Free Spirit Publishing 1.800.735.7323
Picture book that teaches kids how to persevere when things get difficult through positive self-talk

Zach Hangs In There

illustrated by Darren McKee

Zach has set a goal for himself—to get across the tricky trapeze rings on the playground. Every time he tries, he falls off before making it to the end. But with encouragement from his best friend Sonya and positive self-talk, Zach uses a four-step approach to persevere to the end:
  1. Start with a goal
  2. Make a plan
  3. Make a new plan if needed
  4. Keep trying to the end
Zach feels so great about his success that he writes down the steps he used so he can repeat them next time he faces a tough challenge. A short note is included to help teachers, parents, counselors, and other adults reinforce the book’s messages and help kids practice positive self-talk and develop a growth mindset as they learn how to persevere.

Download a printable copy of the Hang-In-There Rings at
Read More


Hardcover $12.99 81623 Hardcover 81623 $12.99

View where you can purchase the eBook.

ISBN: 978-1-63198-162-3
Reading Level: Grade 2
Interest Level: Ages 5–8
Guided Reading Level: M
Lexile Measure: 580L
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 8.25" x 8.25"
Page Count: 32
Praise for Zach Hangs In There:

“Highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.”—Children’s Bookwatch 

Zach Hangs In There does an impressive job teaching kids how to persevere—while providing specific steps to achieve their goals—in easy-to-understand terms. The Zach Rules series is a must-read for parents, educators, grandparents, and anyone who cares about helping young people become responsible, resilient, and compassionate human beings. I highly recommend this series.”—Barbara Coloroso, best-selling author of Kids Are Worth It! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
Helping Kids Develop Perseverance

Perseverance, or the ability to hang in there and not give up in the face of adversity, is a skill that parents and educators highly value. It can be so disheartening to watch a young person give up on a task. Often it feels as if the child is not only giving up on a task but also giving up on himself or herself.

I’ve seen the power of perseverance these past three years as I’ve watched my ten-year-old daughter struggle with a disability in reading. Sometimes I don’t realize the enormous emotional struggle she goes through. I’ve caught myself thinking, “This shouldn’t be so hard” and “I can’t believe she doesn’t like to read.”

The truth is that reading is extremely hard for her, and that’s why she needs to rely on the skill of perseverance. If it were easy, well, it would be easy, and she wouldn’t have to dig deep inside for messages to tell herself—keep going and don’t give up.

Continue reading on the Free Spirit Blog.

Download the teacher’s guide and a worksheet from the book.

  • Common Core State Standards


  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    MS.1, MS.2, MS.3, MS.5, MS.6
    BS.LS.1, BS.LS.3, BS.LS.4, BS.LS.6, BS.LS.7,BS.LS.9
    BS.SMS.1, BS.SMS.2, BS.SMS.3, BS.SMS.5, BS.SMS.6, BS.SMS.7
    BS.SS.1, BS.SS.2, BS.SS.3, BS.SS.8, BS.SS.9

Related Resources

Celebrate the many ways children grow—inside and out—with these words of affirmation for kids.
Help young kids learn how to set goals, overcome challenges, and feel good about their efforts.
Help young children develop a growth mindset, cope with making mistakes, and learn to persevere.
Supportive advice to help kids when they’re feeling disappointed.
A Growth Mindset Alphabet
Practical advice to help kids of all abilities achieve their goals and build a growth mindset
A Teacher's Guide to the Zach Rules Series
Breath By Breath
Worries Are Not Forever
ABC Ready for School
Zach learns a strategy for dealing with frustration when things aren’t going his way.
I Want to Win
Zach Rules Series Logo

Free Spirit’s monthly e-newsletter, Upbeat News, is full of practical tips, free downloads, and special offers. Sign up today!