Failure Friday

A Picture Book About Celebrating Mistakes


SKU: D480-Net

Emma was born to run…or was she?

Emma’s sister, Bella, is the star runner on the high school track team. Her super athletic mom has been running for years. And her dad trains for marathons. Running is just what Emma’s family does.

When Emma finds out she made the school running club, she’s excited…and nervous. Right away, though, it becomes evident that Emma isn’t the fastest one in her family. Or the most coordinated.

Emma thinks quitting is her only option…until her teacher invites a special guest to talk to her class about failure. Emma is surprised to learn that failure isn’t something to fear – it’s actually something to celebrate! As her classmates share their own failures, Emma realizes that maybe failure is actually a stop on the road to success…and that maybe she shouldn’t throw away her running shoes just yet.

Written by Andrea Burns
Illustrated by Barbara Bongini
Paperback ISBN 9781953945679
Grades 2-5
32 pages
Release Date August 11, 2022

Additional information






National Center for Youth Issues

Andrea Burns loves all things bookish. Andrea is a social-emotional learning advocate and feels strongly about the importance of teaching children about their thoughts and feelings. Andrea has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Andrea loves to write stories that influence children to believe in themselves. As an author, Andrea wants all children to be able to relate to the characters in her stories. Andrea shares book recommendations to parents, educators, and counselors as Bookish Burns ( She lives in Kansas with her husband and adorable labradoodle, Bogey.

I’m obsessed. I found my son looking at this book last night and we read it together with his sister. After the conversation we had, I am now convinced that EVERYONE should go buy this book. It was so sweet to talk with my kids about things I have failed at and that have pushed me forward and helped me grow just like the main character in this book. We spoke about how they can celebrate their failures and that having failures doesn’t make them failures. This is the perfect conversation starter!⁠

In a world that celebrates perfectionism, it seems more important than ever to embrace failure with open arms. I love that this book shows kids that it is not only okay, but actually essential, to make mistakes.⁠

Highly recommend this one to teachers, parents, and caretakers everywhere!⁠

Charlotte Offsay

This amazing book helps children celebrate our failures and teaches us how we learn from them. This is a wonderful book for the beginning of the year and can help students learn how to have a growth mindset and that our failures help push us farther!

Lindsay Sauer

Are you looking to grow your picture book collection about perseverance and overcoming challenges? This is one book you will want to definitely add to your classroom library and read again and again with your students this school year!

Failure Friday written by Andrea Burns is one of my new favorites that truly celebrates making mistakes and failure. This book tells the story of the main character who feels all of the pressure to be the perfect runner. After joining the run club and failing, she wants to immediately quit. As her story continues, she fails, and fails again, being teased along the way. After her teacher holds a lesson on celebrating failures, complete with confetti, the class has an awakening about what failure truly means. I love that this book goes one step further and offers a great way to get over failure…the PIE strategy! I am definitely going to be using this one at home and in the classroom!

As with all the amazing books from NCYI the topics and story are right on target for our upper elementary students with easily relatable topics and characters!

Jeanine Schneider

Books like this make me happy! This book’s characters and story are relatable with a positive, encouraging message about failure.

There’s a difference between having a failure and considering yourself a failure. We all fail at things but it’s important to learn from them and push forward to success. Our kids really need to know it’s ok to fail!

Thank you Andrea Burns and NCYI for this wonderful book to encourage our kids to push through their failures!

Debi Salazar


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