High demand for children’s books dealing with violence and trauma


CHICAGO – As the new school year begins, some students have even greater fears of keeping up with homework: The demand for children’s books that address traumatic events such as Like a school shooting.

Book sales to young readers about violence, grief, and emotions have increased for nine consecutive years, with nearly six million copies sold in 2021 — more than double the amount in 2012, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks US retail sales of print books.

anxiety and depression Rates are up among young Americans, and educators and advocates say children’s books can play a role in helping them cope.

said Kristen Enderle, managing editor of Magination Press, the children’s book publishing arm of the American Psychological Association. “Children face these problems and challenges in their daily lives.”

One book, “I’m Not Afraid… I’m Ready”, was reprinted several times to meet the demand after the massacre Robb Primary School in Ovaldi In May, according to the National Center for Youth Issues, a nonprofit group that published the book. The story, first published in 2014, depicts a teacher showing children what to do when there is a “dangerous person” in their school.

Ian Ellis James, Emmy-winning Sesame Street writer known by his stage name William Electric Black, leads a first-grader class reading a book on urban gun violence prevention at Drexel Avenue School, Monday, October 3, 2022, in Westbury, New York
Some teachers say turning to children’s books that deal with violent and dramatic scenarios can help children cope.
AP Photo / John Mincello

Bookstores across the country are seeing an interest in literary-type titles that rise and fall depending on local and national titles, according to bookseller Barnes & Noble.

Some of the new titles interact directly with it Gun violence in the real world.

In the graphic novel “Numb to This” released this month, writer Kindra Neely details the 2015 Umpqua. Community college shooting In Oregon, which she survived, and in the aftermath while trying to recover Frequent shooting in another place. At first, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers managing editor Andrea Colvin said she was shocked when Kelly came up with the idea.

“I had to remember that, yeah, that’s what our stories look like now. That’s what young people experience,” said Colvin.

Children read as follows: Ian Ellis James, Emmy-winning Sesame Street writer known by his stage name William Electric Black, leads a first-grader class reading a book on urban gun violence prevention at Drexel Avenue School, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Westbury, New York
Some children have experienced high rates of gun violence in the United States.
AP Photo / John Mincello

Michelle Jay, whose 7-year-old daughter Josephine was murdered in 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School She turned to children’s books herself to help her two surviving daughters. One of the picture books I read to them was “The Ant Hill Disaster,” about an ant boy who’s afraid to go back to school after it’s destroyed.

“It was one of the many books that comforted them and gave them a little confidence to face an extra day, and another minute, because we can do it together,” said Jay, who advocates for better security in schools. Through a non-profit organization, I participated in the establishment of safe and sound schools.

Experts say parents should make sure that books on trauma are age-appropriate and backed by psychologists.

It’s important to be aware of whether children are aware of or are nervous about frightening things in the news, said Aryeh Sova, a Chicago psychologist who works with children who attended the July 4 parade in the suburbs. Highland Park, Illinois, Where there were seven people He was killed in a shooting. He said that a child who asks a lot of questions about an event may indicate that he is anxious or focused on it.

“If books come from a child’s need, books can be a great way for children to learn, read with their parents, review by themselves and process at their own pace, and at their own pace,” he said.

Sofa said that triggering violence when a child is not anxious about it may unnecessarily increase their anxiety.

Some young children are exposed to gun violence at alarmingly high rates, particularly in color communities.

Ian Ellis James, the Emmy-winning Sesame Street writer known by his stage name William Electric Black, said it’s important for them to start early to tackle the effects. He is the author of the children’s picture book “Venice Is Not Fun”. He said young children in areas with gun violence know this more than parents might think.

They know about flowers, candles and cards on the street. “They walk by their side every day,” he said.

Through children’s literature and theater, Black works to reduce gun violence in urban areas. “If you start when you are five, and come back when you are 6, 7, 8, 9, you will change behavior,” he said.

Children read as follows: Ian Ellis James, Emmy-winning Sesame Street writer known by his stage name William Electric Black, leads a first-grader class reading a book on urban gun violence prevention at Drexel Avenue School, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Westbury, New York As the new school year swings by, the demand for gear steadily increases for children's books that tackle traumatic events such as school shootings.
A Chicago psychologist argues that the material in the books could be harmful to those children who weren’t already concerned about the topics discussed.
AP Photo / John Mincello

In the spring, he will collaborate with New York Public School PS 155 in East Harlem with a series of Awareness of violence using weapons and preventative workshops for early readers, using puppets, storytelling and repetition.

They won’t even get rid of offensive weapons here in this country. So the thing I’m dealing with is, we have to go in and we have to help them save themselves,” Black said.


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