Figuring out the complexities of life is not easy for any of us, and trial and error occurs more often than we would like. For kids with less experience than adults, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming to understand all the things they’re trying to deal with.
Reading books that address problems and concerns is an excellent way to increase awareness and understanding. Since children often ask why, sometimes not at all, because they are not sure how they are feeling, books can serve as a springboard for further thinking and discussion.
The book reviewed today fits this idea very well. From critical reflections on the real events during the Salem witch trials, to addressing the broad and beautiful emotional spectrum that makes us uniquely human, and a story about the faint of heart, each offers an insight into a great story valuable things in.
This is a great opportunity to expand your child’s understanding. Just open a book and read it.
Many public libraries have the following books.
Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple, “The Salem Witch Trials: History’s Unsolved Mysteries,” by Roger Roth, Simon & Schuster, 32 pages
Read aloud: Ages 8 and up.
Read Yourself: Ages 8-9 and up.
In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, a group of girls became very ill. When the doctor couldn’t find a diagnosis in his medical books, he and the town announced that they had been enchanted, and the girls were asked who did the enchantment. They named three women: Sarah Good, Sarah Osbourn and Tituba. From there, more and more people were accused of witchcraft, and the hunt for witches was in full swing.
By the end of 1692, the witch trials were over, but at a heavy price—more than 141 people were arrested, 20 were executed, and four others died in prison awaiting trial.
One of several books in the “History Unsolved Mysteries” series, this smart, fast-paced book provides facts and thought-provoking questions to encourage readers to find themselves for this dark and disturbing chapter in American history s answer.
Library: Southeast Branch, 1426 Perkiomen Ave., Reading
Executive Librarian: Melissa Adams
Senior Branch Manager: Emily McNulty
This Week’s Picks: “Mama Bruce” by Ryan Higgins; “The Frog Scientist” by Pamela S. Turner; “Brave Erin” by Williams Steiger
book to buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstore.
“Patchwork,” Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Corinna Luyken, Putnam, 2022, 42 pages, $18.99 hardcover
Read aloud: Ages 4-8.
Read yourself: 7-8 years old.
From the moment we are born, we are changing, and we are always changing. Author De La Peña and illustrator Luyken express this gently and profoundly in “Patchwork.”
Traveling through the emotions that make us human, this important book is a celebration of the limitless possibilities that each child possesses. Discover the talents, dreams and habits that will help you grow into the adult you want to be.
Sadness, hurt, and tears also shape you as you grow, and that’s okay because everyone goes through the tougher parts of life.
Ultimately, you “…are voices drawn from all the places you’ve been, all the people you’ve met, and all the sensations you’ve felt … put together into a kind of patchwork.”
A reassuring, thought-provoking, and genuine tribute to children and all of their present and future abilities, “The Piece of Piece” is a must-read.
“Good job, Doutou!” by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Athena, 2022, 32 pages, $18.99 hardcover
Read aloud: Ages 4-8.
Read yourself: 6-8 years old.
Mousetta, a young vole, always walks back because she is very shy and doesn’t want to worry about meeting anyone. Unlike other young voles, especially the popular ones, Mousetta will hide at every opportunity.
One day, Mousetta saw an ad in the newspaper for Dr. Gladpaw’s special seminar on how to be an extrovert. Although Mousetta didn’t want to participate, she knew she had to. For extra protection, Musta placed a bucket over his head and stepped back to Dr. Gladpaw’s workshop.
As soon as she arrived, the other attendees showed up, each with a different covering over their head so their faces couldn’t be seen, and everyone walked back. But before the workshop started, the hungry fox came, and everyone was stunned. Mousetta knows this is the wrong thing to do, unless the mouse wants to be the fox’s dinner. Unaware of her courage, Musta makes a bold decision.
A delightful story about feeling sick and overcoming preconceived notions and personal fears, “Bravo, Bucket Head!” hits the mark in every way.
Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature nationwide. She can be reached at email@example.com.