Three young children are posed wearing graduation caps

Graduation Books: Eight Titles to Celebrate the Next Chapter

May 22, 2024

Graduation is a transition period – a time to celebrate past accomplishments and set new goals. There are several educational transitions – from kindergarten to high school and beyond. This transition is a time of celebration, with movement forward into the future to embrace exciting adventures ahead. Graduation-themed books are a great way to celebrate past accomplishments, reflecting on how far you have come and how to move forward into the future. These eight books guide and encourage goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, and embracing change.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is a classic graduation book. While often read in the younger years, this story is timeless. It celebrates the journey of life and the endless possibilities that lie ahead, inspiring readers to embrace adventure, overcome obstacles, and seize opportunities as they navigate their paths in the traditional Seuss rhyme.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Children is a book by Sean Covey that adapts the principles from his father’s best-selling book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” for a younger audience. Through engaging stories and illustrations, children reflect on life lessons and habits that can help them become more successful and responsible. The book reviews seven essential habits: being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand, then to be understood, synergizing, and sharpening the saw. Covey explains each habit in a relatable way, with practical examples and activities to help children apply them in their daily lives – at school, at home, and ultimately in a workplace environment. For older children, see The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, also by Sean Covey.

The Questioneers Series includes Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; Ada Twist, Scientist; Sofia Valdez, Future Prez; Aaron Slater, Illustrator; and Lila Greer, Teacher of the Year. These picture books, available in hardback and paperback, inspire children to set goals, believe in themselves, and pursue their passions from a young age.

The Young Change Makers series includes Making a Difference, Dream Chasers, Inspiring Others, Heroic Kids, and Leading the Way. These books are ideal for children and highlight the importance of goal setting and how to move forward to make the goals a reality.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth is a book best for teens and adults. It encourages the reader to use grit—a combination of passion and perseverance—to set goals and learn how to succeed. Using personal examples, the book shares how grit is developed, including through failures, and how to use it to move forward to achieve the new goals set.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck is about the science of success in relationships and the workplace. The book focuses on how our view of self-worth impacts personal success and how to ensure such success. Mindset is an excellent book for high school graduates or adults graduating from certificate or other higher education programs to reflect on their success through goal setting, overcoming obstacles, and self-analysis.

What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles is an excellent choice of book for graduates moving into the workforce. The book provides practical advice and exercises on navigating the workforce—from interviewing and networking to job negotiations. It also recommends pursuing passions, resume building, and career planning tips. Moving from a place of learning to pursuing a job takes a change in thinking, and this book provides an easy-to-understand change in frame of reference.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith is a book for middle to senior management on moving forward, but it is also perfect for those just starting in the workforce. Goldsmith provides a framework to ensure success through self-awareness, accountability, networking, and the goal of improvement. Starting with a successful mindset provides an arrangement for continual growth.

As graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives, it’s essential to recognize the power of books in shaping the lessons learned to move forward. Through the pages of books dedicated to goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, and embracing change, graduates can find inspiration, guidance, and practical strategies for navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Our literacy tips are brought to you by Reader’s Digest Foundation.