Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bibliotherapy AKA Books for Kids!

I'm a BIG fan of bibliotherapy. I've rarely met a kids who didn't like to be read to - sometimes in a lap (if they'll let you) or just me reading aloud while they play. Sometimes they appear to not be listening, but usually by just a few pages into the story they are commenting, jumping in or at least looking over to see the pictures! I also believe its helpful for kids to see that their situation is so (sadly) common that there are books about it. Sadly, there aren't a ton of books about foster care that are appropriate for really young children. Too often they focus solely on the "pre-adoptive" phase and forget about all those children out in limbo-land. Or the children just coming into care and not knowing quite what to think about it all. So, here are just a few I use - I've also included a couple of books that focus more on trauma/domestic violence/feelings for kids. Enjoy and feel free to ask questions!

Kids Need to be Safe - A great way to explain to children why they are not living with their birth parents in a non-judgemental way. The constant refrain is this book is " Kids are important, Kids need to be safe".

Maybe Days - The perfect book for a child in limbo. Children in foster care are often hear "maybe", "I don't know", or "we'll see" too often in regards to their futures.

Families Change - This is a great book for children whose parent's rights are being terminated. It explains the reasons that families sometime have to change.

Finding the Right Spot - A story about a young girl looking (and finding) for a forever home. A short chapter book - appropriate for a slightly older child.

A Terrible Thing Happened - A book about what sometimes happen when a child (or racoon in this case!) witnesses a traumatic event. It explains how sometimes the event can lead to all kinds of confusing feelings and then how those feelings affect how a child acts. Also encourages talking to a safe adult as a way to help the child feel safe again.

The Boy Who Didn't Want to be Sad - A great book about how feeling sad can turn into feeling MAD and then acting out and pushing people away... along with the steps to get back to feeling good again.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this - very timely for me personally as we are fostering a child who arrived just this week and I really believe some of these may help.

    Of course availability in the UK is a different matter but I'm not above ordering from overseas.. anything really that might help.. actually, looking at Amazon.com as opposed to amazon.co.uk there seems to be a wealth of useful literature that I've not seen over here. This is turning into quite an expensive excursion into intercontinental shopping!

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  2. I'm home and I can comment! I've missed you!

    Love Maybe Days and A Terrible Thing Happened. Ordered them for SK.

    I'm off to catch up...

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  3. Thanks, this looks like a great list. I've got it saved to look into when I need it.

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  4. I love bibliotherapy!

    My kids are a little older.

    I've enjoyed Touching Spirit Bear - about an aggressive teen boy who seriously injures another boy so has a choice between going to Juvie or spending time alone on an island (kind of like a spirit walk - even though he's not Native American). My son is part Native American and was very aggressive so really identifies with the boy. He is not a good reader, but is slowly working on this.

    I also enjoyed 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I had my kids do book reports on the chapters.

    Mary in TX
    http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com

    Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(12)
    Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
    Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
    Finalized on her brother Bear 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

    " Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

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  5. Add to your list Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson, about a girl visiting her father in prison.
    ina, not anon.

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  6. Thanks for the book suggestions. I already have the first two on your list, but I'll have to check out the others.

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