I love books… for many reasons.
One of the greatest appeals is their ability to spark conversation. Whether it be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, The Giver by Lois Lowry, or The Diary of Anne Frank, books can be a catalyst to deep discussion. Some kids are reluctant or unsure of how to answer direct questions. Some kids have limited exposure and experience. Some kids are isolated from those around them, physically or emotionally. The power of story is the ability to invite, provoke and spark conversation. Literature exposes our students to new experiences and can be an effective tool in the development of their moral compass.
Through their reading and subsequent conversations, children have the opportunity to make sense of the world around them and explore themselves in relation to the world. When my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was a young teenager, my friends most certainly did not understand. I found comfort within the pages of a book. I read and reread the stories to remind myself that I was not alone in my experiences. I found some of my questions answered and was able to formulate others to ask the adults around me.
In 1896, Charles W. Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”
What books do you find effective with children? Share your favourite… my bookshelf always has room for more!