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Themes, Topics & Categories > Books with Optimistic/Hopeful Messages

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
This excellent idea for a post came up in another thread (thanks for the idea, Cheryl!) and, due to some confusing post issues, I decided to start it back up here. This is the place to discuss books with an optimistic message! :-)

Here are some great suggestions made in the other thread:

from Chandra--I really liked the Chrestomanci series. Like HP it deals with magic and some scary things happen, but I thought overall it was a lot of fun.

When I was a teen I LOVED and DEVOURED anything and everything by LM Montgomery - from Anne of Green Gables to Emily of New Moon and much more. These books were intensely comforting to me and provided a really nice balance for some of the other things I liked to read.

Recently I read and enjoyed The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It is a really sweet, gentle and thought provoking coming of age story.

From Abigail--An example of a children's book (really more middle-grade than YA) that I find life-affirming, and hope-inspiring, that also addresses religious themes, is Rumer Godden's The Kitchen Madonna, about a young boy who discovers that the family maid - a recent Ukrainian immigrant to the UK - is missing having a "good place" in her kitchen, a space to keep an icon. Although the boy himself has no strong religious feelings, he decides to construct an icon for the maid. It really is a beautiful story, that emphasizes the idea that we don't need to share the beliefs of others, in order to respect them. It also shows how perceptions of the boy as being cold and emotionally distant - perceptions shared even by his family - are challenged by this project.

From Kirei--One teen book that I really like is "The Summer of the Travelling Pants". I admit that I haven't read many books aimed specifically at teens recently.

A lot of books that are meant for adults can also be enjoyed by teens, like "Gifted Hands" by Ben Carson. I think the President's autobiography "Dreams from my Father" would also be inspiring to kids. In fact, a lot of memoirs would be great for teens.


I also second "Anne of Green Gables." I am not sure if it is the sort of book many kids would choose on their own, but once I started reading it I was hooked.

from BunWat--Anyway I wrote a review of Calpurnia Tate which is here:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I hope others will feel encouraged to join in and post their suggestions for some optimistic and inspiring books--picture books or novels for young people! :-)


message 2: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod
I find the Little House books by Wilder to be hopeful, too. It's nice to see there is some newer stuff being published - for example The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy - that is joyful and more innocent. Oh, and let's not forget Andrew Clements's school stories.


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
I, too, love the Little House books. And I just adore The Penderwicks, too! I have not read the Clements school stories yet and am off to check them out! :-)


message 4: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod
"I liked the message of world unity - that, wherever we live, we have same basic needs and desires. And I liked that the message of hope came in a story that mentioned disturbing things."

Good point, yes.

"To me, that's what young people really need: hope in the face of some of the world's problems, rather than stories which pretend those things don't exist."

Absolutely.

Thanks for sharing!


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Abigail, Me too! None in my area, yet. I should suggest it to them because I really want to read it.


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
These two books from Second Story Press (part of the Gutsy Girl series) have both wonderful, positive messages for girls, as well as featuring one of my favourite authors, L.M. Montgomery as a topic, Home Free and The Contest. I just finished reading the latter and was completely wowed by it.


message 7: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod
These do look good! I see I'll have to get around to reading the Anne books finally.


message 8: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6910 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "These do look good! I see I'll have to get around to reading the Anne books finally."

You should read the series, but then, I am biased.


message 9: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod
I checked out the first from the library yesterday. It's longer than I expected, for a juvenile, but then books did not need to compete for short attention spans with tv and video games back then.


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
Chandra wrote: "I haven't finished it, but I'm currently reading The Christmas Doll with my daughter. While it's a bit bleak - a sort Dickensian tale of two orphan sisters on the streets of London ..."

I hope so, too!


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5589 comments Mod
For children's books, I'm just reading lots of holiday-themed picture books right now but am eager to start on some children's novels once the holidays are over. Also, I did read Bink and Gollie which is a very short picture-based "chapter book" and I loved it! Also, I got A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson and may start on that sooner than later--I feel inspired to keep up with her work after our group read of A Countess Below Stairs!


message 12: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and its sequel fit this category well. The children are in 7th grade, but the book is short, as if it's for 8 year-olds - good choice for a family share-aloud or for female reluctant readers.


message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Cheryl, I LOVED that book.


message 14: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6164 comments Mod



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