Stories about courage
Welcome to the Top 37 Stories about Courage for kids to read online! This amazing collection is perfect for children of all ages, from early years, preschool, kindergarten, elementary students, and even toddlers. We understand the joy of bedtime stories, the value of learning and educational content, and the fun of story time, so we’ve compiled the best stories about courage – all for free!
Our fabulous range includes short, easy-to-tell stories with pictures, as well as longer, classic tales suitable for girls and boys. You can enjoy our fun selection of fairy tales, famous stories, and good, moral tales as a read-aloud experience or as a night-time fall into sleep. For your convenience, we have made these stories available in various formats: pdf, free online browsing, printable versions, download options, and even audio for enhancing your English learning.
The importance of Stories about Courage cannot be overstated. These tales teach our children the value of courage, resilience, and perseverance in facing life’s challenges. Reading stories about bravery inspires kids to face their fears and to believe in themselves, crucial attributes to their growth and development. Not only will they be exposed to different cultures and experiences, but they will also acquire essential language and vocabulary skills necessary for their early years foundation stage (EYFS).
Experience the joy of storytelling with our Top 37 Stories about Courage collection, perfect for kids of all ages. Give your children the opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun courtesy of our carefully curated content. Happy story time, and sweet dreams!
Top 37 Stories about courage for kids to read online:
- The Town Musicians of Bremen: This is a story about an old donkey who runs away from his owner and meets an old dog, an old cat, and an old rooster along the way. They decide to form a band and go to Bremen to become famous musicians. On the way, they scare robbers away from a cottage and decide to live there happily ever after. The story is available to download as an ebook.
- The Thorny Road of Honour: The article discusses the struggles of people who have achieved greatness in history and how their ideas were often ridiculed by others. Examples are given, such as Socrates who was executed for not believing in the gods and Ferdowsi who wrote the Book of Kings and almost paid with his life for asking the king for a proper reward. Joan of Arc and Salamon de Caus are also mentioned. The article concludes that the path to honour is a difficult one, but the rewards are eternal. A link is provided for downloading an ebook of the article.
- Jack and the Beanstalk: The story is about Jack, a curious and daydreaming son of a poor farmer who is sent to town to sell their cow. On his way, he meets an old man who gives him magic beans in exchange for the cow, leading to the growth of a giant beanstalk overnight. With the help of a fairy, Jack discovers a castle once belonging to his father, which got taken over by a giant. Jack is tasked with retrieving two items from the castle, a chicken that lays golden eggs, and a talking harp. Jack successfully grabs both items after many attempts, and with the fairy’s help, he kills the giant and claims his castle back.
- My Lord Bag of Rice: The story is about a brave warrior named Fujiwara Hidesato who comes across a giant sleeping dragon and decides to climb over it. He later meets the Dragon King, who asks him to kill his arch-enemy, the centipede, that has been taking away his family members. Hidesato agrees to help and manages to defeat the centipede using a special arrow coated with human saliva. As a reward, the Dragon King gives him four gifts: a bronze bell, a bag of rice, a roll of silk, and a pan, all of which turn out to be magical. The bag of rice refills itself, the roll of silk never shortens, and no matter what is thrown into the pan, a delicious meal always comes out. Hidesato becomes known as My Lord Bag of Rice and lives a wealthy life.
- Theseus and the Minotaur: The story follows a young boy named Theseus, the son of the king of Athens, who travels to the island of Crete to kill the Minotaur, a fierce creature who is half-human and half-bull. He befriends the ruthless king’s daughter, Ariadne, who helps him with his mission; he ultimately kills the Minotaur and escapes with the help of a silk thread provided by Ariadne. Unfortunately, Theseus forgets to change the black sails for white ones on the return trip, causing his father to believe he has died and leading the king to plunge into the sea in despair. Theseus becomes the new king of Athens and rules with his mother’s guidance, becoming very beloved by the people.
