A Child Called “It”

60748Have you ever read a book and stepped back and thought about how incredibly blessed you are or were? I recently read a book that made me do just that. The name of this book is “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer.

The book chronicles the life of Dave as a young boy in a happy family that slowly descends into a time of intense physical, emotional and spiritual abuse. The spiral begins with his mother slowly becoming an alcoholic. With each drink, she sinks deeper and deeper into a dark hole that expresses itself as brutally beating, starving and torturing the author.

Dave tells many stories of the abuse he underwent, but underlying it all is an inspirational story of a young boy that still believes in the power of love and hope. In the end, after many, many years of abuse, Dave escapes in part due to concerned and involved teachers and school counselors.

Here are some additional resources and reviews on the book:

Positive Review here

Negative Review here

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Anya’s Ghost

Ever read a really weird book? The kind where you get done and go, “hmmm…that was just…strange”. I recently read a book just like this called “Anya’s Ghost”. Written by Vera Brosgol, the book is mainly intended for a younger age than mine. It is a junior literary guild book.

Brosgol was born in Russia and received a Classical Animation diploma. This book shows her talent. Anya’s Ghost is written in comic book style, which means it is animated and broken into block segments (much like a comic book).

The story follows a young girl, Anya, through a typical day. She is an outsider but wants most of all to fit in. She isn’t quite smart enough, quite athletic enough, quite popular enough and doesn’t quite have the money to fit in with the rest of the teenagers she wants to hang out with.

The adventure begins when she accidentally falls into a well and stumbles onto some bones. The bones belong to another young girl who can’t leave unless someone carries her bones out. Anya does and that is where the trouble begins. The ghost helps Anya get what she wants but at a very high price.

This is a fairly quick read and the comic book style is interesting and refreshing. If you are looking for a light read in between some heavier books, check this one out.

Some other voices on Anya’s Ghost:

Amazon – Positive Review here

Amazon – Not so Positive Review here

Read About Comics Review here

A Child’s Brain Development

This was an interesting article I read today on the development and function of a child’s brain. It also Gives a few suggestions how to best nurture and educate those growing brain cells.
How Does A Child’s Brain Develop?
By the time a child is born, they have a fully developed brain. In fact, the newborn’s brain contains over one billion brain cells! Interestingly, how a child’s brain develops has a lot to do with the environment that they are in.

A child is born with the brain cells that give them the capacity to develop any number of skills. However, if the neurological connections are not being made, the brain undergoes a natural pruning process, which basically does away with unused circuits.
If you want your child’s brain to become developed in a variety of areas, you must provide adequate stimulation in the areas of physical activity, music, language and spatial reasoning, among other areas.
What Can We Do to Help?
Turn OFF the television. Watching television has been characterized as multi-leveled sensory deprivation that may be stunting the growth of our children’s brains. Television projects images that go directly into our emotional brain. Pictures that elicit emotion are processed by the limbic system and the right hemisphere of the neocortex. If no time is given to think about these emotional pictures, then the left hemisphere, the part of the brain that makes sense of, analyzes and rationalizes what we see, is not involved.

Read a lot of books to your children (especially books without lots of pictures) and tell your children lots of stories.  Reading and telling stories helps a child’s mind to create pictures and to think about them. Creating pictures is not just entertaining, but the foundation of our dreams and higher thoughts (intuitions, inspirations and imaginations).

Nature! Nature! Nature! Nature is the greatest teacher of patience, delayed gratification, reverence, awe and observation. The colors are spectacular and all the senses are stimulated. We only truly learn when all our senses are involved, and when the information is presented to us is such a way that our higher brain can absorb it.

Pay attention to the senses. Our environment is noisy and overstimulating to the sense organs. What a child sees, hears, smells, tastes and touches is extremely important to their development. How a child experiences the world has a tremendous influence on how the child perceives the world,especially as the grow into adulthood.

Use hands, feet and whole body performing purposeful activities. All the outdoor activities of running, jumping, climbing and playing help develop our children’s gross motor skills. Performing household chores, cooking, finger games, coloring and painting help develop fine motor skills and also myelinate pathways in the higher brain.

Taken from “Strangers in Our Homes: TV and Our Children’s Minds” by Susan R. Johnson, MD, FAAP

The 5 Love Languages of Children

What is Love? Now before you start the Roxbury head nod, this is not such an easy question. How is love shown and to what degree? Do we all respond to love in the same ways and to certain expressions of love?

Obviously, love is its own language. More often than not, how we respond, act and behave indicates either a plenitude or a lack of love. What co-authors and counselors Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell show us is, this may have to do with how love is spoken to us.

This book deals with children’s love languages and the ways these languages manifest themselves in kids lives. Reading this book will help you better understand why your child acts and responds the way she does. You will also find practical and useful application on how to figure out your child’s love language. The result is a better response and an  increased awareness on how to lead and guide your children through the use of their love language.

This is a great resource for parents, teachers and pastors (especially children’s). I would have liked to see more interaction and biblical support, but over all this is a solid and good book.

Happy reading!