The 8 Best Books for Shy Kids of 2019

Help your little one come out of their shell

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First Look

Best Overall: What to Do When You Feel Too Shy at Amazon

"Walks kids through activities to help them feel more comfortable."

Best for Girls: When No One Is Watching at Amazon

"Highlights the power of friendship and how kids can find their voice."

Best for Boys: The Invisible Boy at Amazon

"The lessons are powerful for children of all personalities."

Best for Young Kids: Willow’s Whispers at Amazon

"A great message for children as young as preschool."

Best for Grade School Kids: The Shy Creatures at Amazon

"The zany creatures are brought to life with quirky, colorful illustrations."

Best for Teens: The Perks of Being a Wallflower at Amazon

"It’s raw and real, and parents and kids alike can’t put it down."

Best Historical: Big George at Amazon

"Shows kids that shyness isn’t something new or unique to them."

Best Nonfiction: Quiet Power at Amazon

"An award-winning book with real-life examples for introverts."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety

What to Do When You Feel Too Shy

 Courtesy of Amazon

Written by Claire A. B. Freeland and Jacqueline B. Toner, two licensed psychologists who have worked with children and their families for years, "What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety" is a great resource for parents and kids alike. It’s targeted toward ages six to 12 and focuses on dealing with the social phobias and anxiety that often present as shyness.

With a special introduction for parents and caregivers, the book uses cognitive behavioral principles to walk kids through activities and techniques to help them feel more comfortable in various situations. Parents say the book is easy to read and has solid, practical advice that has helped their children feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Best for Girls: When No One Is Watching

In this adorably illustrated book, written by Eileen Spinelli, the usually spunky and full-of-life narrator shuts down when others are around—except around her best friend, Loretta. Loretta is also shy, but when the two of them are together, they’re able to come out of their shells and live out loud. They also like to share quiet time together and recognize how good that can be, too.

The book highlights the power of friendship and how kids can find their voice in a variety of ways. Parents say the cadence of this book is catchy, and the illustrations are charming.

Best for Boys: The Invisible Boy

Brian is one of those kids that seems to get overlooked because he’s so quiet. That means he’s left out of games and doesn’t get invited to birthday parties. Then a new boy joins his class, and the two of them become friends—giving Brian newfound confidence and sense of self. Not only does "The Invisible Boy" impart an important message for those who are shy, but it also teaches all kids about how much including others can matter.

The book is recommended for ages six to nine and includes a discussion guide for teachers and parents to help spur deeper conversations about the issues. Parents say the lessons are powerful for children no matter what type of personality they have, and the illustrations are engaging.

Best for Young Kids: Willow’s Whispers

"Willow's Whispers" is a great way to jumpstart the conversation with young children about speaking up and finding your voice. Recommended for ages three seven, the book tells the story of how shy little Willow only speaks in a whisper, so no one hears her. Then one day she gets the idea to make a magic megaphone that projects her voice into one that is strong and confident. Once she sees just how different life can be when you speak out loud and clear, she realizes she doesn’t even need the microphone anymore.

Parents and teachers say this book sends a great message to children as young as preschool about why it’s important to be heard. They say it also sends a message to more outgoing kids about how to help shy kids feel more comfortable.

Take a peek at some of the other best children's books you can buy.

Best for Grade School Kids: The Shy Creatures

Sometimes when you're shy, it can feel like you’re the only one. As this book so cleverly illustrates, however, there are plenty of other shy people around you—even those who may seem scary to approach. The shy little girl who stars in this story wants to be a doctor and care for a crazy array of seemingly scary creatures (Bigfoot has a stubbed toe!). What she realizes is that everyone has insecurities.

The zany creatures are brought to life with quirky, colorful illustrations, and there’s a feel to the pictures and rhyming text that may remind you of Dr. Suess. While it’s recommended for ages six to 10, parents say kids of all ages enjoy it.

Best for Teens: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This coming-of-age story by Stephen Chbosky hit such a powerful note with teens that it's been made into a major motion picture. It tells the story of how a shy teen, Charlie, navigates all the perils of high school and how he manages his emotions throughout it. It’s raw and real, and parents and kids alike can’t put it down.

It tackles some tough subjects, like suicide, abortion, and abusive relationships, so you want to make sure your child is mature enough to handle the subject matter. Readers say the characters are relatable, and that anyone who has ever felt shy or like an outsider will relate.

Check out our guide to the best inspirational books for teens you can buy today. 

Best Historical: Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington

Did you know that George Washington was shy? Many people don’t, but "Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington" goes beyond what kids learn about our nation’s first president in school and shows that shyness isn’t something new or only something they are experiencing alone. The book sends a message that you can teach yourself to overcome things that may be holding you back, and that no dream is too big to realize.

Customers say it’s a well-written story that kids enjoy and that the picture book also packs in a lot of important historical information—making it ideal for the home or the classroom.

Best Nonfiction: Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts

Following the success of her book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking," Susan Cain wrote another version that focuses specifically on children. This award-winning book provides real-life examples of introverts making their own special mark in the world. For kids, it can be easy to feel like they’re the only one who feels the way they do, and this book shows them they are far from alone. There are also tips at the end of each chapter that can be helpful for both kids and adults.

Customers rave about this book, saying it’s a must-read for introverted children. Written on a fifth or sixth-grade reading level, reviewers say it’s great for children of all ages and their parents.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best parenting books article.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular books for shy kids on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different books overall, read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the books themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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