- Zlatovlaska with the golden hair: In this story, a king gains the ability to speak to animals by eating a snake but warns his cook not to eat it or he’ll cut off his head. The cook inadvertently tastes it and gains the same ability. When the king hears birds arguing over a golden hair, he tasks the cook with finding its owner, Princess Zlatovlaska. The cook travels far and wide, receiving help from ants, birds, and a goldfish, before successfully completing three challenges set by the princess’s father. He then correctly identifies Zlatovlaska from among her veiled siblings and brings her back to the king. However, when the king decides to kill the cook, Zlatovlaska uses water from a magical bottle to bring him back to life, but accidentally uses up the water that restores youth. The cook becomes the new king, and he and Zlatovlaska live happily ever after.
- The Mischievous Elf and the Gingerbread Man: The story is about a gingerbread man who is taken captive by a mischievous elf and becomes the centerpiece of a gingerbread village. He eventually escapes with the help of a sweet elf named Lily and finds true love with her. The story ends with a downloadable PDF version of the book.
- The Brave Little Boy and the Big Slide: This is a story about a little boy named Huggy who loves playing on the playground. One day, he decides that he’s going to slide down the biggest slide of all. When he gets to the top, he becomes scared and unsure of himself. A friendly squirrel sees him and gives him the encouragement and confidence to conquer his fear and slide down. Huggy feels proud of himself and learns he can do anything he sets his mind to. The story ends with Huggy ready to take on new adventures. A downloadable PDF of the story is available.
- Scared of the hairdresser: The story is about a little boy named Anthony who was afraid of haircuts and his parents’ plan to take him to the hairdresser without his knowledge. Although Anthony initially got angry, he realized that a haircut made him feel clean, happy and free, and decided to go to the hairdresser without fuss in the future. The story ends with a downloadable PDF version of the story.
- The Reindeer Who Couldn’t Fly: The story is about a little reindeer named Glow-Nose who lives in the North Pole with other reindeer. Glow-Nose is afraid to fly and feels embarrassed and alone because of his fear. However, Santa Claus helps Glow-Nose realise that his bright nose makes him special and important, as without his nose, they wouldn’t be able to see where they’re going on foggy nights. With Santa’s encouragement, Glow-Nose overcomes his fear and leads the way on Christmas Eve, guiding Santa and the other reindeer as they deliver presents. Glow-Nose is finally able to do the job that he was meant to do, and he becomes confident about his abilities.
- The Brave Children of the Ice Castle: A group of children in Canada discover a beautiful ice castle hidden in the woods and befriend the ice princess who lives there, but soon learn that her evil sister wants to destroy the castle and harm the princess. Despite their efforts to hide and fortify the castle, the children come up with a plan to offer love and kindness to the evil sister by forming a protective circle around the castle and singing sweet songs. This touches the evil sister’s heart, and she surrenders to their love, saving the ice castle and the ice princess.
- The Stuffed Animal Club: In this story, a little girl named Ava is feeling anxious about going back to school. Her mom encourages her to bring her favorite stuffed animal Teddy to school, which helps her feel better. Ava meets another child named Lucas who also has a stuffed animal named Bingo and the two become friends. Together, they start a stuffed animal club at school which helps them feel more confident and comfortable. The story emphasizes the importance of having someone or something to help you feel safe and calm.
- The bird with nine heads: The story is about a young man who saves a princess from a bird with nine heads and is left behind in the cave. He makes friends with a fish and a dragon and is rewarded with a flask, which he uses to conjure up whatever he wishes. He travels to the city where the princess lives and proves that he is her true rescuer by producing a half of her silken handkerchief that he received from her and the half of a long pin that exactly fits the other half she kept. The false bridegroom is punished, and they all live happily ever after.
- The Strange Witch of Willowweed: The Strange Witch of Willowweed lived in a pink flower house on a hill. When the princess asked the witch how to find the bravest boy in the world, the witch locked her up in an enchanted forest, promising that only the bravest boy in the world would find her. Meanwhile, Kit the Coward went to King Hurlyburly to find something worth fighting for. The king asked him to invade King Topsyturvy’s land, but Kit wouldn’t do it without a good reason. After some misadventures, he ended up rescuing the princess from the enchanted forest, and they got married. The Strange Witch of the Willow Herb returned to her pink cottage after the party, waiting for her next visitor.
