Inspirational Books for Every Stage of Life

Finding inspirational books that really motivate you is a powerful thing. Whether it's inspiring you to improve your life, overcome hardships or just to make some small changes to help those around you, these books can be great life resources. But, we think inspiring books should be available for all, so, if you need some suggestions for brilliantly inspirational fiction and non-fiction for yourself, your children and teenagers, we've got you covered. Here is our list of inspirational books for every stage of life.

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Inspiring Books for adults


Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed's brilliant autobiography is about her decision to start hiking after losing everything at age 26. With no previous hiking experience, her walk took her from the Mojave Desert to Washington on her own with only a map for guidance. However, the mental journey of soul-searching and self-discovery is what Cheryl really gained from her long walk. Discover the incredibly inspiring story of one girl's determination to find herself.

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Mitch Albom

In this wonderfully inspiring novel, Eddie, an elderly amusement park maintenance man, dies in a sudden accident at Ruby Pier. Once Eddie gets to Heaven he has five people to meet. Some almost strangers, some he's known and lost, but Eddie has affected every single one of them and they're going to show him how. In this moving and eye-opening story of cause and consequence and how one life impacts another, Eddie must face both the good and bad of his life. This inspiring novel reminds you of the importance of every action, big or small, and how every interaction with a stranger could change your life.

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Option B

Sheryl Samberg and Adam Grant

Sheryl Samberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, and Adam Grant, psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, have teamed up to write this terrific book about how to overcome every obstacle. After the death of Sheryl's husband, she struggled to cope with the loss but Adam told her ways she could deal with such life-shattering experiences. In their book, Sheryl reveals her own grieving process and other stories of people that have experienced difficult situations or losses. You'll come out of this book understanding that whatever happens in life, whatever goes wrong, there is always an Option B. This inspiring book will help you learn to overcome everything that life throws at you.

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Inspiring Books for Teenagers

All The Truth That's In Me

Julie Berry

This fascinating young adult novel sees Judith suffer as an outcast in her town after being kidnapped and mutilated to the point of being unable to speak. In this inspiring story about overcoming the hardest circumstances, Judith finds her voice and starts to tell her story. Bold and inspiring, Julie Berry's novel was shortlisted for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal.

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Self-Esteem and Being You

Anita Naik

This guide to improving your self-esteem was written by Anita Naik for teenagers. With advice and suggestions on how to make yourself proud to be you and battle the negative thoughts that hold you back, this great little book is the perfect helping hand for teens struggling with confidence issues. Learn to become a little braver and face the world with Anita's guidance.

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Laura Hillenbrand

The amazing true story of Olympic runner, Louis Zamperini, sees him overcoming incredible hardships. He served as an airman in World War 2 when his aircraft crashed, leaving him to deal with hunger, thirst and enemy attacks. But, when he was found, he had even more to face after being taken to a prisoner of war camp. Zamperini's shocking true story will show you the power of never losing hope no matter what happens.

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Inspiring Books for Children

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

7 years +

This exciting collection of true stories about women who don't need a prince to save them are great bedtime reading alternatives to the traditional fairy tales. With inspiring stories from 100 amazing women, from Elizabeth I to Malala, this is the perfect book to inspire your children into believing that they can do anything they set their mind to.

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The Boy Who Biked the World: On the Road to Africa

Alastair Humphreys

9 years +

The first in Alastair Humphreys' The Boy Who Biked the World series sees a little boy called Tom decide to become an explorer. The more everyone tells him not to, the more determined he becomes to set off and bike around the world. His first adventure takes him across Africa. Alastair uses his own love of cycling to create this inspiring and educational book all about one boy's exciting adventures.

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Everybody's Welcome

Patricia Hegarty and Greg Abbot

3 years +

This lovely children's picture book tells the story of a mouse who wants to invite everybody, whatever their size to come to their home. So, with the help of the other animals in the forest, they all set out to build a house big enough to fit them all. This moving story is inspirational in its strive to encourage inclusivity and friendship with one little mouse wanting to help others.

