Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Wendy L. Moss
Publisher: Magination Press
This nonfiction self-help book for children contains sound advice and practical strategies to help children learn resilience, or “the ability to bounce back from tough times.” Divided into ten chapters, the material covers an impressive variety of topics, for example understanding the role of emotions, using self-talk and calming strategies to handle stress, dealing with social conflicts, coping with unchangeable situations, and building a support network to lean on in tough times. The purpose of the book is to both motivate children to learn resiliency skills and then teach those skills, focusing on the fact that resiliency can be learned and developed by anybody who desires.
Written by a licensed school psychologist with a degree in clinical psychology, this book is a very trustworthy source of information on resiliency. It is also extremely easy to navigate since every chapter contains a short quiz at the beginning that introduces the material, well-organized section headings, text boxes that feature stories from various kids and additional follow-up questions, interesting “Did you know?” sections, and key points and a summary paragraph at the end of each chapter. The book can comfortably be read from start to finish or by individual chapters in any order. The biggest concern with this book is figuring out its audience. The entire book is written to the child directly in language that is easy to understand, but the material itself can seem dull for children after a while (except perhaps for the more studious ones). In other words, it’s unlikely to end up as a hot topic of conversation among children or teens. However, if parents, teachers, and counselors were made aware of this book, they could recommend it to the children they interact with and possibly even read and discuss it together. So, while there may be a challenge in getting this book into the hands of teens and pre-teens, once it’s there, you can pretty much count on it being a very beneficial resource that will significantly help children become more resilient and able to cope with the stresses that are part of everyday life.