of positivity and strength.
During these times of isolation, we shared some really easy indoor activities for kids too. These activities are sure shot energy busters while they can have loads of fun.
Kahani Tree recommends a few of their favourite picks for your children, to inspire hope, courage, and resilience, and offer you some Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow. 24 books for little kids and teens to nurture hope ans strength.
Early Readers (3 – 5 years)
Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees | Hachette Books
A sweet story about a little penguin who overcomes his fear of swimming. Using rhyme, this board book effectively portrays that we all feel small and scared, but that the real courage is to overcome it with strength and hope.
Martin Waddell & Patrick Benson | Walker Books
Three little owlets wake up one night in their home in a tree to find that their mother has gone away. A tender tale that reassures young children, especially ones with separation anxiety, that Mummy always comes back.
Kamla Bhasin & Bindia Thapar | Tulika Books
A gentle book about a courageous and daring little polar bear Malu, growing up in the North Pole. When she gets separated from her mother, her way back home is full of obstacles. Will she find her way back to her mother?
Ed Vere | Puffin Books
Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a duck, have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes. An empowering tale about choosing kindness over bullying, this book subtly conveys to children that angry and hurtful words can be overcome by empathy and inner courage.
Annie Besant & Rayika Sen | Karadi Tales
What could be stranger than a dragon’s toothache? A motley crew comes to the rescue of the dragon in pain, led by a little girl. Does she find the courage to fix the dragon’s toot?
Sandhya Rao & Ashok Rajagopalan| Tulika Books
Sunu-sunu the snail is playing in the garden with his friends, the ants. When a sudden storm approaches, can he ‘hurry’ home to his mother? This delightful and evocative picture book offers a snail’s-eye view of the storm in his world – the garden.
Growing Readers (5 – 8 years)
Aaron Becker | Walker Books
A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, an act of tremendous courage and kindness sets her free. In this stunning wordless picture book series, find out if her journey will lead her home.
Malala Yousafzai & Kerascoët | Puffin Books
As a child in Pakistan, Malala wished for a magic pencil to make everyone happy. But as she grew older, Malala saw a world that needed fixing and realised that she could work hard to make her wishes come true even without the magic pencil. Beautifully illustrated, this book shows a younger audience how Malala held on to hope even in the most difficult of times.
Bhajju Shyam & Gita Wolf | Tara Books
This book is about Musa, a young Indian boy, and his frightening foray into the dark forest to fetch firewood after his mother falls sick. This exquisite piece of storytelling speaks both to our crippling fear of the unfamiliar and our ability to transcend it and emerge somehow enriched by that experience.
Richa Jha & Sumanta Dey | Pickle Yolk Books
A poignant story about a kind little boy Gopu, who must brave the odds through the streets of Calcutta to bring his sick father a special gift. This award-winning book brings the busy city of Calcutta to life through Gopu’s experience.
Aparna Karthikeyan & Somesh Kumar | Pratham Books
All Kali wants to do is dance. But in his village, boys do not dance, especially not Bharatanatyam. Will he succeed in pursuing his dreams? Based on true experiences, an inspiring story about believing in your aspirations.
Meera Nair | Penguin Books
‘Petrified’, ‘scared’ and ‘terrified’ are the words that best describe Maya. To add to her misery, her father tells her that a tiger has escaped from the zoo in their town. The same day, she is left alone with her baby sister and her parents get lost. Will little Maya face her fears and find a solution?
Confident Readers (8 – 12 years)
Shruthi Rao | Duckbill Books
Manya is sure she’ll be a superb Shere Khan in her school play, but not everyone agrees. An uplifting chapter book about a spirited protagonist who doesn’t let her stammer get in the way of her dreams. Manya has a wonderful attitude and addresses the bully using her strengths of imagination and a sense of humor.
Onjali Q. Rauf | Hachette Books
Everything changes for a group of nine year olds when they try to befriend the shy new boy in their class. As they find out later, Ahmet is a Syrian refugee with heart-breaking experiences.
