October 20th is National Youth Confidence Day. Helping kids develop a sense of confidence and resilience is a big task for parents and caregivers. The American Psychological Association has books for children and teens that explore confidence, self-esteem, and resilience Here are some of our recent titles: Big Bold Beautiful Me: A Story That’s Loud Proud and Celebrates You! by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt Big Bold Beautiful Me is a delightful announcement of self-love, self-appreciation, self-acceptance, and self-comfort, and being 100% proud of who you are and your shape. Check out the book. “Children celebrate their abundant bodies, from their hair to their feet…As each child repeats the celebratory refrain, Burgett’s cheerful illustrations portray them alongside kids from previous spreads, emphasizing connection and belonging… An upbeat, uncomplicated ode to bodies that are big, thick, broad, and boundless.”—Kirkus Reviews Brilliant Bea by Shaina Rudolph and Mary Vukadinovich Brilliant Bea is an endearing and empowering story that demonstrates that a learning difference like dyslexia doesn’t define who you are. Check out the book. “The teacher’s supportive actions are wonderful to see, but even better is how the tape recorder helps Bea connect with her classmates. Printed in a dyslexia-friendly font, this affirming story about finding your feet and your voice is a lovely confidence booster for young readers, especially those who may learn differently.” —Booklist Hear the story read aloud. Read an excerpt from the Reader's Note. You Can't Please Everyone! by Ellen Flanagan Burns Ellie feels like she is disappointing people if she says “no.” With help from her parents and her teacher, Ellie finds the strength to be honest with people and do the right thing for herself by learning how to say “no.” Check out the book. Read an excerpt from the introduction. Like Ability: The Truth About Popularity by Lori Getz, MA and Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD Like Ability is a practical, insightful guide for teens about popularity: what it is, why some kinds are healthier than others, and how teens can grow their social intelligence and develop the confidence they need to feel more connected to their family, peers, and community. Check out the book. Read an excerpt from Like Ability. The Kid Confident books are part of a new nonfiction book series developed with expert psychologist and series editor, Bonnie Zucker, PsyD, that authentically captures the middle school experience. These books skillfully guide middle schoolers through those tricky years between elementary and high school with a supporting voice of a trusted big sister or a favorite aunt, stealthily offering life lessons and evidence-based coping skills. Kid Confident: How To Manage Your SOCIAL POWER In Middle School (Book #1) by Bonnie Zucker, PsyD Kid Confident (Book #1) discusses dynamic of social power, equal and unequal, in the context of friendships and with unfriendly peers. Readers learn how to be more assertive and how to create more self-confidence and balance the power in their friend groups. Check outRead More
About Eileen HanningEileen Hanning, M.Ed., has more than twenty years designing reading curriculum for underserved kids and training for their parents and social service providers about reading and child development. Her passion for children’s books and hands-on learning has lead her to review children’s books, learn, research and write about education, child development and toxic stress, and to create her own consulting company, ReadLearnReach, where she serves a variety of clients with their curriculum, children’s book and writing needs.
October is LBGTQ+ History Month. The American Psychological Association publishes award-winning books for kids and teens exploring LBGTQ+ history and features biographies that focus on pioneering figures who fought for diversity and acceptance. Explore our collection: The Mother of a Movement: Jeanne Manford—Ally, Activist, and Co-Founder of PFLAG by Rob Sanders This is a true story of parental support and unconditional love. When the son of Jeanne Manford, the cofounder of PFLAG, was beaten by New York City officials for handing out pro-gay leaflets, Manford wrote a powerful letter that was published in the New York Post. She came out as the mother of a gay son. Morty invited his mother to march with him in the June 1972 Christopher Street Parade. While marching, she had the idea to form a group to help parents and families of LGBTQ+ people. That was the beginning of PFLAG. Check out the book. “In the tradition of picture books centered on a parent-child bond, rhythmic repetition reinforces messages of love and acceptance in this biography of PFLAG cofounder Jeanne Manford (1920–2013).” – Publisher’s Weekly Hear 13 celebrities read The Mother of a Movement aloud. Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX by Jen Barton Title IX was designed to fight injustice based on gender. Today its protections extend to the transgender community. This lively, engaging biography drives home the message that it doesn’t take a person with power to make a difference. More often, it takes determination. When confronted with injustice, regular people can effect change. This book includes extensive backmatter about how to be an activist. Check out the book. Read an interview with the author. Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders Mentored by Harvey Milk, Cleve Jones first had the vision for what became the AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Milk in 1985. Along with friends, Cleve created the first panels for the quilt in 1987. The AIDS Memorial Quilt grew to be one of the largest public arts projects ever and helped grow awareness of HIV and AIDS. The Quilt is an iconic symbol of hope and remembrance and is Jones’ shining achievement. It has since toured the world and been seen by millions. Check out the book. ★ “Its story is beautifully captured in the book’s smooth pacing and brief paragraphs. Readers will follow its journey from that march as it becomes both a monument to mourning and a means of changing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS…the book is pretty darn impressive. Storytelling and history, beautifully stitched together.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW Read an excerpt from the discussion guide. Hear Stitch by Stitch read aloud. Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD This evocative biography tells the story of Evelyn Hooker, the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalRead More
What’s better than a book about a band that welcomes a new member? A sequel about working out the challenges of growing and changing friendships! We interviewed author and illustrator Chloe Douglass about her new book, Better Together, the follow-up to Band Together. Here’s what she had to say: APA: After writing Band Together, why did you decide to write this story about the members of the Band? Cover idea Cover idea Chloe Douglass: I was interested to see what would happen to the band after Duck joined and they welcomed a new friend to the group and how that might change the dynamics within the band. I think we’ve all experienced this at some point. APA: You explore some really powerful feelings with Seagull. She feels envy, ignored, pushed aside, sad, angry, lonely, and jealous. Why do you think it’s important for kids to explore these feelings? CD: They’re powerful feelings, and it’s ok to feel all of them and see how they might affect your own and others. I hope the book can be a starting point for conversations about an experience readers might have with these emotions, or help them be better able to put themselves in other people’s shoes. They’re all feelings a reader is bound to experience sooner or later, like someone new at school joining your friendship group, or you’re the new person. Either way, I hope the book can help discussions from both viewpoints. Seagull boils over APA: You describe how Seagull’s body felt when the band played Duck’s song instead of hers: “Seagull’s insides began to flutter, then rumbled, and finally boiled over.” Why was it important to include a description of how Seagull’s body reacted to big emotions? CD: Feelings can manifest in so many ways, and that includes physical sensations. Again, it could be a conversation starter, learning to recognize how certain situations or things make us feel before you might lose your temper, or get control on rising anxiety before it takes over. APA: Some readers might find they have more in common with Bear, Duck, and Fox. How did they not notice how Seagull felt? Were they just not paying attention? Were they carried away with someone and something new? Were they taking Seagull for granted? CD: Absolutely this! We’ve all been there at some point. It's really exciting when someone new joins a group of friends, or a new baby becomes part of the family. But it can be easy to overlook those who might feel a bit left out, or those who don’t want the status quo to change. It’s not always intentional, from both sides, but when you realize that you’ve overlooked someone's feelings, you can make amends and be more aware going forward. Seagull's Song APA: Tell me about writing the songs in the story: Work It Out, Better Together (Birds of a Feather), and Super DuperRead More