Three children’s books to help start the conversation
The questions that plunge me into a cloud of unknowing most often come from my Sunday school students.
We asked 11 writers to tell us about a book that opens up space for adults and children to discuss important questions.
Maxwell King’s Mr. Rogers biography is more of a hagiography.
Anyone who cries “it’s not fair!” is old enough to learn about racial inequality.
Why and how I bless my children
You can never fully know your child’s interior life. You cannot know the measure of sadness or rage that may be unfolding within them.
For career day at my daughter's school, I brought pictures of some of the things pastors do. The students were mostly interested in the funerals.
Wonder is an essential disposition for Christian discipleship. According to Susan Engel, children learn to wonder by asking questions and receiving answers.
On a shelf in our church library you can find a “Reading Guide” made by a fourth grader. It lists the types of books appropriate for different age groups and advises: “Remember--Kids (8-12) when you start the Bible, go at your own pace. It's a long book!”
A hundred times I warned my kids about that stretch of road. A dozen times I inquired about streetlights, or reflectors, or anything in that tunnel.
All I remember from The Magic Stones is the image of a young man, some stones and blocks, and an experiment revealing the most perfect shape.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was the book of my youth. I didn’t grow up poor in Depression-era Alabama, but I identified with Scout as I read it several times in my teens. My childhood was a middle-class family in the integrated Bronx, but Scout and I shared a house full of books and a lawyer-father blessed with a firm, centering integrity. Later, studying journalism at NYU in the 1980s, I heard that if you wanted to learn what good writing was, read Mockingbird every year.
I recently read The Circle, Dave Egger’s dystopian novel about a benevolent Internet company that eerily creeps into every aspect of our lives, taking it over, one smiley emoticon at a time. Think about it like this: a company encompasses Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and then it begins to partner with the government.
After the funeral, I was ready to help the boy's family find a church home closer to where they lived. Instead, they stayed with us.