- Rubezahl: This is a fairy tale about Rubezahl, the Spirit of the Giant Mountains, who lived long ago and was Lord and Prince over the Dwarfs and Earth Sprites in the forests and mountains. The Spirit became curious about the new things on the surface after the forests were cut down and made friends with a worker, then as a constable, until he saw a beautiful girl named Emma. He kidnapped her and brought her to a magnificent castle but she planned to escape with the help of her beloved, Prince Ratibor. She turned a turnip into a horse and used it to escape, leaving the Spirit searching for her and earning the nickname “turnip counter”.
- Soccer on a lake: In the story, a young man named Chai anchors his boat for the night and observes three finely-dressed men and two other players playing soccer on the lake. He quickly discovers that his father, who was believed to have drowned eight years prior, is one of the players. The game is disrupted when Chai accidentally kicks and punctures the ball, causing a colorful and magical light to burst from it. The other players become angry and threaten Chai and his father, who promptly reveals that they are fish goblins in service to the Dragon King. Chai fights off the goblins, and he and his father escape. They learn that the Dragon King’s domain is below the lake’s surface and hurry away to avoid getting caught.
- Maya the Bee and the Sentry: In the story, Maya the bee is trapped in a hornet fortress and overhears their plan to attack her bee colony. Despite being scared, she decides to be brave and try to save her people. She attempts to escape but is caught by a hornet sentry, who surprises her by not attacking. They talk and Maya learns that he too feels sad and loyal to his own kind. When she mentions knowing Lovey, a dragonfly, the guard becomes emotional and asks for her help to find her. Maya agrees to help in exchange for her freedom. As she leaves, she wonders if the guard will keep his word, not knowing that he is struggling internally but ultimately decides to honor his promise.
- The Elf Knight: In a gray stone castle, an old nursemaid tells Janet, a beautiful maid, a special story about Elf Land. The nursemaid warns Janet not to go near the enchanted heath on Halloween, but Janet ignores her and meets the Elf Knight called Tam Lin, who haunts the moorland near her father’s estate. Tam Lin tells Janet that she is his true love and needs her help to be freed from the power of the Fairies. Janet agrees and proves her courage by holding onto Tam Lin during various magical transformations. She successfully helps free Tam Lin and they get married, living happily ever after.
- Maya the Bee in battle: In this story, the bees prepare to defend themselves against their old enemy, the hornets, who are approaching. The bees follow the orders of their queen and remain calm and composed during the battle. The queen’s tactics and leadership lead the bees to victory, although at a great cost. The story portrays the strength of unity and loyalty to one’s community but also the sacrifices that come with defending it.
- The boy with the moon on his forehead: The story follows a king who is desperate for a child and marries a woman who claims she will bear him twins with remarkable qualities. The king leaves her a golden bell to ring when the child is due. The other six queens persuade her to ring the bell prematurely twice, after which the king refuses to come again. She rings it again when the child is due, but the king doesn’t come, so she is thrown out. She gives birth to the promised twins, but the midwife swaps them for puppies and takes the twins away. When they’re older, the boy with the moon on his forehead and stars on his palms goes on a journey to get a flower to keep his sister beautiful. The king meets him, and the boy turns out to be the son the queen bore. The rest of the story involves the truth coming out, a new beginning for the queen and the boy and his sister, and the punishment of the six other queens.
- King Kojata: In this story, King Kojata promises a monster anything from his palace in exchange for his freedom, not realizing that he has just promised his newborn son. Years later, the prince embarks on a journey and ends up in the underworld where he meets a beautiful princess who helps him survive a series of dangerous trials. When he forgets her after kissing a child at a wedding, she turns into a flower before being rescued by an old man who helps her reunite with the prince, and they live happily ever after.
