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Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls

Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls

by Mitali Perkins
Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls

Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls

by Mitali Perkins


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The stories we read as children shape us for the rest of our lives. But it is never too late to discover that transformative spark of hope that children's classics can ignite within us.

Award-winning children's author Mitali Perkins grew up steeped in stories—escaping into her books on the fire escape of a Flushing apartment building and, later, finding solace in them as she navigated between the cultures of her suburban California school and her Bengali heritage at home. Now Perkins invites us to explore the promise of seven timeless children's novels for adults living in uncertain times: stories that provide mirrors to our innermost selves and open windows to other worlds.

Blending personal narrative, accessible literary criticism, and spiritual and moral formation, Perkins delves into novels by Louisa May Alcott, C. S. Lewis, L. M. Montgomery, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and other literary ""uncles"" and ""aunts"" that illuminate the virtuous, abundant life we still desire. These novels are not perfect, and Perkins honestly assesses their critical frailties and flaws related to race, culture, and power. Yet reading or rereading these books as adults can help us build virtue, unmask our vices, and restore our hope. 

Reconnecting with these stories from childhood isn't merely nostalgia. In an era of uncertainty and despair, they lighten our load and bring us much-needed hope.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506469102
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 08/31/2021
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 156,038
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mitali Perkins is an award-winning author of novels and picture books for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near; Forward Me Back to You; Rickshaw Girl; and Bamboo People, among others. Her books have been nominated for the National Book Award, won the South Asia Book Award, and listed as a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Born in Kolkata, India, Perkins has lived in India, Ghana, Cameroon, Great Britain, Mexico, Bangladesh, Thailand, and the United States (Massachusetts, New York, and California). Perkins's work is known for strong characters who cross all kinds of borders, seek community, and promote justice. She and her husband have two sons and live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Table of Contents

Introduction | The Transformative Practice of Reading Children's Classics 1

Chapter 1 Danger Ahead: The Elephant in the Room 15

Chapter 2 Seven Books, Seven Virtues: Finding Goodness in Person 31

Chapter 3 Rigidity and Love: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery 45

Chapter 4 Alienation and Faith: Heidi by Johanna Spyri 67

Chapter 5 Despair and Hope: Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace 87

Chapter 6 Pusillanimity and Courage: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien 107

Chapter 7 Self-Indulgence and Temperance: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 131

Chapter 8 Favoritism and Justice: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 149

Chapter 9 Rashness and Prudence: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis 175

Chapter 10 See the Flaws, Seek the Virtues: Consuming and Creating Children's Stories 195

Conclusion | Drinking Tea with the Dead 215

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 223

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