Bella Vista Library Reading List: Books About Goals and Dreams


If you’re looking for a fun way to learn about making goals and chasing your dreams, check out this awesome reading list provided by the Bella Vista Library.


Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence

by Deloris Jordan

for Preschool – 3rd Grade

Long before he became a professional All-Star basketball player, Michael Jordan had dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal—and with dedication and perseverance, that’s exactly what he did.



Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream

by Deloris Jordan, Roslyn M. Jordan, et al.

for Preschool – 3rd Grade

Michael almost gave up on his dream to play basketball, all because he was afraid that he would never be tall enough to play the game. His mother and father stepped in and taught him valuable lessons about patience, determination, and hard work.



Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story

by Paula Yoo and Dom Lee

for Preschool – 3rd Grade

Sammy Lee faced racial discrimination as a Korean American who wanted to be an Olympic diver, He wanted to keep the traditional customs of honoring and understanding your parents, but he couldn’t give up his dream of becoming an Olympic champion diver.



A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

for Kindergarten – 3rd Grade

Horace Pippin loved to draw: He drew all the time when he was growing up. As an adult, Horace was sent to fight in W.W.I, but he kept drawing even on the battlefield. . . until he was shot. Because of his injury, he couldn’t lift his right arm. He kept working and trying until he could paint again. He became a very famous artist.



Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman

by Kathleen Krull and David Diaz

for Preschool – 3rd Grade

When Wilma Rudolph was born, she was very tiny. When she was five years old, she got a disease called polio and her left leg was paralyzed No one thought that she would ever walk without crutches and leg braces. Her mother made her move and do exercises to get stronger. She became the first American woman to earn three gold medals in one Olympic game.



Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx

by Jonah Winter (Author), Ed el Rodriguez (Illustrator)

for Kindergarten – 3rd Grade

This is the story of Sonia Sotomayor as she grows up in poverty in the Bronx. This story shows us how important our dreams are and how hard we all have to work to make our dreams come true.



The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

by H. Joseph Hopkins and Jill McElmurry

for Kindergarten – 5th Grade 

This is the true story of Kate Sessions. She was the first woman to graduate from UC Berkeley with a science degree. Her dream was to turn the dry desert of San Diego into a beautiful, green landscape.



Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

by Jabari Asim

for Preschool – 3rd Grade

As a slave, Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. Once he was a free man, Booker walked most of the five-hundred-miles, to Hampton Institute. When he arrived at the college, he only had fifty cents in his pocket and a dream to become a teacher.



Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters

by Laurie Ann Thompson

for Grade 7- 9

Be inspired by these stories of high schooler kids who are following their dreams and setting amazing goals to achieve.



Throw Like a Girl: How to Dream Big and Believe in Yourself

by Jennie Finch

Grades 6th and up.

This story is an autobiography written by Jennie Finch. Jennie teaches young girls to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their goals and dreams.



Taking Flight

by Michaela DePrince and Elaine DePrince

for Grades 7th and up

Michaela grew up as an orphan in West Africa and became the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.


Take a look at some of the other reading lists we have put together over the past year!


Happening at the Bella Vista Library

Pre-School Storytime:

Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m. 

Evening Storytime (For children and their families, September-April):

Tuesday evening at 5:00 p.m. 

Storytime with Dwayne the Library Dog:

Ms. Faye and Dwayne the Library Dog lead our Pre-School Storytime on the 2nd Friday of the month and our Elementary Storytime on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.


Join us on the first Saturday of every month at 10:00 a.m. for Legomania! We’ll provide the Legos, you just bring your creativity!

Reading Assemble:

Monday, January 13th, 4:00 p.m.

Monday, January 27th, 4:00 p.m.

We’re starting a new book club for children who love to read! Come by the library on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 4:00 p.m. to read with friends. No monthly book required, just bring whatever you’d like to read or find a new book on the shelf, find a cozy spot to sit, and read with friends!

Reading Buddies:

Saturday, January 25th, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Learning to read? Make new friends and practice your reading at the library. On the fourth Saturday of the month, we’ll have 2 young volunteers on hand to sit with and help beginning readers.

Teen Night: Minute to Win it!

Friday, January 17th, 5:30 p.m.

Compete in a series of quick and fun challenges against other teens. Ages 13-17 only. Please note that the library is closed during the event. To ensure the safety of teens, no one will be permitted in the library and no library business will be conducted.

Saturday Afternoon for Kids: SNOW DAY

Saturday, January 25th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

We take one Saturday and do something with the kids in the afternoon.  We could do crafts, games, movies, or other special things.