I love a good book.
A book that can swallow you whole and completely immerse you in its narrative. I used to be strictly a fictional gal, finding non fiction a little too close to reality. But over the last couple of years I’ve tried to branch out and read titles that have historical significance or books with a more socio-economic leaning. Ir palsied every book tells a story; some are based in reality and some are not. Some require us to suspend our disbelief, others require an uncompromising look at our reality.
When it comes to our children I would suggest books can be a real escape for our children. It can even shape how they see the world.
I had so much exposure to different kind of book and magazine in my family home. My mom and Aunties were heavily into fantasy and cook books. My mother, who is a scientist at heart used to regularly buy American Scientific magazine along with National Geographic. I had another Aunty who had a keen interest in wildlife and nature and another who was particularly creative with a pen and pencil.
My home environment was fertile ground in which my curiosity could be nurtured, and satisfied through books. Before the distractions of mobile phones, if I was bored at family gatherings I was often encouraged to either look at a book or write my own stories. There were many books and materials that forced me to look outside of my (perceived) humdrum existence. It fostered not jus
It fostered not just a love of learning, but a desire to be out in the big wide world, in the safety of my own home. I wanted to be the hero in my own life much like Matilda by Roald Dahl or Santiago in Paolo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ or a world traveller like Bill Bryson.
Good Books and character
Your children might choose different books as they get older, but starting them off with books that have values that reflect your own will shape their reality. These books will help shape their ideas and ideals, it will become part of the fabric of their character
For my children, finding books with strong role models is very important. How many of us during certain events of our lives have recalled certain characters or events in books we’ve read? Or as adults, recall reading certain books at critical times in their lives? And seeking direction, have thought about how a certain character reacted and it then informed our own decisions? Judy Blume’s books were staples of mine growing up and ‘Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret‘ is one I still remember to this day. It spoke to my isolation as a child entering teen hood and the eternal question every teen asks themselves ‘am I normal?’ And of course, asking God if He had anything to say about all of this!
If we want to foster children who take personal responsibility, have resilience, look out for their family and community and change the world for the better, they will need to have resources to draw upon. Books (fictional, non fiction and autobiographies) and magazines are brilliant tools to help your children.
If your child doesn’t like reading, consider getting audio books on either CD’s or on an electronic device. I often let my children go to sleep at night listening to a story.
What we’re reading now
Misty Copeland – This book is about the first African American female Principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. The length is perfect for my daughter and I’ve been catching her reading it nearly every day. This is her first biography and I’m so glad she’s inspired by it. It is a story of perseverance and overcoming hardships to do what she was born to do.
I’m trying to increase the ethnic diversity in my children’s reading, especially for my son in hopes he can more easily develop a connection with the books he reads.
Not every child enjoys reading, if this is your child consider getting audiobook CDs or on your electronic device. My children actually love going to sleep listening to a good story.
What books and magazines would you recommend to inspire other children?