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To find more inspirational books to warm your heart or make you feel as though you can take on anything, take a look at all our self-esteem and inspirational books.

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    Eddie is a grizzled old war veteran who now fixes rides at a seaside amusement park. When he dies while trying to save a young girl from a falling cart in a tragic accident, he wakes up in the afterlife. Not the heaven he was expecting, he is confronted by a mixture of five strangers and loved ones from his past who go on to explain all about his earthly life, and the roles they played in it. As the story builds to the stunning and unexpected conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption. Was his life a heroic success of a devastating failure? Five People You Meet in Heaven is an enchanting and beautiful novel from Mitch Albom, the author of the bestselling Tuesdays With Morrie.

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    Shortlisted for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal, All the Truth That's in Me is many things. It is a true romance, a story of desperate yearning and unrequited love. It's a page-turning mystery full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. But most of all it's an empowering drama about a girl's journey from victim to hero.
  • AQBTP 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £5.99
    Boost your self-esteem and learn to believe in yourself with this guide to living a more positive life.

    Written especially for teenagers by Anita Naik, the book will show how you can be proud of who you are and how sometimes taking risks is the best option. It will help easy any worries about constantly searching for others' approval and help you learn to accept all your personality traits. It even discusses how to talk to boys without embarrassing yourself.

    An essential guide for anyone who wants to start turning their negative opinions around...
  • AXDIA 7 years +
    7 years +
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    What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's British Book Award Children's Book of the Year.
  • WELC 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Patricia Hegarty and Greg Abbot's Everybody's Welcome is a heart-warming picture book that finds one little mouse realising their big dream of welcoming EVERYONE into their home!

    Gorgeously presented with die-cuts and stunning illustrations, the mouse wants everyone, whether they be tall or short, fat or thin, or rich or poor, to visit their home - but everyone's going to have to work together to achieve this vision.
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    Now an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by Dallas Buyers' Club's Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild is the extraordinary true story of Cheryl Strayed - a 26-year-old who decided to escape her crumbling life by walking the 1100 miles of the west coast of America.

    After losing everything, Cheryl decided to do something impulsive to help aid her worries and grief - and this long-distance walk took her from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon and eventually into Washington. Despite having no experience of hiking, she was determined to do it alone - following a line on a map!

    Wild gives readers an insight into the mental and physical agonies this journey of self-discovery gave Cheryl, while also showing how it helped heal her worries and find redemption. Simply, quite an incredible human story!
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    From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks. After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. "I was in 'the void,'" (She writes), "A vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe." Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build. Option B combines Sheryl's personal insights with Adam's eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart-and her journal-to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl's loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere...And to rediscover joy. Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. "I want Dave," she cried. Her friend replied, "Option A is not available," and then promised to help her make the most of Option B. We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.
  • ALKSI 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Tom really wants to be an explorer. His favourite book is an atlas and he follows adventurers not footballers. His schooldays are spent daydreaming about travelling from Tibet to Timbuktu. A private wish blurted out loud started his freewheeling adventure: I'm going to cycle round the world. His classmates laughed. No one believed him, least of all his teacher. The mountains will be too high! The desert is too hot! Everyone shouted their reasons why his dream was impossible. But it was a funny thing, the more that people told him he couldn't do it, the more Tom found himself wanting to prove them wrong.
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    Memorably brought to the big screen by director Angelina Jolie, Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O'Connell) - an Olympic athlete who served as an airman during the Second World War and went through a number of torturous experiences...

    After a troubled youth, Zamperini found solace in his running and took part in the Berlin Olympics, almost running a four-minute mile. During the war, the bomber Zamperini was flying in crashed into the Pacific Ocean - surviving this, Zamperini had to fend off everything from hunger and thirst to sharks and enemy aircraft attacks. But when saviour eventually came, Zamperini would be faced with his toughest experience yet...

    The extraordinary true story of a remarkable individual and a celebration of triumph against the most brutal of tribulations, this is a poignant read. You'll be inspired as you learn how Zamperini never gave up on hope and used his powers of endurance and resilience to survive every challenge that came his way...