20 Classroom Books for Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions

With many of us making New Year's resolutions, now is the perfect time to talk to your students about goal setting. These fun, inspiring titles promote goal setting and perseverance, while some even provide helpful tips for setting common resolutions!

Here are 20 great books for goal setting to add to your classroom library.

1. My Mindful A To Zen: 26 Wellbeing Haiku For Happy Little Minds
by Krina Patel-Sage

My Mindful A To Zen cover image

Interest level: P-1
This haiku poetry book is the perfect way to introduce mindfulness to children. If your students are setting yearly goals such as practicing gratitude or being more positive, they will benefit from learning about concepts like Om, Yoga and Zen.


2. Astro Girl
by Ken Wilson-Max

Astro Girl cover image

Interest level: K-3
Astrid has always loved the stars. She pretends to be an astronaut like her Mama and performs cookie science experiments. Astro Girl is a great story for early readers who want to practice creativity, get better at science or learn more about a potential career.


3. I Will Be Fierce!
by Bea Birdsong

I Will Be Fierce cover image

Interest level: P-2
I Will Be Fierce teaches students how to be brave, confident and kind while appreciating the little things around them. It’s a relevant title for kids who want to be more courageous, self-assured or compassionate in the new year.


4. Big Breath: A Guided Meditation For Kids
by William Meyer

Big Breath cover image

Interest level: K-4
This book shows children how to self-soothe in stressful moments. It is a gentle lesson in staying calm and the basics of meditating. This title is great for students who want to feel more in control of their big feelings.


5. The Herd Boy
by Niki Daly

The Herd Boy cover image

Interest level: 1-5
Malusi is a herd boy who protects his grandfather’s sheep and goats. This is a big job for a small boy, but it leads to character-building challenges! The Herd Boy is a story about achieving greatness for students who want to grow their leadership skills this year.


6. Experience Mindfulness: How Quiet Time Makes You Feel
by Jean C. Lawler

Experience Mindfulness cover image

Interest level: 2-4
Many students struggle with staying present in the current moment and making the right decisions to reach their goals. This book supports readers in becoming more self-aware and mindful.


7. Milo Moss Is Officially Un-Amazing
by Lauren Allbright

Milo Moss Is Officially Un-Amazing cover image

Interest level: 3-7
Twelve-year-old Milo Moss has been on a mission to break a Guinness World Record. When his latest attempt is unsuccessful, Milo and his family feel discouraged. Regardless of your students’ resolutions, this book teaches readers there are more important things than winning, and that it’s okay to reevaluate goals.


8. On These Magic Shores
by Yamile Saied Mendez

On These Magic Shores cover image

Interest level: 3-7
Ambitious twelve-year-old Minerva Soledad Miranda often watches her siblings while her mother works. But when Minerva’s mom doesn’t return, what will she do? On These Magic Shores is a relatable story for precocious kids who want to learn to better balance their responsibilities. It deals with themes of justice, secrecy and when to ask for help from trusted adults.


9. Zion Unmatched
by Zion Clark and James S. Hirsch

Zion Unmatched cover image

Interest level: 3-7
Paralympic athlete Zion Clark is the ideal role model for athletes and anyone dealing with adversity. His autobiography, co-written by New York Times best-selling journalist James S. Hirsch, shares advice for getting motivated and achieving excellence.


10. Make Your Own Money: How Kids Can Earn It, Save It, Spend It, And Dream Big With Danny Dollar, The King Of Cha-Ching
by Ty Allan Jackson

Make Your Own Money cover image

Interest level: 3-8
Achieving financial literacy early doesn’t have to be hard! This fun and practical guide will inspire students to make, save and spend money wisely, even if they only have a few pennies to start.


11. Spaceman
by Mike Massimino

Spaceman cover image

Interest level: 4-7
Mike Massimino dreamt of becoming an astronaut since he saw Apollo 11 land on the moon when he was just seven years old. Mike overcame financial and academic setbacks that would have caused many to give up, and finally went to space. Spaceman is a true story for students who want to master perseverance in the new year.


12. Build A Robot!
by Colleen AF Venable and Kathryn Hudson

Build A Robot! cover image

Interest level: 4-8
Science lovers, crafty kids and budding inventors will rejoice when they discover this easy-to-follow instructional guide to constructing six different robots! Students looking to create more amazing projects this year should pick up this book.


13. Breath In, Breath Out: Practicing Movement
by Virginia Loh-Hagen

Breathe In, Breathe Out cover image

Interest level: 4-8
Every book in the Just Breathe series provides readers with tools to practice mindfulness throughout the day. This title focuses on breathing exercises and mindful movement to help better manage thoughts and feelings. This high-interest, lower-level title is a great tool for kids who want to change their thought processes.


14. Reach For The Skai
by Skai Jackson

Reach For The Skai cover image

Interest level: 5-9
Actress, activist and Dancing with the Stars competitor Skai Jackson shares her takeaways from her rise to stardom, including her experience with bullying. This memoir about self-acceptance and empowerment will be helpful for students looking to boost their confidence and stand up for themselves.


15. Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story Of A Rebel Girl On Wheels Who Helped Spark A Revolution
by Judith Heumann and Kirsten Joiner

Rolling Warrior cover image

Interest level: 5-9
Paralyzed from polio and raised by parents who survived the Holocaust, Judy Heumann became passionate about equality at a young age. Judy’s fight for justice started when she was described as a “fire hazard” when trying to attend school and culminated in her leading 150 disabled people in the longest sit-in protest in U.S. history. Rolling Warrior will inspire students of every ability to make the world a more just place for all.

Get it for your classroom!

16. The Impossible First
by Colin O’Brady

The Impossible First cover image

Interest level: 5-12
Student-athletes will gasp reading the incredible story of Colin O’Brady crossing Antarctica. Help your students set lofty goals and push the limits of what’s possible when you share this title.

Get it for your classroom!

17. How To Build A Story…Or, The Big What If
by Frances O’Roark Dowell

How To Build A Story cover image

Interest level: 5-12
Your most passionate writers will be amazed at their progress when they embrace best-selling author Frances O’Roark Dowell’s process for finishing a great story. Readers will love the sample stories and hilarious illustrations.

Get it for your classroom!

18. Tiny Dancer
by Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel

Tiny Dancer cover image

Interest level: 7-12
Siena faced the difficult decision to quit dancing after earning a spot at the School of American Ballet. How did she rediscover who she was outside of ballet? Students will learn a valuable lesson about letting go of old dreams and finding a new one when they read Siena Cherson Siegel’s touching autobiography.

Get it for your classroom!

19. I’ll Be The One
by Lyla Lee

I'll Be The One cover image

Interest level: 8-12
Skye Shin has heard everyone’s opinions about what fat girls “can’t do.” But she is determined to become a K-Pop sensation and break all of society’s rules. I’ll Be The One is a relatable tale for readers struggling against restrictive beauty standards. This book encourages students of every shape and size to chase their goals.

Get it for your classroom!

20. Dragon Hoops
by Gene Luen Yang

Dragon Hoops cover image

Interest level: 9-12
Author Gene Luen Yang reflects on his life as a high school teacher who cares more about comic books than basketball games. Gene realizes quickly that basketball is just as exciting as comic books, and it comes with its own cast of protagonists fighting to achieve their dreams. Dragon Hoops is a great example of how students can set their own goals while respecting the interests of others.


What are some New Year’s resolutions your students are making for 2024? How could books on this list help them succeed?


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