The Power of Children’s Books
Nuggets of wisdom. Gold. That’s what Callie Randall, my contemporary heroine in Hidden Among the Stars, extracts from the vein of a great children’s book. And when she finds these bits of wisdom, she clings to them because she knows a secret—adults can learn a lot by reading what intrigues kids.
Callie doesn’t think of herself as a heroine, but as the owner of Magic Balloon Bookshop, she pours into the lives of children every day. Books helped save her life when she was young, and she’s quite certain that a powerful story can change readers of any age.
Books certainly changed my life when I was a girl. Once a week, I’d pedal my bicycle across Ohio’s country roads in search of the bookmobile. My basket teeming with stories, I’d spend my summer days on an adventure with friends like the Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and Emily of New Moon. For a special treat, my family would sometimes road trip to the Christian Armory in Columbus and I’d return with a stack of middle grade books.
I traveled the world through these novels, learning about history, culture, relationships and how to solve problems. I saw glimpses of God in unexpected places and journeyed with other kids as they struggled to live out their faith. And I discovered at an early age that I had stories burning inside me as well, stories that haunted me until I put them on paper.
Most of the characters in Hidden Among the Stars are hunting for treasure hidden during World War II, but I identified deeply with Callie’s love of story. For her, the greatest treasures were found right in her bookshop, on the pages of a great book.
Some of Callie’s favorite books:
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
- The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
- The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
- The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Did a children’s book influence or change your life? Or has a book impacted your family?