“Stories are light in our world.” Stories bring hope, laughter, and joy. They help you understand yourself and others. Reading has proven to develop empathy, a cornerstone of social-emotional learning. Books offer a chance to see yourself, to feel heard, and to suggest that you are not alone in your feelings.
In a recent interview, esteemed Newbery winning author Kate DiCamillo reflects, now is an ideal time to discover the comfort available to you in books. There is something in stories that push you out into the world and give you a sense of connection with a community.
One of the best ways to open your heart and open the hearts of others is to read a story aloud. The pandemic has revealed many options to connect with people: over the phone, via Facetime, Zoom, WebEx, Skype, etc. If a family member or friend is not available, how about your dog, cat, hamster, or goldfish?
Middle grade reading suggestions
University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. (2020, December 21). The power of story: Children in a time of sadness, with Kate DiCamillo, opens a new window [Video]. YouTube
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