- Buttercup: The story is about an old woman whose son Buttercup and dog Goldtooth stay with her. One day, an old witch comes to their house offering a silver knife to Buttercup, who crawls into the witch’s bag. The witch takes Buttercup to her house but Buttercup escapes by putting a root in the bag. The witch returns twice more, each time with a silver spoon and fork which Buttercup obtains by repeating his previous trick. The second time she takes him home with her to cook him, but he beheads the witch’s daughter and substitutes her body for his own. The witch and her husband are slain in different ways when they return to eat what they believe to be Buttercup’s remains. Finally, Buttercup returns home with gold and silver and leads a wealthy life.
- The Adventure of the Daughter of the King of Ireland: In this story, a young king seeks advice on finding a wife and is told about the beautiful Hilda, daughter of King Hagen of Ireland. Despite warnings of King Hagen’s brutality, a group of Danish men sets sail to ask for Hilda’s hand in marriage. Through various adventures, including a fierce battle between the Danish and Irish, Hilda and King Hettel are eventually wed, and peace is made between the two kingdoms. The story ends happily with a twelve-day wedding feast and gifts exchanged between the two kings.
- The Giant’s Cliff House: The story is about a boy named Philip Renardy who disappears and is later found living with a giant named Mahon McMahon. The blacksmith in the nearby village has a dream where Philip comes to him on a white horse and tells him how to rescue him from the giant’s dwelling. The blacksmith finds Philip among a group of identical-looking young boys and takes him home to his family. The boy starts growing again but always remains smaller than average. The giant is never heard from again, and the blacksmith becomes famous for his dream interpretation.
- Schippeitaro: A young warrior embarks on an adventure and gets lost in a magical forest where he hears cats chanting to keep something a secret from an unknown figure named Schippeitaro. The next day, hungry and searching for food, he discovers a village where a girl is about to be sacrificed to the Spirit of the Mountain. He learns that Schippeitaro is the supervisor’s dog and begs to borrow him for one night, locks the girl up somewhere safe, and puts the dog in the sacrificial box and hides in the church. At midnight, the Spirit of the Mountain appears, and the boy and Schippeitaro kill the monster and the other cats. Schippeitaro is returned to his owner, and from that moment on, all the girls in the village are safe.
- The City Under the Sea: A merchant’s three sons each attempt to find the Emerald of the Sea for the king after he commands them to do so. When the youngest son sets out to sea, he ends up in the underwater world where he learns that the emerald is lost at the bottom of the sea. He is helped by the Witch of the Sand and eventually finds the emerald, but not before his two older brothers have lost their memories in the underwater world. The youngest son reunites with his brothers and saves their memories before returning the emerald to the king, who is ultimately destroyed by his greed. The merchant’s sons rule jointly and the youngest son marries the niece of the Witch of the Sand.
- The Three Sisters: This is a story about a woman named Nella, who was born to good luck while her two sisters were unlucky. Nella meets an enchanted prince and secretly marries him, and he creates a crystal passage to visit her. However, her sisters find out and break the passage, causing the prince to hurt himself. Nella disguises herself as a beggar and learns from an ogre that the only thing that can save the prince is the ogre’s fat. Nella kills the ogre and ogress and brings the fat to the prince, who is healed. Nella reveals her identity, and the prince marries her instead of punishing her sisters.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Cowardly Lion: In the story, Dorothy and her companions are walking through a forest where they encounter a fierce Lion who turns out to be a coward. They talk about going to see the Great Oz for help – the Scarecrow needs brains, the Tin Woodman needs a heart, Dorothy wants to go back to Kansas and the Lion wants courage. Along the way, the group faces some obstacles, including the Tin Woodman crushing a beetle that causes his jaw to rust shut. They manage to fix the problem and continue on their journey.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Magical Art of the Great Humbug: In the story, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion all go to Oz to get what they desire. The Scarecrow gets a new brain, the Tin Woodman gets a heart, and the Lion gets courage. Oz gives them what they want, but he knows he’s a humbug because he doesn’t know how to help Dorothy get back to Kansas.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Lion becomes the King of the Beasts: The travelers continue on their journey through a difficult country, entering a beautiful forest where they encounter wild beasts in trouble. The Lion confronts a great spider monster, defeats it, and is hailed as King of the forest by the beasts. He promises to return and rule over them once Dorothy is safely on her way to Kansas. Downloads of the story are available in PDF format.
