Friday, December 6, 2019

Healing Through MG Literature

MG Lit is more than fun entertainment or a sneaky way to educate kids. It can also be a healing, guiding part of growing up. Middle grade novels open our eyes to the struggles around us while helping us navigate our own. Sometimes a book really can be a best friend. In this spirit, here's a roundup of middle grade books that tackle tough issues and can help readers heal.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

"A beautiful, funny, and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation." --The Wall Stree Journal

This story addresses issues experienced by a boy with facial abnormalities as well as the struggles of his sister as they both try to find their way in life.

Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper

"This book is beautifully crafted and written with understanding for those people who have disabilities." --The Guardian

This incredible book is about Melody, a highly intelligent girl with cerebral palsy.

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susan Nielsen

"This savvy, insightful take on the modern family makes for nearly nonstop laughs." --Kirkus Reviews

This humorous novel is upper MG, edging into YA in terms of the protagonists' ages - 13 and 14. It tackles disease, death, grief, and blending families.

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz

"First-time author Swartz creates a clear, moving portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder through the authentic voice of middle schooler Molly Nathans." --Publishers Weekly

This compelling book explores the idea that perfection is attainable, showing OCD tendencies and life spinning out of control.

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

"It’s about love and fealty, fear, hope, the release from burdens, and what kids — all kids — need but often don’t get." --The New York Times

Rain Reign delves into the mind of a girl with Asperger's syndrome, illuminating her thought processes and revealing how frightening life can be when she needs to adapt to new situations.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legend

"Sometimes stories are a means of survival...A layered, thoughtful exploration." --Kirkus Reviews

This book tackles depression and despair in a melding of real life and a mysterious fantasy kingdom, where hope and healing can emerge.

What are some of your favorite healing novels?


Shari Green said...

Great list! These are all so good, and so powerful.

Ms. Yingling said...

I was just thinking about this. My students who have the most trauma in their lives invariably pick happier books, and the only students who choose books about sad things are generally in better shape. Mulling this thought.

R. H. Roberts said...

That's interesting Ms. Yingling! I wonder if those who've experienced trauma are seeking escape through the happier books? Something to think through...