Bibliotherapy: When Kids Need Books includes an annotated list of books that address over 50 topics that kids (grades 4-12) most often deal with. Included in each entry is complete bibliographic information, grade level appropriateness, and a brief summary. Some of the 50 topics include: Adoption, Alcohol Abuse (parent and child), Child Abuse, Individuality, Internet Issues/Safety, Peer Pressure, Sexuality, Teen Pregnancy, and much more. Also included in the book is a succinct explanation of how to use bibliotherapy for those directly affected by issues, for parents and loved ones of those affected, and for teachers and educators involved with young adults who are inevitably dealing with one of the issues addressed in this book. The most important qualification that the author brings to this book is a genuine care and concern for her students.
Everyone has dealt with at least one of the issues listed in this book at some point in his/her lifetime. Whether that issue was conquered with the help of a loved one, through therapy, or is still weighing on the individual, the therapeutic power of a book is often overlooked. The reassurance gained when an individual learns that they are not the only one, can open several doors of communication, and can put one on the road to recovery or coming to terms with an issue.
In schools, bibliotherapy can greatly increase the connectivity of curriculum to the individual student. A genuine relation to a book can help students cope with their current situation. An added bonus is that with the increased interest, academic growth is more likely to occur.
In addition, those who want to help, but don't understand what their loved one is going through, can gain empathy by reading about a similar situation. This will better equip an individual to open the lines of communication with someone they care about.
Amy Recob, MSE in Middle Level Education, is a wife, mother of four children, and teacher and mentor to hundreds of middle school students. In her spare time, she enjoys coaching track, running, cross-stitching, and playing with her children.