A warm and thought-provoking story told through the eyes of a child, this book explains difficult issues and shows us how the young can often see the world in better ways.
Bijal Vaccharajani | Talking Cub
When Amni wakes up one morning to find the sky taken over by a huge brown cloud, it’s up to her friends to come to Mumbai’s rescue — from the clueless groan-ups, and the dangerous Bhura cloud.
A moving book about the havoc caused by the changing global climate, as well as the forces of friendship, trust, and community that provide hope and answers.
Bali Rai | Scholastic
Narrated by Private Fazal Khan, a young Muslim soldier of the Indian Army Service Corps, this is a moving and insightful account of a key event in the Second World War. Fazal’s romantic views of duty, loyalty and honour are challenged when he experiences the harsh realities of fighting a war in defence of a kingdom that does not see him as equal.
Subhadra Sen Gupta, Deepa Agarwal | Talking Cub
This fictional diary series recreates the drama of ambition, intrigue and loyalty that marked different historical empires, each at the height of its glory. A fascinating blend of history and fiction, this captivating series brings alive bygone ages for confident readers. The strong, compelling women protagonists from the past reflect the inner courage and strength of the era.
Lavanya Karthik | Duckbill Books
A fed-up little boy Deepu and his backflipping ninja-powered granny must save the day from nefarious villains. The Ninja Nani books make for entertaining and fun-filled reads for middle-readers. Hilarious and fast-paced, this blend of graphic novel and chapter book works well for confident readers and tackles bravery in a breezy, simple, and fun way for kids.
Alex Gino | Scholastic
This heartwarming middle grade novel follows Melissa, a fourth grader who was born a boy, George, but knows in her heart that she is a girl. When the teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web, Melissa really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. Will taking the role to force her to reveal more about her true self than she is ready to share? A sensitive and hopeful read about being true to oneself.
Young Adult (12+ years)
Harsh Mander | Duckbill Books
Invisible People: Stories of Courage and Hope is an homage to ordinary people with extraordinary courage. It is as much a celebration of their undefeated spirit, as it is a tale of their struggle and suffering.
Siddhartha Sarma | Duckbill Books
Korok lives in a small Gond village in western Odisha, tending to a little garden every day. One day, the government tells the Gonds they must leave the village because a company intends to mine the sacred hill next to it for aluminium ore. What can a lone gardener and a girl with a sketchbook do against the most powerful people in the land? An insightful and poignant story of resistance about one’s power to change and challenge the institutions around them.
Rukhsana Khan | Duckbill Books
Jameela lives with her mother and father in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that there is no school in their poor, war-torn village, and Jameela lives with a birth defect that has left her with a cleft lip, she feels relatively secure, sustained by her faith and the strength of her beloved mother, Mor. Throughout it all, it is the memory of Mor that anchors her and in the end, gives Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them into her life again.
Shilpa Raj | Rupa
Shilpa is torn between the contrasting lives she leads: one of servitude and injustice experienced by her family; the other of opportunity and empowerment offered by a good education in a school started by a philanthropist. At its heart, The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter is about hope when all seems lost. Written with raw honesty and grit, this is a deeply moving memoir of a young girl confronting her ‘untouchable’ status in a caste-based society, and her aspirations for modernity.
Angie Thomas | Walker Books
Sixteen-year-old Starr’s life turns upside down when she witnesses the wrongful murder of her best friend Khalil by a police officer. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this powerful book will speak to marginalised youth about the importance of their voice. Starr Carter feels like her voice does not matter, but through courage, the support of her loved ones, and ultimately, inner strength, she realises how crucial it is to speak up for justice, no matter how terrifying the consequences may seem.
Kahani Tree is a tiny, independent children’s bookstore based in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. We carry a curated range of diverse and multicultural books for children, as well as international and award-winning titles. We are passionate about raising readers, and host
book events for children on Saturdays in our store space, which include author interactions and storytelling sessions. We also conduct workshops for parents, educators, librarians and others working with children.
At Kahani Tree, we believe that stories are magical and that a love for books and reading is the best gift one can give a child!