These books focus on courage and self-discovery – Reading Eagle

Reading the right books aloud to children of all ages is a powerful form of mindful meditation. The Netflix documentary, “The Mind Explained” (Memory episode), states: “Memory can be strengthened by story. Our brains pay much closer attention to information when it’s in the form of a narrative.”
Among other subjects where this is true, when it comes to understanding what courage is and how it assists with self-discovery, reading books aloud that address this subject allows children to grasp these ideas in a safe, positive way from the comfort of their own home.
After all, the world can be a scary place and all lives, young and old, are faced with troubling issues that require courage, ultimately leading to self-examination, self-discovery and growth.
Help children face their fears and learn more about who they are now and who they can become as they grow by reading to your kids every day.
The following books are available at many public libraries.
“Courage” written and illustrated by Bernard Waber, Houghton Mifflin Co., 32 pages
Read aloud: age 4 and older.
Read yourself: age 7 and older.
There are many kinds of courage. Some kinds of courage are more obvious than others, such as trapeze artists in the circus or jumping off the high diving board. But it also takes courage to be the first one to make up after an argument, to hold on to your dream or to explain the rip in your brand-new pants.
Courage comes in lots of different forms, and Waber helps young and old alike understand just that. Sometimes funny and sometimes serious, this delightful book with its light and often comical illustrations is guaranteed to leave readers feeling good all over and perhaps even a bit more courageous.
Library: Pottstown Regional Public Library, 500 E. High St., Pottstown
Executive director: Holly Chang
Director of youth services: Leslie Stillings
Choices this week: “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan; “Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust” by Loїc Dauvillier; “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
“Bluebird” by Sharon Cameron, Scholastic, 2021, 450 pages, $18.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 11 and older.
Read yourself: age 12 and older.
The aftermath of WW II holds great hardship and terrible truths, and Eva is unintentionally caught in the midst of it all.
Leaving war-torn Berlin in 1946, Eva makes her way to New York City. Her goal isn’t to find a new life. Instead, her mission is to privately exact justice on a war criminal who has escaped and is in hiding in NYC somewhere. The war criminal is a Nazi physician responsible for performing unthinkable medical experiments on prisoners and others.
Eva also holds the key to another dreadful secret — Project Bluebird — a horrific experimental psychiatric program that manipulates individuals to seamlessly bend to the will of their controller to commit atrocities without their knowledge. Project Bluebird is an evil that shouldn’t be allowed to exist, but both the Americans and the Soviets are determined to recruit the one responsible for it for their own military gains. The only thing that stands in their way is Eva.
A brilliant work inspired by a true story, “Bluebird: is as intensely thrilling as it is deeply reflective by questioning how one comes to believe lies and injustices, and the courage to change course and decide how justice should be enacted.
“Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge” by Gary Golio, illustrated by James Ransome, Nancy Paulsen Books, 2021, 30 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 5 – 8.
Read yourself: age 6 – 8.
Sonny Rollins loved his saxophone and practiced for hours on end. But despite how big his hometown of New York City was, neighbors weren’t necessarily pleased to be so near to his practicing.
By the time Sony had a big music career, playing his saxophone with famous people in big venues, Sonny decided he needed to improve his horn playing in a place that wouldn’t disturb others and where he could play long and loud, whatever came into his mind.
And so, Sonny listened “… to that small voice inside which says you need to do this even if everyone wonders why?” That decision led Sony to the Williamsburg Bridge where, for two years, he blew his horn as loud as he wanted, answering note-for-note the sounds of his city.
As beautifully illustrated as it is written, “Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge” is an inspirational book that encourages readers to listen to their hearts, follow their dreams, and stay strong to become who you are and what you want for your life.
Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at [email protected]
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