SEL Read Aloud: My Strong Mind: A Story About Developing Mental Strength by Neils van Hove

My Strong Mind Book Cover


Some things come easily for Kate, but she can’t help but focus on the things that are hard, such as getting ready for school on time, doing cartwheels with her friends, and speaking in front of her class. They are even harder because Kate ends up making her parents upset or getting teased by her friends, creating a vicious cycle that leaves her feeling grumpy.

After reading a book about “smart minds,” Kate learns several strategies for approaching difficult situations, and the next day she tries them out. She is much more successful as she makes a task list, accepts failure, visualizes success, counts to ten, tries her best, takes slow deep breaths, and shares gratitudes. Things don’t go perfectly, but she feels a greater sense of control and peace.

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever read a book that made you try something new?
  2. If you had to rank the challenges Kate faces in this book for yourself from least challenging to most challenging, how would you?
  3. Which of the strategies in this book have you already tried? Which ones haven’t you tried yet?
  4. How can you support others in strengthening their minds?
  5. It can be hard to know your mind is growing since it can only happen a little bit each day. How do you know you’ve made progress since last year? Last month? Last week? Yesterday?

Read Aloud

Additional Resources

Copyright Notice

The image on this page comes from the book My Strong Mind by Neils van Hove. Copyright © 2017 by Neils van Hove.