We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Escape into a good book’ but this is so much more than a trite fancy alluding to a bit of me-time in the middle of a busy day. A book has power and this power influences the minds and lives of our children and young people in hugely significant ways.

  • The power to ignite the imagination; sparking all manner of brilliant ideas, fun play and creative school work.
  • The power to develop concentration in a world in which our attention spans are being squeezed and narrowed by our instant fix culture fed to us by media, technology and ever increasing schedules.
  • The power of relaxation – a little peace and calm for young people in the face of so many pressures and ever increasing mental health issues.

Escaping into a good book is not only an escape into the world of imagination, but is literally escaping from our information-overloaded world giving our children an oasis of fantasy, dreams and adventure. Not only does a love of reading support children’s learning at school, but it is a vital part of a child’s health and wellbeing.

A report recently published by the National Literacy Trust found that one quarter of young people don’t know how to deal with stress, but that school pupils who enjoy reading and writing are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental well being. Escaping into a story is a great way to relax and escape any anxiety and worries that a young person might be carrying from their day.

Stories are also a safe and hugely cathartic way for young people to explore feelings they may be experiencing, issues in life or things they are struggling to understand about the grown-up world.

Escape into a good book may just trip of the tongue, but there is power in those words that when they become a reality in our children and young people’s lives are one vital way to healthy mental wellbeing.

Here are some great books that help young people explore issues and feelings –

Little Manfred – Michael Morpurgo

The Midnight Gang – David Walliams

Amazing Grace – Mary Hoffman

Blubber – Judy Blume

Hamish and the Worldstoppers – Danny Wallace

Tell us your recommendations for books that help explore issues and feelings in the comments below.