1. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss


Of course this iconic book by Dr. Seuss has to be number one on the list. Published in 1990, this book talks about the journey of life and its challenges. Parents have been giving this book to their kids for years now and it’s no mystery why. The main character, a little boy, referred to as you and “the Narrator,” tells you that your life will be great. It is perhaps best known for the line, “Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98 and three-fourths percent guaranteed.)” This book takes you through the ups and downs, inspires and gives you a look at what is normal for most people as they navigate through new stages in life. Get it for $17.09.

2. “Only One You” by Linda Kranz


This book is great for new kids, weddings and really great for graduating students too because it’s about two loving (rockfish) parents sharing their wisdom and reminding their son that as he goes throughout the world there is only one him and he must strive to make the world a better place. This book is beautifully illustrated and full of color! Get it for $10.10.

3. “Walk on! A guide for babies of all ages” by Marla Frazlee


This book, although focused on babies, can really be a pick me up for people of all ages, especially those of us starting this chapter of our lives by ourselves. The book includes inspiring quotes like this that are more applicable to adults than they are infants: "Is sitting there on your bottom getting boring? Has lying around all the time become entirely unacceptable? (A chair is good to pull up on; a potted cactus is not.) Feel the sway, but don't let it tip you over. It's okay to cry after the first fall; then check to see if your diaper is weighing you down [...]. Fix whatever you can before you start over.” Get it for $12.61.

4. “Yay, you! Moving Up and Moving On” by Sandra Boynton


This book is perfect not only for graduates, but anyone starting a new chapter in their life. The author, Sandra Boynton, actually wrote this book for her own son’s graduation. Short and full of lots of pictures, it makes a great gift. It’s all about supporting your loved one as they move into the next chapter of their life. Get it for $10.56.

5. “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper


Does this one really need explaining? Get it for $8.99 here

6. “Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg


This book is one I wish that I would’ve had growing up because its lesson is one that is perfect for graduates: it’s okay to make mistakes, screw up or accidentally color outside the lines! This book is filled with pop-ups, lift-up-the-flaps, tears, holes, smudges and even “an accordion telescope.” This books shows you that you can turn the “mistakes” of life into great things, like smudges into bunny faces! Get it here. 

7. “I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations” by Connie Bowen


This book is simple and straight to the point. “I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations” is a gorgeously illustrated book with 27 simple, yet needed affirmations that every grad could use. Examples of these affirmations include: “I am wonderfully creative,” “I am powerful,” “I am free to be me” and “I am whole and perfect just the way I am.” And if those affirmations weren’t quite just the ones you were looking for, there are a couple blank pages at the back of the book to write your own! Get this book here. 

8. “An Awesome Book!” by Dallas Clayton


Self-published author Dallas Clayton wrote this book for his son to remind him the importance of dreams. This book is brightly colored, has cute illustrations and a Dr. Seuss-like essence. While seeming to be about dreams we have at night, high school graduates can also take from it the lesson to not let anyone tell you that your dream, desired career or lifestyle choice is too big, crazy or wrong. Get this Awesome Book here!

9. “Courage” by Bernard Waber


This book is great for people of all ages — children, graduates, adults and is also really good for people with anxiety. This book talks about what courage is exactly, saying that of course it takes courage for a fireman to rush into fires and save people, but it isn’t the only kind of courage out there. Waber talks about how there are different kinds of courage that we all show on a daily basis, things like “being the first to make up after an argument” or “going to bed without a nightlight.” The first thing that popped into my head was the courage that all freshmen take, by moving out and starting this new chapter in their lives. Get this book for less than $10 here

10. “Reach for the Stars: and Other Advice for Life’s Journey” by Serge Bloch


The cover alone is enough of a reason for me to get this book. But in case you need a better reason here is a good one: this book is a great way to congratulate anyone who is celebrating a milestone — not just graduating high school. In the book, a little boy and his dog, Roger, are returning characters from Bloch’s previous book “Butterflies in My Stomach.” The two head out on a journey and, as expected, face many obstacles. The boy and his dog realize through their journey that there is no better time than now to “reach for the stars and shoot for the moon.” Get this book here. 

Lead Image Credit: Brent Wagner

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