For many young students in BC, they will be heading back to school in almost a month. As preparation begins for a full transition, let us prepare eager school-bound students in another way – reading! Encouraging children to dive back into the magical world of books can allow them to steadily improve their reading skills as a new school year draws nearer. Listed below are several book suggestions for children aged 6-12 in relation to the current happenings of our world.
During these few months, children have seen a surge of #BLM movement protests and rallies across the entire planet. During this time, and at all times, it is very important to educate young children on the importance of the #BLM movement and the black community.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o (Ages 6-7)
Published in 2019, this beautiful picture book paints a touching story of a young girl who struggles to accept her dark skin colour and wishes for it to be lighter. Written by a Black actress, it tells readers the story of colorism and the importance of loving yourself- regardless of skin colour.
Something Happened In Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard (Age 6-8)
Written from the perspective of three child protagonists, this short novel describes the experience of the children of a town where a police shooting has occurred. It is important to educate even young children on the severity of police brutality and the back of the book has great resources for discourse between you and your child. Throughout the story, the narrators unpack the heavy presence racism had and has in American society.
My Hero is You
A project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG), this book explores the impact of the covid-19 pandemic around the world. More importantly, the book allows children to feel empowered in their own communities as well as help them control anxious thoughts regarding the pandemic. This is an excellent resource for further educating your child on how to cope with covid-19 in a healthy way.
Book to Screen Adaptations:
On a different note, allowing your child to watch a movie adaptation of a recently read book can be a great way to encourage reading over the last month of summer. By watching the movie after reading the book, it is a wonderful opportunity to discuss with your child of the different ways to portray a story. Here are some recent adaptations:
The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate (Ages 9-12)
Coming to Disney+ this summer, this classic story won the Newbery Medal in 2013 and tells the story of a captive show gorilla named Ivan. Through a first person narration, Ivan tells his story, even in the darkest moments, with light-hearted and easy-going humour. This is a wonderfully rich story about the need for animal rights activism.
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin (Ages 9-12)
The classic tale of the 4 girls who founded a club dedicated to baby-sitting is now available on Netflix as a series. While the concept of the series may be simple, the narrators explore complex topics such as divorce and illness. Another bonus to this book is that it is a lengthy book series so there is always the option to keep reading after the first book if it interests your child.