SEL Books Momentous Staff Read with Their Kids

Staff recommended, kid approved. Take a look at several different Social Emotional Learning (SEL) books that our Momentous Staff members have read with their own kids. 

By Momentous Institute | Jun 15, 2022
Sel Books 1

We’re not just teachers, therapists, mental health and education consultants, trainers and researchers… many of us are parents as well! We asked around to our staff members with kids to see what social emotional-related books they’re reading at home, and here are a few responses. 

Jennifer Hartmann, Social Emotional Learning Specialist, child age 15

I have a few books that my son and I read together when he was in middle school. He really liked them, and it led to great conversations about integrity, perseverance, and the power of communication/ voice. He likes more serious themes, so I leaned into that, and we had wonderful conversations. He also really like survival books where the character would have challenges and would have to overcome them.

Here are three I recommend:

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Out of my Mind by Sharon M Draper

Sel Books 3

Rico Truss, Momentous School PE Teacher, child age 10 months

We love The Color Monster by Anna Llenas.

I have always appreciated the personification of emotions; it truly helps people-- adults and children alike-- get more comfortable with facing and processing the more difficult moments in life; there are also pop-up figures and a page to interact with. This book isn't quite like the Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out, but it is another tool to help young people grow familiar with emotional content.

Sel Books 2

Brooke FedroSr. Director of Marketing and Communications, kids ages 9 and 11

We like A Kids Book About Anxiety by Ross Szabo.

It was a great way to talk to my young children about what anxiety is, normalize anxiety, and learn how to identify and manage anxiety. 

Ivette Lampl, Huddle Up Manager, children age 12 and 14

Here are a few of our family favorites. We read together, we laughed together, we cried together, we hugged. They are very well written stories.

When he was around 9 or 10, my son and I read the books: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba, Wish by Barbara O'Connor, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo and The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. I say we because, the reading was a shared experience in which we read out loud before bedtime. It was helpful to read these books together as it allowed for us to process our emotions together and when the story got sad it was ok to cry because we had each other.

We read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway when he was around 13.

When my daughter was 10, the graphic novel, The White Bird by R.J. Palacio, was one of her favorites. This book is a good example of the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. 

Sel Books 4

Maureen Fernandez, Content Director, children ages 5, 7 and 9

My kids love Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, a true story about a woman who loses her legs and the service dog who helps her. It has led to great conversations about perseverance and grit.

We read Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes whenever someone is feeling nervous or anxious about something new. It’s a great read for the start of the school year!

And we love the simple depiction of kindness and compassion in A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead about how friends show up to help each other when someone needs it.

My oldest child likes the I Survived... books by Lauren Tarshis (both novels and graphic novels). We’ve had really interesting and hard conversations about past events, such as September 11. Reading them together and discussing has helped with perspective taking and empathy building. 

Sel Books 5