The Healing Power of Story

The Healing Power of Story

            One of the best things about teen novels is their power to heal. But it’s important to get the right book to meet the need. Here are three tips for how to do that.

  • Ask librarians and teachers for recommendations of books whose characters are facing similar issues or problems as your child. Following someone else’s journey whether it be bullying, anxiety, eating disorders, loss or relationship problems, takes away feelings of isolation. Your teen will realize she is not alone in her problem.

  • Look for books that give positive alternatives and solutions in a real, not preachy, way. A teen can tell the difference between a thinly disguised sermon and a story with feeling and depth. The story needs to captivate your teen in order to keep him reading.

  • Even if your teen isn’t facing any problems at the time, reading about teens with special problems or conditions will give your teen insight to the problem her peers might be facing. That will encourage compassion and understanding.

While books don’t replace counseling and therapy, they can provide a starting point for discussion and support for a troubled teen. Use your library to find books that will promote healing and understanding.