Oh, the power of a story. Kids who are at-risk just don’t have much access to the stories that might touch their souls and comfort or inspire them. But they are out there! These two books will appeal to the ‘mythic self’ in a child. And for a child who is in foster care, or whose parents are not providing the proper care or any child who feels left out and abandoned, they speak to the need to go on despite one’s troubles and hardships and give the message that things will work out in the end.
Written by a veteran stage actor and writer, The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys (Henry Holt, $17.95) by Julian Fellowes is a touching chapter book about what it means to be hurt and to recover. Doc is a toy bear who spent many years comforting the sick in a children’s hospital. One day, he’s tossed out in the garbage and wakes up in the local dump. What seems the worst that could happen turns out to be not-so-bad when Doc meets up with a mostly merry band of other lost, abandoned and unwanted toys. Together they muse about the nature of devotion while strapped to the grille of the garbage truck. It’s an odd book, but very comforting in its own way. Even when things seem at their worst, they can get better in the company of friends. Great color illustrations by S.D. Schindler.