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A Young Reader Needed Support From Her Peer Group...

Updated: 4 days ago

When she got it, it made a huge difference!

peer support

It was just another day at the Young Readers' Club. One of the readers wanted to share a book recommendation. She had enjoyed reading it and had a hard time keeping it to herself. The desire to share the joy with her peers at the Young Readers' Club was strong. Yet she was feeling nervous.

Children are capable of giving unconditional love and support. When you let them know that someone needs it, they are more than happy to give it. Even more so if it is a peer.

Quite conflicted with her desire to share her joy as well as the nervousness that she was feeling, she began by saying, "I have just four lines to share about the book that I want to recommend."

The facilitator announced that a reader wanted to share a book recommendation. She needed a good audience who would not only actively listen to what she had to say but also support her in any way they can. The facilitator also told the reader that the audience was interested in what she wanted to share with them and weren't really bothered by how little that was.

This put her at ease by a small degree. All eyes were on her now.

The enchanted wood

She spoke about the book Enchanted Wood, Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. She introduced the audience to the main characters and the setting of the book. She told them about the gateway to magical lands in the magic tree and how the characters had amazing adventures. Sometimes she said they ran into trouble. One reader from the audience raised his hand, "Oh no! Did they managed to get out?"

"Yes they did. They figured a way out."

Another hand went up. "I have read this book. I liked the land of birthdays."

Encouraged, she asked this reader, if he remembers a particular land in the book. He thought about it for a bit and said, "Its been a while since I read this book. I don't quite remember this land that you are talking about."

The reader went on to talk about her favorite character, Moon face. She showed illustrations and talked at length about how this character made reading this book absolutely amazing.

Her peers cheered her on and asked for more detail about this intriguing character.

She was overjoyed and shared more. The audience loved it.

Turns out that she spoke more than 4 lines! :)

When this reader's experience tempted another reader to share her reading experience...

The other book that came up for discussion was the Diary of the Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney. This reader too had the same conflict as the previous reader, perhaps worse. She promised to share only 2 lines.

When you have a peer group that wants to support you, something that feels daunting, can become miniscule.
Diary of the Wimpy Kid

Little did she know that her peers will join in for an invigorating discussion filled with humor! As she explained that the book talks about the struggles of growing up, several heads were shaking in the audience as if to say, "Tell me about it!" They went to talk about the way Greg Heffley has been illustrated. They talked about the funny yet relatable moments in the book. They felt sad when this reader spoke about Greg feeling lonely after a fight with his best friend, Rowley and about how she could relate to that feeling, having experienced something similar.

It was a revelation that a funny and entertaining book such as the Diary of the Wimpy Kid could strike a chord with not just one reader's experiences but also establish a sense of connection and empathy amongst the members of the Young Readers' Club. Books are a powerful way to bring children together and develop empathy. Reading after all needn't be a solitary activity.


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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club for the 8-12 age group.

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The Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.

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