Friday, May 10, 2013


Every so often I give myself a news fast. I say "give myself," because whenever I do this, it is a relief, a little gift to my spirit to not know what's going on in the world for a week or so. 

I like to be informed, and I find politics and such things interesting, addicting even, but sometimes my spirit needs a break. 

Something very interesting always happens when my news fast ends. I flip the news back on as I'm driving around and I find I haven't missed much. Particularly regarding politics and the economy, what I'm hearing sounds exactly the same as it did the week before. 

I had one awesome year where I hardly ever drove anywhere. I don't know how that happened, but I maybe had one car trip to make a day for kids, and sometimes not even that. I hardly ever heard the news during that year, and the following year, when I got stuck again in a routine of lots of driving, I started listening to the news on a regular basis again. 

And the same phenomenon was true. The news is generally the same day in and day out, and the news is stressful. 

I flipped on the radio yesterday as I was driving and heard the end of a story about a 34 year-old man who was too frightened to move away from home. It was "safe harbor" in a world that was too scary for him to face. 

The world is scary—I think sometimes the news makes it seem ten times scarier than it is—but regardless of whether or not these scary things are real or just perceived or a mixture, it is going to take courage for our children to get up every day and face jobs and insurance and taxes and terror and politics and schools and so forth. It is going to take courage for them to want to start families and bring children into this uncertain place. 

I've been thinking about courage and would love and book recommendations you have—from picture books to YA—that deal with the issue of courage. I want to tell my children stories that show them courage can be gained and used to get through the inevitable struggles of this life. 

Because there will be struggles. There just will. And stories can be the things that help our kids get through them. That's a large part of why stories have been told in every ancient civilization—not just for entertainment. 

Here are some of my favorites I'm going to share with my kids. Read any of them, and I think you'll be inspired by the courage of others.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (the movie and the book)
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To Destroy You Is No Loss: the Odyssey of a Cambodian Family by JoAn Criddle (this will be tough to find at the library, but you can buy it used, and I can, with confidence, say that it is worth it—you will never regret reading this book). (14 and up)
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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys (14 and up)
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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (9 and up)
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My Book of Life By Angel by Martine Leavitt (14 and up)
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Heck Superhero by Martine Leavitt (12 and up)
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A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck (10 and up)
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Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (10 and up)
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1 comment:

  1. you may have mentioned these before on your blog but these are a few recent books we have read that came to mind on the subject of courage - the princess and the goblin by george macdonald, suki's kimono by chieri uegaki, rosa by nikki giovanni