It’s almost state testing time in public schools across the U.S. That means lots of kids are feeling some test anxiety. Here are short descriptions of ten kids’ books about tests and anxiety that can help.
Parents and teachers can help soothe test anxiety by talking about it, reading stories about it, and teaching kids how to feel more calm about the big day. Several of these books are an easy conversation starter, and a few explicitly address dealing with test anxiety. Others motivate kids to do their best, or give them an idea of what to expect.
(Books and Giggles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. All book links in this post are affiliate links. I spent a long time researching and compiling this list, and all opinions are my own.)
10 Kids Books about Taking Tests and Test Anxiety
Testing Miss Malarky by Judy Finchler is a funny jumping off point for talking about all the craziness that goes on in the weeks leading up to a standardized test.
Math Curse by Jon Scieszka is perfect for kids with math anxiety. It shows, in a lighthearted way, that math is everywhere, not just on tests.
The Biggest Test in the Universe by Nancy Poydar is only available used now, but your library may have it (mine does). The story, written by a former teacher, is reassuring for kids who are worried about all the hype surrounding testing.
The Anti-Test Anxiety Society is part of an engaging series written by school counselor Julia Cook. My kids all enjoyed her It’s Not My Fault story, and we’re hoping to get our hands on this one soon.
The Big Test by Julie Danneberg is a good way to begin a conversation about learning to relax.
Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test by Cynthia Rylant is about a dog obedience test, but is a fun way to connect with younger test-takers.
Mathsketball by Erainna Winnett is another storybook for kids with test anxiety. Written by a school counselor, with attractive and modern illustrations.
It’s Test Day, Tiger Turcotte by Pansie Hart Flood isn’t entirely about test anxiety, but it does include it. The main character, a multiracial boy, doesn’t know what bubble to fill in for his race, but a solution is found.
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, & Lane Smith (read the amazon review for the history of this authorship.) The story is a lively way to boost children’s confidence and give them perspective on standardized testing.
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D. is a serious guide that bills itself as “an interactive self-help book” for kids. It’s best for elementary aged children, and addresses anxiety in general, rather than just tests.
Want to save this list for later? This image is perfect for pinning:
Taking state tests may be the most stressful thing in your child’s life this spring (I hope!) Here are several other articles from the Bloggers for Public Education group which you may find useful and thought-provoking.
Taking Tests in School from 3Dinosaurs
What do You Need to Understand About Your Child’s Test Results? from Thriving STEM