The Emotional Appeal of Children's Literature

The Need to Deal Safely with Fears

Children's fears of new experiences or frightening creatures can be put to rest with a good book. A favorite book may be a fantasy with fearsome situations like those in the Harry Potter series. It may be a survival story. Some recommended books include:

*Arthur Goes to Camp (Brown) Grades 2-3
The Boxcar Children: A Poison Frog Mystery (Warner) Grades 3-5
Far North (Hobbs) Grades 4-7
The Great Gilly Hopkins (Paterson) Grades 4-6
*Hurricane (Wiesner) Grades K-4
The Incredible Journey (Burnford) Grades 4-6
*Jason's Bears (Bauer) Pre-K-2
Number the Stars (Lowry) Grades 4-6
*Thundercake (Polacco) Grades K-3

Sometimes reading about scary things can bring children's own fears to the surface. Be prepared to discuss these fears. You may also want to help children express their concerns in other ways, such as through drawing or movement. Above all, help children to formulate their own coping strategies.

* Picture books or easy readers.

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