Massive List of SEL Books for Teaching Social Skills and Emotions

kid reading SEL books

SEL involves teaching students about their emotions and what to do with them. It also involves purposefully teaching important social skills such as problem-solving, taking turns, being responsible and expressing their ideas. 

3 Benefits of teaching SEL in the classroom:

Students can know and manage themselves.

Students understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them.

Students are able to make sound choices about personal and social decisions.

Self-Awareness and Understanding Our Feelings:

The Way I Feel by Jana Cain

Grow Happy by Jon Lasser

Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay by Emily Hayes

Help Students to Bounce Back and Take Risks:

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig

The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Your Fantastic and Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak


Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson


A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Ways to Make Friencs by Jairo Buitrago

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

Handling Grief

Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away by Meg Medina

Rosa’s Song by Helena Ku Rhee

Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande

The Memory String by Eve Bunting

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst


Lying Up a Storm by Julia Cook

Ruthie and the Not so Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin


My Mouth is a Volcano! by Julia Cook

Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale

What Were You Thinking? A Story About Learning to Control Your Impulses by Bryan Smith

No, David! by David Shannon

Train Your Angry Dragon by Steve Herman

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Being Balanced

The Good Egg by Jory John

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett

My Day is Ruined! A Story Teaching Flexible Thinking by Bryan Smith

Being Principled

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Download a printable list of these books by clicking the link below.

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