11 Children’s Books That Will Help You When You’re Feeling Lost

When you’re feeling lost and overwhelmed in this scary adult life, sometimes the best place to find a little guidance is in between the pages of your favorite childhood books. When you were small, these books gave you role models, adventures, and inspiration to believe in yourself; now you’re all grown up, and you need these things more than ever.

Stuck in a relationship that’s not quite working? Fed up of a dead end job? Fallen out of touch with old friends and feeling alone? Being an adult can really suck sometimes, and it’s hard to know what to do when you think you’ve lost your way. Revisiting childhood classics can remind you of great advice, boost your confidence, or just give you a much-needed dose of good old nostalgia to remind you that things haven’t changed all that much after all.

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'Harriet the Spy' by Louise Fitzhugh

If you’re feeling like a misfit, remember that Harriet the Spy was a total outsider too, but she was also quite clearly awesome. Reread this classic to remind yourself that if you don’t quite fit in with the people around you, it doesn’t mean you’re an outcast — you may just be outshining them all.

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'A Bear Called Paddington' by Michael Bond

Having an identity crisis? Paddington Bear moved from “deepest, darkest Peru” all the way to London, which is a pretty scary step, and he totally nailed it. If you’re not quite sure where home is, let Paddington show you how to find yourself wherever you are.

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'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak

This picture book explores an emotion children are usually told to repress: anger. Even as adults, we often think we have to gloss over our bad moods, but this can leave us anxious and frustrated. Let Max take you to the land of the Wild Things, where you can let your anger run itself down.

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'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' by Judith Viorst

So, today sucked. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong did; you didn’t get anything you wanted. You’re feeling pretty let down by life right now. Guess what? Tomorrow will be better.

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'The Monster at the End of This Book' by Jon Stone

When you have a scary decision up ahead, it’s easy to blow the whole thing out of proportion. That new job, that big move to a new city, that resolution to leave a long-term relationship — it’s not as scary as you think it is. Your worst fears are just like the monsters under your bed: when you face them, you’ll find they were never really there.

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'The Story of Ferdinand' by Munro Leaf

You don’t always have to be on fighting form. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, why not take time out to appreciate the small things? You may just find that they bring you the most happiness after all.

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'Half Magic' by Edward Eager

When a group of children find a magic coin that grants half of whatever they wish for, they set about trying to trick it into giving them what they want. But this turns out to be harder than it seems, as they struggle to double their deepest desires, and only ever get halfway there. Eventually, the message is clear. Maybe what you’re wishing for isn’t as far away as it seems.

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'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll

While a lot of adulthood is about managing expectations, sometimes it’s OK to believe in impossible things. (Alice is advised to believe in “six impossible things before breakfast,” so get going!) While this book is insane, and reading it is more like being on a ton of drugs than receiving any helpful advice, it does open up your ability to dream in a pretty sensational way.

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'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams

Maybe you’re going through something really difficult this year, and need some childhood comfort to get you through. You’ll cry your eyes out, but The Velveteen Rabbit will hold your hand and give you a glimmer of hope right now when you need it the most.

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'Sad Book' by Michael Rosen

Grief and loss are such complicated emotions that just because we’re grown ups now, it doesn’t mean we know how to handle them. Sometimes looking at the world through the eyes of a child can help you come to terms with how you’re feeling, and Michael Rosen’s Sad Book will do just that.

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'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

There was no way this one wasn’t making it on the list. The Little Prince taught us everything we learned about life in the first place, and whenever you’re a little bit lost, it’ll teach you something new all over again.

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