- The Jumblies: The Jumblies, with their green heads and blue hands, set sail on a sieve despite their friends’ warnings of danger. They sang merrily and collected treasures in the Western Sea before returning home twenty years later, having travelled to the Lakes, the Torrible Zone, and the hills of the Chankly Bore. Their bravery inspired their friends, and the tale became a symbol of courage, adventure, and limitless possibilities.
- The Nutcrackers And The Sugar-tongs: The story is about two best friends, a pair of Nutcrackers and a set of Sugar-tongs, who dream of leaving their mundane lives behind and embarking on a grand adventure. With hearts brimming with excitement, they set out on ponies to ride through hills, meadows, and town, leaving behind the other inhabitants of the kitchen who watched in astonishment. Their tale would inspire countless generations of kitchenware to dream of their own exciting escapades as they vow never to return to their old lives, their hearts overflowing with the thrill of their newfound freedom.
- The Silver Horseshoes: In this story, a poor prince living far from a king’s daughter imprisoned in a tower on a high mountain becomes determined to win her hand when the king promises her to whoever can reach her. His black horse tells him to go to a witch living deep in the woods to get a pair of silver shoes. After a perilous journey, he successfully obtains the shoes by tricking the witch. He then uses the shoes to climb up to the tower and win the hand of the princess.
- Cilla and the Dwarf: In this story, a princess is kidnapped by an ugly dwarf who wants to marry her. A servant girl named Cilla sets out to find her, armed only with a magic bean that an old witch gave her. She eventually finds the dwarf’s hidden cave and twists his nose, causing him to transform into a toad. Cilla uses the magic bean to turn the stolen wedding dress back into the princess, and they both escape. Cilla is rewarded for her bravery but only asks for a small cottage by the palace where she can see her rescued friend every day.
- The Singing Ring: A prince is in love with a beautiful princess but her father, the king, does not let her marry him because he is not wealthy enough. The princess becomes very sad and cries all the time. One day, the princess finds a singing ring in the garden. When she wears it, it makes her happy, and she can communicate with the prince through the doves that the ring creates. When the castle catches fire, the prince rescues the princess, and the king gives his consent for the couple to marry. The ring continues to sing to them, and they ride off into the sunset happily ever after.
- The Milk-White Horse and the Prince: In this story, an enchanted prince is tasked with rescuing a princess who is held captive by three monstrous creatures. With the help of a milk-white horse, he is able to reach the princess and transform himself into a mouse to gain entry into the house. He instructs the princess to meet him at the window at midnight. When the time arrives, he arrives on the horse and rescues the princess, but the monsters spot them and give chase. The prince uses his magic to turn the monsters into stone, and the princess’s parents invite the prince to reside with them and marry their daughter.
- How Old Witch Neda Stole the Moon and the Sun: The story is about an old witch named Neda who flew on her broomstick to the sky to brush away the cobwebs. She liked to tease the little stars by brushing away their veils, and one night, they got angry and attacked her, causing her to bump into the moon. She then took the moon and the sun and locked them up in her closet. The little stars devised a plan for one of them to rescue the sun and moon, and they succeeded with the help of old Witch Neda’s broomstick that was turned into stars in honor of the brave Little Star who saved the day. A PDF version of the story is available for download.
In conclusion, the Top 37 Stories about courage provide an inspiring and engaging collection of tales that aim to instill bravery, resilience, and determination in children. By reading these stories, young minds can understand the true essence of courage, be it in the face of adversity, overcoming personal fears, or standing up for what’s right. These captivating narratives, from diverse cultural backgrounds, teach the importance of believing in oneself and making bold choices, ultimately empowering children to face life’s challenges with confidence and grace.