There’s magic in children’s books – well, really, in all books.
Books open a world of fun and wonder. They help children learn about the world, what’s happening around them and, importantly, it helps them learn about themselves. It expands imaginations, and connects them with those that care for and protect them. Books build important skills that can help children develop their own narrative in life and for the world around them.
Books can also play a big role in exploring emotions and experiences that are sometimes hard to express. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to have books and stories that they can relate to, and see themselves in.
Living in out-of-home care can give rise to many complicated, confusing and overwhelming feelings. The mass of people that ‘circle your life, that talk endless about you and make decision about every aspect of who you are’ is something that children and young people talk with our office about constantly.
Books and reading with others (or on your own) can play an important part in navigating these big and overwhelming feelings and thoughts. Especially books written by people who have been through the experiences of care themselves. So we asked some children and young people, along with some of our advocates, what books might be good to read or share with children and young people in care.
Here are some amazing books that they recommended:
Oscars Layers by Felicity Graham. Oscar’s layers was written for kids in care and for all kids to learn about different families, how to ask for help and that asking for help is BRAVE
Its Okay to be Different by Todd Parr. This young kids book (or big kids books) delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format.
Roar by Billy Black. Roar explores the complicated feelings that arise for children during contact visits with their family members, using animals to share this story and big emotions.
My Family Time is Mine by Bobby Hendry. This book provides practical tips for young people in out-of-home care that explores their rights to be heard in matters that are important to them – including their living situations and their relationship with their family members.
Fostering Hope by Shane Salter. The author explores his own journey through foster care and learns about himself and how he felt he could transform from hopelessness to hope.
Not Held Down by Felicity Graham. The author shares her experience in the foster care system in South Australia. “This book was written to help others in care to find their strength and not feel silenced or alone”
The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory by Corey White. This memoir by Corey White confronts the trauma and survival of his past and how he rebuilt for himself.
Beneath the Waves by Layne Beachley. An autobiographical novel that talks to exploration of identity and self-belief.