Sunday, August 16, 2015

Reggie Queen of the street by Margaret Barbalet illustrated by Andrew McLean

I don't believe in using books to manipulate the thinking of children or to teach 'psychological lessons'.  I am happy, however, when a splendid piece of writing quite naturally gives young readers an insight into themselves or others especially when it relates to emotional intelligence.

Recently a teacher asked me for books that could help a class with resilience.  I found quite a few lists of these on the Internet but when these books were presented to the teacher she did not find any that quite met her expectations.  The problem here probably relates to knowledge of these stories.

One book that appears on many of these lists is Reggie Queen of the street.  I think it would make an excellent discussion starter if you wanted to talk about resilience.

Reggie has a happy life with Doug and Helen and the children who live in her street until one day every thing changes.

Here are two definitions of resilience - one from Merriam-Webster and one from the Oxford Dictionary :

an ability to recover from or adjust easily to 
misfortune or change

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties

Reggie's family move to a new part of town so Reggie leaves home. "Around midnight, Reggie began to smell her street.  She bounced along, past all the houses, to the best one. Home!"  Sadly, though, it is no longer home.  The demolition team have moved in.  Reggie sadly has to retrace her steps and make the long journey back to the house where Helen and Doug now live.  It is in the final scenes of this book that we see Reggie's resilience.  She could easily decide that life will never been fun ever again but instead she picks up her ball - literally, and goes outside to await the arrival of a new set of neighborhood children.

Here are some other books which I think could be used with students - preferably one on one or in very small groups.  I also have a pinterest list for this topic.

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