5 Motivational Books to Read in January - Kumon

5 Motivational Books to Read in January

This is a collection of inspirational stories from the Kumon Recommended Reading List. Kumon affords students the opportunity to persevere by guiding them to bound small hurdles in the step-by-step learning method. These books can bring to life the value of putting in effort to get the greatest rewards.


  1. The Easy-to-Read Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Readers around a 1st grade Level

This is the classic tale of the little engine that wasn’t afraid to attempt towing a stranded train full of toys over the mountain when other engines refused. The vocabulary in this classic children’s title has been adapted for beginning readers.

  1. Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Readers around a 2nd grade level

Loved by many, this light-hearted book teaches perseverance using rhymes and imaginative illustrations.  This fun book’s message of self-determination is best read aloud.

  1. A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert and Anita Lobel

Readers on a 3rd grade level

Although money is scarce after World War II, Anna’s mother is determined to keep a promise to her daughter, exercising conviction and resourcefulness to provide her with a new coat. Teaching lessons of generosity and appreciation, this story shows how even in times of adversity, kindness prevails.

  1. Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman

Readers around a 6th Grade level

This Newbery Medal winning author and professional magician penned a biography of the master of magic, Harry Houdini, which includes never seen before photographs. Challenging what was believed to be impossible, Houdini crafted illusions mixed with feats of endurance to show we can defy perceived limitations in life.

  1. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Readers on an 8th Grade Level

This autobiography is an inspirational story of a remarkable woman at the turn of the 20th Century who overcame nearly lifelong deafness and blindness with the help of a skilled teacher. This touching memoir shows the courage, resilience, and resolve of the human spirit.