Now What?

I am back from my weeklong post-election hiatus. For half of our country, day-to-day assumptions about what our nation stands for were completely turned upside down. Maybe most heartbreaking were the children, looking to their grownups to explain. So here are a couple of books that might reassure just a bit.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

A baby bird, newly hatched, falls out of his nest into the big scary world. He decides to set out in search of his mother. He finds a lot of animals out in the world – a cat, a hen, a dog – but none of them are his mother. He begins to wonder: Did he have a mother? But the baby bird is intrepid and he doesn’t give up. You probably have guessed there is a happy ending – read this satisfying book with your little ones to find out exactly how baby bird’s world is set right again.

Pegged for preschoolers.

For the slightly older set…

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Sixteen-year-old Kit has her life upended when her grandfather dies and she must leave her home in Barbados to resettle in colonial Connecticut in 1687, a place of intolerance where people look with suspicion on Kit who behaves so differently from them. When a deadly disease spreads through the community, the townspeople turn on Kit, accusing her of being a witch. Can Kit’s bravery and the support of her small circle of friends save her from the community’s wrath?

A Newbery award winner in 1959, this story reminds us that there have been many uncertain times in history but that the human spirit endures.

Pegged for 5-8 grades.

Share your favorite books about landing in a scary world.

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