In honor of Independence Day, here are some stories for kids about being independent. Whether it’s trying new things, overcoming anxieties, or making new friends, these stories can help your child strike out on their own.

Too Shy To Say Hi by Shannon Anderson

Shelli used to be content in her little world, thinking that her pet friends with feathers, fins, and fur were enough. But now, Shelli is determined to try to make friends with kids at school. Readers will relate as Shelli takes brave steps toward breaking out of her shell.

Making friends can be tough, but this rhyming picture book will help navigate difficulties of shyness and social anxiety.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Elizabeth McCallum, PhD, with more information about shyness and social anxiety.

“Nakata’s wispy, light brush strokes match the emotional impact of Shelli’s uncertainty, shimmering and delicate across the page… Echoes the inner thoughts some anxious children may have, hopefully making them feel less alone.” —Kirkus Reviews

Hear Too Shy to Say Hi read aloud here.

The Not-So-Scary Dog by Alanna Probst, MD

Tommy’s fear of dogs is keeping him away from the birthday party of the year, so he and his mom hatch a step-by-step plan to overcome his fear in time for the party. This is a lighthearted, straightforward introduction to the concept of exposure therapy for kids dealing with phobias. 

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers about how to support kids working through exposure therapy. Read an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers here.

Hear The Not So Scary Dog read aloud here.

Baby Blue by Judi Abbot
Baby Blue lives in a blue world—everything is blue, from the trees, to the flowers, to the animals. When he accidentally tears a hole and a strange light pours in, he can see someone that isn’t blue—another little person like him, only they are yellow. Scared but curious, he overcomes his fear and introduces himself to Baby Yellow.

With his new friend, he realizes that the world is full of new and wonderful things to discover. This sweet story encourages children to conquer their fear of the unknown and take a chance on new and different things.

Hear Baby Blue read aloud here.

Read an interview with Judi Abbot about creating Baby Blue here.

Find Your Fierce by Jacqueline Sperling, PhD

Teens will become their bravest and fiercest selves and overcome social anxiety disorder with this helpful, upbeat book written by an expert in the field.

Social anxiety is tough, but teens don’t have to figure it out alone. This empowering book will walk them through strategies that work. From practicing mindfulness to relaxing their bodies, readers can train their brains to help them gradually get back to doing more of what they love to do. These tools will help teens manage anxiety in the future and keep it from managing them.

This book uses evidence-based skills from cognitive behavioral therapy to give teens a toolkit to help kids overcome their anxiety and move toward becoming their bravest, fiercest selves.

See some sample pages from Find Your Fierce here.

This book will be released on September 07, 2021. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives. Preorder now!

I Don’t Want To Go To School! By Alberto Pellai, MD, PhD and Barbara Tamborini

Going to school can be a really big deal to a little kid. New routine, new friends, new places, and new faces can be a lot to handle at first! It’s hard for kids to handle that transition and see that school might be fun and that their parent will always come back.

Includes a Reader’s Note to further explain this common behavioral and emotional stage of childhood. Read an excerpt from the Reader’s Note here.

I Don’t Want to Go to School! Is part of The Big Little Talks series of fun stories that ease transitions and boost confidence.

You Are Your Strong by Danielle Dufayet, PhD

Soothing and empowering, You Are Your Strong reassures kids that they can handle big emotions and highlights the benefit of developing inner strength and confidence in oneself.

With diverse characters and scenes featuring a range of different family relationships — from parents, to grandparents, to an older sister in the military — this book shows kids that they will have help along the way to being strong and in control.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, with advice for building skills to navigate and cope with big emotions.

Hear You Are Your Strong read aloud here.

“A great book for helping children (and adults!) understand that they hold the strength they need.”  —Katie Reviews Books

Check out more books on fears and anxieties, friendship, life skills, resilience, self esteem and confidence here.