You want to teach your kids purpose & meaning? Put these 15 books on your bookshelf.
Create the environment & they will come to discover and to develop in their own time.
Prepare the environment and allow for liberty within the environment. My husband and I lie and breathe that fact of life, including with the books on our shelf. Helping our sons find a sense of purpose in meaning in life is our main priority as parents.
Most of the books in this list below are not children's' books. However, the ideas and concepts can certainly be introduced to a child. The idea is to curate a bookshelf of books that teach your kids about the world and what it means to exist within it. The hope is to pique curiosity and to garner questions about the world.
These books you will want to read multiple times at multiple points during life to present various relevant lessons about cultivating discipline and finding meaning.
Teach Kids Purpose & Meaning with these Books
#1 – A Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Lesson: To find meaning in life is to find a purpose.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
#2 – The Way of a Warrior Kid by Jocko Willink
Lesson: Hard work & grit will get you results
“Discipline equals freedom.”
#3 – Pinnochio by Carlo Collodi
Lesson: Always let your conscience be your guide.
“A conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to.”
#4 – There's No Such Thing as A Dragon by Jack Kent
Lesson: Don't ignore problems.
“The Dragon came close to Billy, in a friendly manner, and wagged its tail. But Billy didn't pat it. If there's no such thing as something, it's silly to pat it on the head.”
#5 – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Lesson: Resourcefulness & Individuality
“Well, everybody does it that way, Huck.”
“Tom, I am not everybody.”
#6 – Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Lesson: Avoid the cult of personality.
“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
#7 – Crime And Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Lesson: Human nature is capable of many things.
“To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.”
#8 – Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Lesson: Happiness cannot be manufactured or cultivated based on logical principals.
“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”
#9 – 1984 – George Orwell
Lesson: The dangers of power
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
#10 – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Lesson: Fear is the biggest obstacle.
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
#11 – The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
Lesson: A focus on the little things will get you to your goal.
“Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.”
#12 – Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell To Arms
Lesson: Accept that suffering is part of being.
“Cowards die a thousand deaths, but the brave only die once.”
#13 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Lesson: The relationship between good and evil.
“People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.”
#14 – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Lesson: Embrace your uniqueness.
“Experiment is the mother of knowledge.”
#15 – 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
Lesson: How to be responsible and how to be and do good.
“Aristotle defined the virtues simply as the ways of behaving that are most conducive to happiness in life.”
Check out the best documentaries for kids for more awesome learning at home!
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