Writers and illustrators in many ways embrace children as if taking them by the hand and showing them what is hidden within themselves. Brian a rambunctious mischievous child was no exception.
One bright Monday morning Brian bound toward the classroom door, as usual. A passing adult peered down with a staunch look in her eyes, “Brian stop running. " He looked up briefly, appearing to ignore the remark.
The adult bent down, “Now!" she ordered. Brian walked past her and peered back with a gleam in his eyes and a grin on his face. He often wore a mask to cover his feelings about the message he constantly received from adults in his life. The inability to conform to the demands of school and home left him repeatedly with a feeling of worthlessness and confusion. Upon entering the class room he pulled a book from the shelf and flipped through the pages. He couldn't read the words but he loved the pictures. They seemed to reflect the feelings he had inside.
A piece of literature will often touch a child's heart and soul. Brian, like so many other children, marches to a different drummer. While Brian was glancing through a book an adult gently approached Brian, “Would you like me to read it to you?" He nodded and they headed for a table at the back of the room. This particular book reflected Brian's feelings of hurt and rejection. His eyes clouded over and lips scrunched up tight as each word penetrated his inner desire for acceptance.
Many children, like Brian, long to fit in. Rigid boundaries and expectations are difficult for some students in the structure of the normal classroom. Yet, these children still find solace in literature. Even though Brian still wears his mask of rebellion from time to time, each story shared releases further his feelings of inadequacy and enables a transformation. This will happen in the toughest of children. The loving, caring, compassionate child that is truly Brian emerged with each new book he wraps his arms around.
Touch a child's life with a wonderful book and you embrace his heart and soul.