23 Books I Can't Wait To Share With My Kids
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23 Books I Can't Wait To Share With My Kids

These books taught me lessons my parents couldn't. I want my children to learn those lessons, too.

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23 Books I Can't Wait To Share With My Kids
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March is Read Across America month. Every year, on March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss's birthday. The NEA uses this outreach to advocate for children without the means to read and raise awareness and motivation for them.

In honor of Read Across America month, I compiled a list of 23 books that helped shape me into the person I am today. Some concepts are difficult to understand, until you can see it from someone else's perspective. Books have the power to teach lessons and allow us to see life from different perspectives and different imaginations. Books do what life sometimes can't.

Here are 23 books and plays I can't wait to share with my children:

1. "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

"The Alchemist" teaches readers to pursue your dreams by following your heart's deepest desires. This is a lesson I think many people need to be reminded of.

2. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

This story follows the life of a Black maid in Mississippi who works for a white woman. The maid and her friends fight back against injustice, racism and inequality. Personally understanding that struggle is something I can't do, but this story allowed me to see it through their eyes and gain a better understanding of this injustice.

3. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

This novel is a coming-of-age story that follows the protagonist, Jane Eyre, through the different stages in her life. Jane comes to realize her worth, strength and independence throughout the novel.

4. "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult

In "My Sister's Keeper," a couple has a child who has leukemia and use genetic engineering to conceive another child with the specific purpose of saving their first child's life. This book raised a lot of moral questions on the ethical dilemma of genetic modification, but it also teaches the value of family support in dealing with grief and loss.

5. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

This one is a no-brainer. In addition to the magic, adventure and thrill that come with this pop-culture phenomenon, this series teaches the importance of friendship, loyalty, drive and dedication.

6. "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

I just read this book, and I think I would have benefited from it more had I read it as a child. Though it has some religious and political undertones, the lessons in this book mostly center around finding your purpose and that love is stronger than hate.

7. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

This is one of my favorite novels of all time, and I can't wait to share it with my children. Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" teaches that first impressions can be wrong and to keep your pride in check when meeting new people.

8. "Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White

This children's story teaches lessons that resonate with readers throughout life. Giving people a chance, the importance of pets and showing compassion are some of the messages Charlotte's Web shares.

9. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

While this series definitely speaks loudly to political issues and political resistance, but it also shows the power of sacrifice, love, friendship and perception.

10. "Looking for Alaska" by John Green

This novel is great for being exposed to teenage issues like love, sex and alcohol. It also speaks to life and death, and the legacy one leaves behind.

11. "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini

Following the life and traumatic events of a young Afghan boy named Amir, this book teaches about forgiveness, how to handle regret and remembrance.

12. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Ronald Dahl

In its own wonky way, this book teaches that luck is not a strategy and that hard work is necessary for success and the importance of family.

13. "The BFG" by Roald Dahl

This world could use a little love, and I hope more than anything that my kids will understand that every person has value and to treat people with dignity, fairness and respect. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. It teaches the values of kindness and individuality.

14. "Blue" by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

I picked this book off my fourth-grade teacher's shelf because of the pretty olive green cover, and it turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time. It's a historical novel in which a 13-year-old girl gives her perspective of the second World War after her father and brother go off to fight. I won't give too much away, but besides the historical significance, this story shows the strength of family and friendship.

15. "The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler

I hope by the time I have children, women will no longer be shamed and treated unjustly simply for being women. However, it's 2018 and we have to pay tax on tampons, so I don't know how far hope can get us. This play/book of monologues helped me embrace my womanhood and I hope it will do the same for my daughter.

16. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book teaches that the American Dream is unattainable and over-rated. I want my children to know that success can me measured in so many ways, and money doesn't equal happiness or success.

17. "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

This is one of my favorite books. I think the major lesson in it is the importance of civilization and that civilization cannot exist without people working together.

18. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Racial issues exist in this country and all across the world, and I'm sure that will be the case when I have children. This book sheds light on the issue, and was one of the first novels to do so.

19. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

This is another fantasy/alternate reality novel that I think really speaks to the importance of love and the human experience.

20. "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton

Family, loyalty and identity are some of the major lessons in this classic novel. It leaches that everyone can have struggles and difficulty regardless of social status, and that's something I'm still trying to understand and want my children to know.

21. "She Persisted" by Chelsea Clinton

In this children's book, Chelsea Clinton tells the stories of 13 feminists, advocates and activists who have fought for women's rights and the pursuit of justice. I want my children, to understand the power of their voices and the equality of people no matter their gender.

22. "Everyday" by David Levithan

This is a fantastic book about friendship, the power of love and the importance of identity.

23. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

This book shares the lessons of compassion, friendship, loyalty and human existence. It teaches the importance of compassion and the difficulty of choices.

These 23 books have helped shape me into the person I am today. Books have the power to shift our perspectives. I hope to continue using books to help me grow in my empathy and compassion for others, and I can't wait to help my kids do the same.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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