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The "red bag effect": The children´s book as an empowering tool
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0555-2683
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The "red bag effect": the children's book as an empowering tool

Helen Asklund

Can we read books concerning “difficult themes” for children? Will they be too hard for young readers to cope with, and for grown-ups to know how to manage?     Questions like these are of great importance to all who work with young children or with educating future preschool teachers or children´s librarians. In my presentation I will discuss why I find it important that children are given the opportunity to meet with a varied selection of books. In addition, I will discuss important aspects to take into consideration when thinking about reading more challenging books with children.   I will do this by using examples from my own experiences of working with literature as a means for empowerment and for giving the silent a voice. My main example is a project related to the British Letterbox club. It was directed towards children in so-called family homes. The intention was to boost the children´s willingness to read by making the reading of literature a joint activity in their family homes. The reading was meant to work as a tool for bringing the families closer together. Most importantly, the books were to work as an empowering tool for the children, providing them with means for talking about feelings, experiences and thoughts for which they otherwise did not have a voice. The participants were recurrently provided with red bags that contained individually chosen books etc.   The ability of literature to empower its reader has also been at the core of a study that I and a colleague of mine conducted, and of our university course about fiction and health. In the study, we developed a model for how to use literature as a tool for giving patients with various psychological diagnoses the power to tell their story. The course was directed towards social workers and health care professionals. Among other things, the students prepared suggestions for how literature could be used in their profession, for instance in family therapy, to make children open up around experiences that had earlier been hard for them to approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Children´s literature, Reading promotion, Empowerment
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-36909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-36909DiVA, id: diva2:1344491
Conference
Silence and silencing in children´s literature: IRSCL Congress 2019, Stockholm, August 14-18, 2019
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-08-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf