Last modified: 31 May 2017

To students at Berlin Cosmopolitan School, confidence means feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices. (Ellwood 199).

Below are a selection of books that demonstrate confidence. Some may already be located in your classroom collections, otherwise you will find a link to the record in our catalog showing the location inside the library.


Mulder, Michelle. After Peaches. Orca Young Readers. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 2009. Print.

Rosario and her parents come to Canada as political refugees from Mexico. Rosario hates her heavily accented English, but she breaks the language barrier to save a migrant worker’s life.

Hoffman, Mary, and Caroline Binch. Amazing Grace. Frances Lincoln, 1991. Print.

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Sperry, Armstrong. Call It Courage. 1st Aladdin paperback ed. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1991. Print.

Relates how Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, overcomes his terrible fear of the sea and proves his courage to himself and his people.

Murphy, Jim, and Mark Alan Weatherby. The Call of the Wolves. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1989. Print.

A young arctic wolf has a harrowing adventure trying to find his way back to the pack after being separated from them during a caribou hunt. Also includes a chapter with general information about wolves.

Wallace, Ian. Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance. 1st Meadow Mouse pbk. ed. Toronto: Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, 1992. Print.

From the award-winning illustrator of The Very Last First Time and The Name of the Tree comes the story of a young Chinese boy who has the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of dancing in the New Year’s parade, and almost lets fear ruin everything. Color illustrations throughout.

Ashley, Bernard, and Derek Brazell. Cleversticks. New York: Crown, 1995. Print.

Wishing he had something to be clever at like each of the other children in his class, Ling Sung unexpectedly and happily discovers the others admire his prowess with chopsticks.

James, Simon. Dear Greenpeace. Walker, 1991. Print.

When Emily discovers a whale in the garden pond she begins a correspondence with Greenpeace, but they try to persuade her that Arthur couldn’t fit in her pond.

Turkle, Brinton. Do Not Open. 1st ed. New York: Dutton, 1981. Print.

Following a storm Miss Moody and her cat find an intriguing bottle washed up on the beach. Should they ignore its “Do not open” warning?

Reynolds, Peter H. The Dot. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2003. Print.

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind and she goes on to encourage another student who feels the same as she had.

Fritz, Jean. Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers. Unforgettable Americans. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1994. Print.

Harriet firmly believed that words can make change, and by writing Uncle Tom.

Urban, Linda. Hound Dog True. Boston: Harcourt Children’s Books, 2011. Print.

Mattie, a shy fifth-grader, wants to hide out at her new school by acting as apprentice to her Uncle Potluck, the custodian, but her plan falls apart when she summons the courage to speak about what matters most and finds a true friend.

Crawford, Brittany, Michelle Oakley, and Terri Kruse. I Sit in a Wheelchair : But I Will Be Okay! Durham, Conn.: Eloquent Books, 2010. Print.

Five year old Penny Brown is slightly different from the other boys and girls in her kindergarten class. She must sit in a wheelchair and cannot jump rope or slide down the big slide like all of her classmates, which make her very sad. However, Penny finds support from her friends and family.

Ludwig, Trudy, and Patrice Barton. The Invisible Boy. First edition. ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Print.

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party… until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

D’Adamo, Francesco, and Ann Leonori. Iqbal : A Novel. 1st Aladdin pbk. ed. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2005. Print.

A fictionalized account of the Pakistani child who escaped from bondage in a carpet factory and went on to help liberate other children like him before being gunned down at the age of thirteen.

Lester, Julius, et al. John Henry. First edition. ed. New York: Dial Books, 1994. Print.

Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.

Khan, Rukhsana, and Christiane Kromer. King for a Day. First edition. ed. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc., 2013. Print.

“Even though he is confined to a wheelchair, a Pakistani boy tries to capture the most kites during Basant, the annual spring kite festival, and become “king” for the day. Includes an afterword about the Basant festival”–Provided by publisher.

Williams, Brenda, and Benjamin Lacombe. Lin Yi’s Lantern : A Moon Festival Tale. Paperback edition. ed. Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books, 2012. Print.

When his mother sends him to the market to buy necessities for the upcoming festival, Lin Yi is certain his bargaining skills will get him the best prices and he will have money left over for his coveted red rabbit lantern.

Spinelli, Jerry. Loser. 1st ed. New York: Joanna Cotler Books, 2002. Print.

From the Publisher: Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like “Jabip.” Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn’t know he’s not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff’s differences show that any name can someday become “hero.”

Young, Aedon. Mara Roams. New York, NY: Eloquent Books, 2009. Print.

McCully, Emily Arnold, and G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Mirette on the High Wire. Caldecott. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1992. Print.

Mirette learns tightrope walking from Monsieur Bellini, a guest in her mother’s boarding house, not knowing that he is a celebrated tightrope artist who has withdrawn from performing because of fear.

Recorvits, Helen, and Gabi Swiatkowska. My Name Is Yoon. Yoon. First Square Fish edition. ed. New York: Square Fish, 2014. Print.

Disliking her name as written in English, Korean-born Yoon, or “shining wisdom,” refers to herself as “cat,” “bird,” and “cupcake,” as a way to feel more comfortable in her new school and new country.

Denenberg, Barry. Nelson Mandela : “No Easy Walk to Freedom”. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc., 2014. Print.

Recounts the life, imprisonment, and leadership role of Nelson Mandela.

Watt, Mélanie. Scaredy Squirrel. 1st pbk. ed. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2008. Print.

Scaredy Squirrel is afraid to leave his nut tree because of all the dangers, but one day a bee invades Scaredy’s nest and he leaps into the unknown.

Rubinstein, Gillian, and David Mackintosh. Sharon, Keep Your Hair On. Sydney ; New York: Random House, 1996. Print.

Jason continuously extends his house so it can accommodate his family, his relatives and their assorted pets.

Henkes, Kevin. Sheila Rae, the Brave. 1st ed. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1987. Print.

When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.

Sendak, Maurice, and Harper & Row Publishers. The Sign on Rosie’s Door. New York ; Evanston ; London: Harper & Row, 1960. Print.

When Rosie pretends to be a lovely singer, or a firecracker, or cat, her friends have fun even if they don’t believe her.

Pennypacker, Sara, and Yoko Tanaka. Sparrow Girl. 1st ed. New York: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009. Print.

When China’s leader declares war on sparrows in 1958, everyone makes loud noise in hopes of chasing the hungry birds from their land except for Ming-Li, a young girl whose compassion and foresight prevent a disaster.

Uegaki, Chieri, and Stéphane Jorisch. Suki’s Kimono. Toronto, Ont. ; Tonawanda, N.Y.: Kids Can Press, 2003. Print.

On her first day of first grade, despite the objections of her older sisters, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school because it holds special memories of her grandmother’s visit last summer.

Wisniewski, David. Sundiata : Lion King of Mali. New York: Clarion Books, 1992. Print.

The story of Sundiata, who overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule Mali in the thirteenth century.

Polacco, Patricia, and Philomel Books. Thunder Cake. New York: Philomel Books, 1990. Print.

Grandma finds a way to dispel her grandchild’s fear of thunderstorms.

Keats, Ezra Jack. Whistle for Willie. New York: Viking Press, 1964. Print.

A little boy wishes so much that he could whistle.


Ellwood, Caroline, and Malcolm Davis. International Mindedness : A Professional Development Handbook for International Schools. London: Optimus education, 2009. Print.