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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Summary: This collection of poems is for children who have psychological, emotional, or medical problems. The poems encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings poetically. Six different themes are addressed in the book, each expressed through the art of poetry. Each theme is introduced, expanded upon, and concluded upon with a variety of compelling and motivational poems. After each set of poetry is a page of activities for the reader to do which enhance and expand upon the newly achieved sense of self pride and confidence, and also allows them to express their inner selves. This is, essentially, a book of poetry.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This poetically inspiring book allows children and young adults to gain confidence in themselves and learn to face as well as conquer tough feelings using their own strength and powers. I found this book to be very well written and inspirational. The poems are all very powerful and moving, which increase the book's effectiveness. However, this book will only appeal to people who enjoy the arts and creativity (e.g., writing, drawing, reading abstract poems). It may not help the full target audience range (6 to 10). Nevertheless, it is an important and skillfully compiled tool which encourages people to increase their confidence in themselves and help them learn to appreciate and take advantage of the skills and powers of their own.
Adult Reader Reaction: Dr. Stutman provides a structured process by which children can learn to express themselves through poetry.
Pros: The book's format as a handbook/workbook guides the reader through the process of expressing themselves through poetry. Ultimately, this allows the user to develop his or her own diary.
Cons: The book and process should be introduced by a care giver who has had training and experience with the process.
Borrow or Buy: This is not a book for the general public. It is a “buy” for care givers and their patients. The process outlined in the book can certainly help the patient express themselves, which in turn, will provide the care giver the opportunity to mitigate the fears and concerns of his or her charges.
Educational Themes: Children and adolescents sometimes find it hard to express their concerns and fears. Writing poetry has proven to be a valuable and therapeutic way to help them identify the source of their problems and, with professional help, resolve them.