Read these excellent books on courage and perseverance

Those who dare to make a difference don’t always succeed the first time. They may never have succeeded in the task they set out to accomplish. But this does not mean that they failed. Much has been gained along the way. Perseverance, hard work and refusal to give up builds a strong character.

You will be amazed at how powerful the role books play in a child’s overall development. Through books, children meet new people, real and imagined. Through books, children are exposed to new ideas and new places and are provided with other means to expand their imaginations. Through books, children learn about others who dared to dream, refuse to give up, and achieve great things in their lives.

We know that children try to imitate their parents. Who said it stops there? Let’s help all children achieve their dreams. Read to your children every day. Doing so will open doors you didn’t know existed before.

Books to borrow

The following book is available in many public libraries.

“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Brian Miller, illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon, Dial, 32 pages

Read aloud: Ages 7 and up.

Read for yourself: from ages 8-9 and up.

As a young boy in Malawi, a country in Africa, William Kamkwamba was very interested in how mechanical things work. Like most people in his small village, his family farmed the land to earn a living. When severe drought stifled life from the land and crops, the people of Malawi began to starve.

14-year-old William was intent on continuing his studies, after he was reduced to one small meal a day and forced to drop out of school. To do this, he visited the library, taught himself English so that he could read books there, and was determined to learn from those books how to build a windmill to eventually deliver electricity and water to his poor village.

Using scraps of scraps to create a windmill, people thought William was crazy. When his hard work, perseverance, and creative wit yielded exactly what he was planning to do, no one called him crazy again.

This true story of young hero William Kamkwaba, his dream and determination to change his world is truly inspiring in every way.

Choosing a librarian

Library: The Village Library, 207 Walnut Street, Morgantown

Librarian: Maria Long

Children’s Librarian: Pam Muhl

Choices This Week: “Without You” by Sarah Weeks; “Indian Captive” by Louis Lenski; “Star Number” Louis Lowry

books to buy

The following books are available in favorite bookstores.

“Forward! Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam” by Claudia Friedel, illustrations by Christopher Sir, Calkins Creek, 2022, 40 pages, $18.99 hardcover

Reading aloud: 7-10 years old.

Read for yourself: 7-10 years old.

Through the wonderful blending of Barton’s own words and those of the author, this fascinating and poignant story recounts Barton’s courage and determination to help soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War.

She knew soldiers were in dire need of medical supplies, nursing, and food, and she risked her life over and over again in the midst of fierce battles to make sure these soldiers got what they needed. But Barton didn’t stop there, as she also offered much-needed sympathy to every soldier she met.

Stunning illustrations provide the perfect complement to this inspiring story of courage and determination.

“Dressing the Stars: The Story of Film Fashion Designer Edith Head” by Jane Walker Harvey, illustrations by Diana Toledano, a fascinating look at a brave woman. (Courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

“Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head” by Jane Walker Harvey, illustrations by Diana Toledano, Simon & Schuster, 44 pages, 18 hardcover $99

Reading aloud: 3 to 8 years old.

Read for yourself: 7 to 8 years old.

Growing up in the Nevada desert, Edith was a shy girl who felt like she didn’t belong in such a desolate place. Alone, Edith spent hours dressing up her live animal friends. When her family visited the nearest town, four miles away, Edith went door to door and collected scraps of fabric to use in the costumes she made. She also made costumes for her only friend for their plays the two girls performed.

It was then that Edith realized that fashion transformed girls into their characters, and when she was old enough, she would leave the desert behind and go to Hollywood and start her career as a fashion designer.

After much perseverance and determination, shy Edith quietly went daring, finally becoming the first woman to head a major Hollywood film fashion department, sporting some of today’s biggest stars.

A wonderful look for a brave woman this is a top notch choice.

Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature collectively nationally. She can be reached at

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