Today I’m grateful for children’s books and how enriching they have been to my son and I. I had stopped reading fiction fifteen years ago as my spiritual path grew (just didn’t have time for it). Having majored in English Literature, this was a departure for me. With the birth of my son that changed. And we’ve discovered some gems. We’ve read many really good, really amazing ones, books that make you think and fill your heart, and some forgotten but cherished anyway. These books are so well written, enjoyable for adults too and go beyond being fiction alone. Here’s a partial list you may enjoy especially if there are kids in your life (don’t have to be your own).

THE GREAT KAPOK TREE by Lynne Cherry. This one teaches about how nature’s balance is interdependent by using the Kapok tree as home to the many creatures who depend on it, and each other. It emphasizes preservation.

HOLES by Louis Sachar. A very unusual and original story about a kid wrongly accused, sent to a corrupt boys’ camp, with past generations in his own and other characters’ families adding to the richness. The movie is equally good, one of the best from page to screen.

HOOT by Carl Hiaasen. Don’t bother with the movie unless you’ve got nothing better to do. Superb, fast-paced writing, great humor, environmental preservation theme and empowering to kids.

A SINGLE SHARD by Linda Sue park. A new author we discovered. Story of the historically accurate fame of 12th century Korean pottery, involving an orphan boy living under a bridge and how he bests the odds, losses his best friend and finds a new family. Many cultural textures too.

THE FIRE WITHIN by Chris D’Lacey. Another author who’s new to us. It’s the first in a trilogy, with a fourth book now coming out. It is about Dragons with lots of fantasy, but it’s really about people, relationships, personal quests and integrity. The writing is top-notch, thrilling to read, humorous, and a very original voice.

Please visit the authors’ websites. I linked directly to the book page, but the sites have a lot of content, are educational, there are activities and other empowering information.

This is part of Nneka at Balanced Life Center’s 2007’s Season of Gratitude.

My posts in the series:
Grateful despite the news
Gifts of acknowledgment

Children’s books