20 Books to Teach Kids About the Importance of Names

  1. “The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi: This book explores the importance of one’s own name and the value of embracing cultural differences.
  1. “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes: Chrysanthemum learns to love her unique name, despite facing teasing from her classmates.
  1. “Auggie & Me” by R.J. Palacio: This collection of short stories includes “Shingaling,” which delves into the significance of names and identity.
  1. “My Name Is Maria Isabel” by Alma Flor Ada: Maria Isabel takes pride in her name and fights for her right to be called by her given name in school.
  1. “The Name of this Book Is Secret” by Pseudonymous Bosch: This adventure-filled story follows Cass and Max-Ernest as they uncover the secret of the mysterious Symphony of Smells.
  1. “Thunder Boy Jr.” by Sherman Alexie: Thunder Boy Jr. wants a name of his own that celebrates his uniqueness and proves he is more than just “Little Thunder.”
  1. “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper: The classic tale teaches children the importance of determination and believing in themselves, regardless of their size or name.
  1. “Alfie’s Search for Destiny” by David Hardy: Alfie embarks on a quest to discover the true meaning behind his name and what his purpose in life may be.
  1. “The Whispering Town” by Jennifer Elvgren: In this historical fiction, a Danish family helps protect their Jewish neighbors during World War II, highlighting the power of names and identity.
  1. “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine: Although not directly about names, this influential pamphlet emphasizes the significance of individuality and the right to be called by one’s chosen name.
  1. “The Boy Who Lost His Name” by Oliver Jeffers: A boy embarks on a magical adventure to find his missing name, learning valuable lessons along the way.
  1. “The Honest Woodcutter” by Aesop: This fable tells the story of a woodcutter who learns the importance of honesty and the consequences of lying.
  1. “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola: Strega Nona introduces readers to the magical world of pasta-making, where names play a significant role.
  1. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak: Max, the main character, learns the power of imagination and the importance of his own name.
  1. “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” by Salman Rushdie: Haroun embarks on a whimsical journey to restore his father’s storytelling abilities, realizing the importance of the stories we share and the names we give them.
  1. “The Birthday Fish” by Dan Yaccarino: When a boy receives a fish for his birthday, he learns the responsibility of caring for another living being and gives it a special name.
  1. “El Deafo” by Cece Bell: This graphic novel memoir follows Cece as she navigates school and friendship while wearing a hearing aid, teaching children about inclusion and the importance of acceptance.
  1. “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown: A mother bunny reassures her little bunny that no matter where he goes or what he becomes, she will always love him, regardless of his name.
  1. “My Name Is Not Isabella” by Jennifer Fosberry: Isabella imagines herself as influential women throughout history and learns the power of her own name and identity.
  1. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl: Matilda, a gifted young girl, realizes the strength within herself and embraces her intelligence, proving that one’s name does not define their potential.

These books provide valuable lessons about the importance of names and identity, encouraging children to embrace their own uniqueness and respect the diversity in others.

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