I found myself discovering some awesome books for children lately and I just wish my parents would have given these to me when I was younger. Or maybe a considerate teacher could have left one on my desk in middle school.
Even if you’re way past 11, I bet you’ll still find these not only enjoyable, but also relatable and they’ll make you a better human being.
Fish in a tree by Lynda Mullaly is the story of Ally, a very imaginative little girl who manages to hide her dyslexia from everyone around her. If you’ve ever felt like a fish out of water in a group of people, then you know what’s coming: a whole lot of frustration and dealing with expectations you don’t live up to.
This book teaches children to respect themselves and the people around them, trying to find what’s good in everybody. It keeps your mind on track and throws some trials and tribulations in the mix, making it an easy read and a laugh out loud kinda book.
Ally has some really nice side-kicks and, most importantly, a teacher who’s trying to help. It’s not saying that parents can’t do the job themselves, but it shows the importance of having trained professionals who actually pay attention and try to figure out why kids are behaving a certain way.
Everyone is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it’s stupid. – Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Fish In A Tree
It’s so important for kids to understand their ability in a subject doesn’t mean they will be unsuccessful at being…human. We all make mistakes and struggle with certain things and that doesn’t define our intelligence. We are different kinds of smart.
But what really gets me is that in order for Mr. Daniels to come up with this plan, he must have thought of me outside of school—when he didn’t have to think of me. I bet other teachers have never let me sit in their head one second longer than they had to. – Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Fish In A Tree
This hit home for me. As a teacher, I want to show my students that I care and I’m there for them 100%. I do think of them outside of school and how to help them learn in an easy, playful way.
Rating: 4/5 stars | It’s brilliant!
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a special book which took off greatly and is even taught in schools. However, if you’re not from the US, then chances are your child won’t hear about it from their teacher.
It follows the story of Auggie, a little boy who was born with a facial abnormality. He’s been home-schooled until the age of 11 when his parents decide it’s time for Auggie to face the world of secondary school.
Auggie is special not because of his appearance, but the lessons he teaches everyone around him. He doesn’t hold grudges, empathises with people who don’t treat him with the respect he deserves as a human being, he’s so kind and gentle he warms your heart.
At an age when children are so prone to start judging others harshly, to show them what’s going on through a child’s mind when he’s being bullied is crucial.
Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. – R.J. Palacio, Wonder
This book also introduces kids to the concept of precepts, rules we live by.
Most importantly, it’s a fun story! For adults and children alike. It’s also honest and told from the points of view of different characters. We discover how Auggie’s condition affects his family and the subtleties of living while being different.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars | Fun, inspiring and touching
I had lots of fun reading these books, so they’re not only for children. If you have any favourites in this genre, please leave them in a comment. I’d love to try out more!