If you’re looking for books to boost your daughter’s confidence and self-esteem I’ve got you covered. Girls today are SO lucky to have access to a diverse range of books to help nurture confidence and self-belief. Where were these books in my day?! Non-fiction books are particularly helpful in providing the perfect tools to spark conversations about your daughter’s talents and unique characteristics. I have read all of these books alongside my girls, which address relevant issues from finding courage to standing up to others, to learning to believe in ourselves, and plenty more.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a great start if you have girls in primary school and beyond. I have chosen a selection of non-fiction books that have central messages about self-worth, resilience and being true to oneself. Here are 10 books to boost your daughter’s confidence and self-esteem.
10 books to boost your daughter’s confidence and self-esteem
1. Girl Stuff 8-12: Your real guide to the pre-teen years by Kaz Cooke
This terrific guide by Kaz Cooke needs to be on every girl’s bookshelf. It covers topics that girls (aged 8 and beyond) need guidance around, including friendships, puberty, and confidence. Girl Stuff is the ideal book for your daughter to reach for when she’s feeling overwhelmed, anxious or uncertain. And it’s a hoot! Kaz’s tone of voice is perfection. She combines humour, insight and comfort.
2. Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This New York Times bestseller is a beautiful love letter for you to share with the special girls in your life. Dear Girl is by far one of the best self-esteem books for kids that is out there today. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens or somewhere in between, this lovely book conveys that girls are strong and valued. Most importantly, it reminds girls to love themselves, know their worth and always trust their gut instincts. A delightful read that deserves to be read over and over again.
3. The Confidence Code for Girls
This book is SO good. It’s easy to read and helps to show our girls how they can grow their resilience muscle. The book aims to help our girls normalise failure, so they have the courage to fly. In their research the authors of this book found that girls’ confidence plummets starting at age 8. This book aims to help keep her confidence strong. The Confidence Code for Girls will help teens and tweens tackle any challenge.
4. Big Life Journal
My 9-year-old daughter was given this book as a present and it is brilliant. Big Life Journal helps children develop strong Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and growth mindset skills through inspiring stories, colourful illustrations, and engaging guided activities. It helps children learn to believe in themselves, face challenges with confidence and see mistakes as opportunities to grow. This book makes a wonderful gift. Suitable for boys and girls aged 7-11.
5. The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
I first discovered Jessica Lahey’s work via a podcast and immediately had to get her book. In The Gift of Failure, Jessica explains how parents can learn to let go so their children can succeed. This is one for parents, but you can share parts of it with your daughter. Lahey lays out the case for allowing kids to fail, and to feel the full emotional brunt of that failure and shows parents how to model and teach resiliency and problem-solving. Individual chapters target particular challenges like homework, report cards, and sports.
6. Girlwise: A Guide to being you by Sharon Witt
Girlwise is a series of books written especially for young girls in the tween market (ages 7-12 years). Often when girls are younger, they need an extra dose of encouragement. Girlwise – A Guide to being you explores the importance of girls being created as unique individuals of great value and worth. In the series there is also A guide to life and A guide to taking care of your body.
7. The Gutsy Girl
The Gutsy Girl is Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg) for young girls, a book about the glorious things that happen when you unshackle from fear and open up to exhilaration. Fully illustrated and enlivened throughout by bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton’s whimsical pen-and-ink drawings.
Why should girls miss out on the joy of adventure? They can jump off rocks, swing on ropes, and climb trees just as well as boys can. But girls often allow fear to stand in their way.
8. Super Sporty Girls
Be Inspired and celebrate Australia’s amazing sportswomen. This is particularly great for your sporty girls, but it also speaks to following your passion and having “grit”. Super Sporty Girls celebrates eighteen Aussie teams and sportswomen who are kicking goals, smashing records and playing with passion. These formidable athletes are inspiring the next generation to get active and be a team player.
9. Good Selfie : Tips and Tools for Teens to Nail Life
Good Selfie contains simple strategies to help kids and teens build self-confidence, get through hard times and go after massive goals. It’s real, straight-talking and funny and its garnering incredible reviews the world over.
Inside this beautifully illustrated book, Turia explores how to: build self-confidence and self-belief, get through hard times, re-frame the way you see your life and your challenges and create a kick-ass support crew. It’s basically a teen’s guide to a resilient mindset.
10. Teen Breathe
Technically a magazine, not a book, but this gorgeous magazine is a gift that keeps on giving. I first bought my daughter a copy of Teen Breathe when she was 10 and she loved it. We then got her a subscription when she turned 11. Not all the content is relevant (such as social media) but if offers loads of inspiring content. Teen Breathe provides tips, fun activities and inspiring ideas to help you explore how paying attention to everything you do, being curious, kind and staying positive can bring out the very best of you. This magazine is aimed for girls aged 9-18 years old.
Special mention must also go to ‘What Stars Are Made Of’, whose main character, Libby, is a brave, bold and resilient young girl with a strong sense of self.
What other books would you add to this list? Does your daughter like to read non-fiction books?
* This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra, but I earn a small commission, which helps me continue to bring you book reviews.