When Reading A Book Takes You On A Memorable Journey

I have always associated reading with unwinding on my favorite chair with a steaming hot cup of coffee within arm's reach. This book kept me seated on my favorite chair wishing that all my work would get done automatically.



Now is probably the best time to be a young reader. There are such amazing books to be discovered. The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair is one such book. Suitable for readers above the age of 10, this book has a lot to offer in terms of humour, heart warming moments and lessons for a life time. No one is alone or is the only one who has lost someone close. How we choose to respond to what life throws at us is what matters!

The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair is one such book. Suitable for readers above the age of 10, this book has a lot to offer in terms of humour, heart warming moments and lessons for a life time. No one is alone or is the only one who has lost someone close. How we choose to respond to what life throws at us is what matters!
A Synopsis of the book

Becket and Billy are brothers. Becket is the narrator in the book who gives us a peep into what it is like to lose his mother when his brother Billy was born. Becket cares for his younger brother in a very beautiful way, always being protective and careful about what he tells him. Not for once does he blame Billy for his mother's death. The duo crave for a maternal figure in their lives and hence look up to Pearl, their father's friend. The two of them hope that Pearl would become their step mother. However, things don't go the way they expect. Their father is a loving and doting father who makes certain choices to protect them from harm. He thinks that by pretending that everything is fine, they would be fine. He believes that Becket especially cannot handle more setbacks. For reasons unknown to the boys, he decides to move them overnight away from Pearl, although he is fully aware that they are fond of Pearl. The boys don't understand why. Becket tries to put the clues together. He and Billy try to contact Pearl even though they have been strictly forbidden to get in touch with her. The puzzle becomes bigger and overwhelming as several layers with half baked information emerge sending the duo on an unexpected journey of discovery. The armchair reference in the book is a metaphorical reference that is very apt to the journey they take together.


Should children be reading tragic stories?

As a parent I have the tendency to avoid sad stories, especially the ones where a close family member is dead. My protective maternal instincts kick in perhaps. As a reader however, I find sad stories profound and act as a reminder that tough times in life come and go. How I choose to respond to them is in my hands as shown by these kind of stories. No matter how many times the same message gets delivered, it needs to be revised to come of use in real life.

Reading this book made me realise that children as readers have a chance to touch base with deep emotions that arise when one is reading a fictional story that talks about loss. It reinforces the fact that it is ok to feel sad, it is ok to talk about loss. It needn't be swept into some far corner of our minds as something that needs to be avoided. Death is always a sensitive subject that is very difficult to discuss. Story books make it easier to face the reality of it, accept it and move on.


Reading this book made me realise that children as readers have a chance to touch base with deep emotions that arise when one is reading a fictional story that talks about loss. It reinforces the fact that it is ok to feel sad, it is ok to talk about loss.

Sad stories for children are often written with much care keeping in mind the innocence that children are born with.

The Author, Lara Williamson, in this book The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in An Armchair, makes it easier to digest the tragedy in the story, through an incredibly adorable character, Billy. Billy helps bring much needed humor in the story by being innocent, playful and extremely straightforward about how he approaches life. There are several parts in the book where Billy would make you laugh out aloud, make you want to share his brilliant ideas with anyone who is willing to hear you out. I for one kept stopping anyone who passed me by while I was reading, to share small snippets from Billy's conversations with Becket in the book. :))


Helps build a connection with books and empathy as a personality trait

Children too go through hardships of different kinds in their lives. Books that have characters that they can relate to helps establish an instant connection- a feeling that someone understands what they are going through. A book may or not deliver on this connection but it definitely opens up perspective and enables a young reader to ponder, to emote with the character in distress. As an adult reading this book, I had many lessons that life has taught me reinforced once again in a very beautiful manner. If you are looking for a heart warming and memorable read, this book is a must read!


 


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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Executives' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.

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