It is important for young girls to see themselves represented in book characters. When young girls can relate to strong female character in a story it helps them build strength, know it is acceptable to be vulnerable, and provides examples of creative solutions in relatable life situations.
On the flip side, it is also important for readers to see young girls from different backgrounds in a story because it brings visibility to cultural differences, builds empathy, and creates unity.
We picked six girl-power novels for your middle grade reader to find relatable characters and learn from others in a different life situations.
In a Flash by Donna Jo Napoli
Simona and Carolina's father is a beloved cook in Italy but when the Italian ambassador request his cooking skills in Japan, the girls travel thousand of miles to have an adventure with their Papa. At first, living in Japan is exciting and each sister works to learn the language and customs.
As humans we are wired to be guided by emotions. Generations ago, our ancestors used their “fight or flight” instinct to survive. A saber tooth tiger may not be chasing your family today but, helping your tween learn what their emotions and internal intuitions are communicating can feel just as daunting. Many of us deal with negative emotions by trying to ignore them or living in a negative state without a plan to move forward or channeling it into competition and anger with others. A more empowering option is to learn from our emotions.
In order to learn from our emotions, we need to evaluate them. The following steps will help you have an open and honest conversation with your tween (or yourself).
First, have your child describe the feeling or feelings they are going through so you both can identify the emotion. Next is to clarify the message of the emotion. What is this specific emotion trying to convey? What is the purpose of that emotion? Evaluate...