We want our kids to understand how best to treat their neighbor, follow God, and trust Him no matter what. We could explain the facts of why they should, have them memorize the verses, or lecture them on what will happen if they don’t.

Or we could tell them a story.

More often than not, the story will do more to help that child understand and respond to the truth than all the explanation you give. As author Steven James writes, “Humans are rarely interested in truth unless it’s wrapped up in a story.”

Not only are stories the best way to present truth, but these STORIES over TIME shape a person’s perspective and move them to imagine a world beyond themselves.

We live in a world often shaped by stories of fear. From the success of TV shows like Stranger Things and The Walking Dead to the on-going success of the Scooby-Doo franchise, media makes a lot of money every year on our willingness to put ourselves in scary situations. From the shows we watch to the thrill-seeking rides in amusement parks, we like to get scared.

But for many families, fear is a real part of life. Most of the time, our fears are unrealistic. We can take the worst-case scenario and dwell on it until we’re haunted by events that, in all likelihood, will never happen. This can show up in our thoughts about our health, our relationships, or situations that are out of our control.

In a recent post, Carey Nieuwhof talked about 3 ways to help kids combat fear. Another great way is for kids to hear an alternative narrative that shows how a person can show courage in the face of fear. Give examples from your own life, but also, give your kids stories of others showing courage, and you will be able to shape their perspective in an even bigger way.

Here are a few book titles to get you started thinking about the stories of courage that you could share with your kids:

Picture Books

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt
Courage by Bernard Waber
The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Max the Brave by Ed Vere

Chapter Books

Number the Stars by Lois Lowery
The Giver by Lois Lowery
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Teen and Adult Books

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
The Help by Kathrine Stockett
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

What are your favorite books or movies that are stories of courage?