Teaching Character Through Literature: Diligence - SLO Classical Academy
Inquire Visit Donate
San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
Subscribe to Down Home:

blog sponsors

Teaching Character Through Literature: Diligence

Happy Monday! We are almost halfway through the school year. Time is flying by! Today we have some literature suggestions around our Character Trait for the month, Diligence.

When we read a book with a protagonist facing difficulties we can’t help but cheer them on. As they face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we want to shout, “Don’t give up!” We are inspired when they persevere and finish what they started. Stories of others triumphing over trials with diligence and character encourage us and our students to do the same. Our previous post on Diligence talked about how we can forge Diligence in ourselves and our students. As a reminder:

Diligence: Committing to doing tasks with excellence and persevering with determination and patience to complete tasks in spite of difficulties and discouragement.

Catch Phrase: Do your best; don’t give up!


The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

Even the slowest tortoise can defeat the quickest hare, and even the proudest hare can learn a timeless lesson from the most humble tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race! This beautifully illustrated journey, from starting line to finish, shows that bravery, perseverance, and humility can be found inside each of us. (Ages 3 and up)

The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

The lonely old woman and the lonely old man decide to bake a girl this time, but when they open the oven, she runs off as her brother did. Never fear, this smart cookie has a plan to outfox the fox. Will it work? Let’s just say that the ending is a surprise for everyone. (Ages 3 and up)

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Dan Santat’s tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can no longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he find the courage to face his fear? (Ages 4 and up)

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn’t black. With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing! (Ages 5 and up)

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter-mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry, daring, and magic of the event with beautiful language and illustrations. Winner of the Caldecott Medal. (Ages 5 and up)

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, the Mendez family fought to end segregation in California schools. When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why—she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organized a lawsuit. A Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book. (Ages 6 and up)

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

This is a great read in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Winner of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration. (Ages 6 and up)

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, Illustrated by Edward Frascino

A beloved classic about Louis, a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis is determined to win Serena’s affection by learning to read and write and even learning how to play a trumpet. A SLOCA Primary Must Read. (Ages 8 and up)

The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

This series is a huge hit among SLOCA readers! Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods. He meets a collection of odd companions, always watching out for danger Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers who he is. (Ages 8 and up)

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Caldecott award-winning author, Lauren Wolk, shares the story of an orphan, determined to know her own history but also discovers the true meaning of family. Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the lonely but beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only friends are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their loving neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon Crow finds herself following a path of discovery and danger. Winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. (Ages 10 and up)

For our previous Character Trait posts for 2021-2022, please see:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *