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Power in Children's Books

Dear Friends: I went to a children’s writer’s workshop and read the manuscripts of all the participants. They were exceedingly dark, and the child protagonists were thrust into life and death situations that most of us would never face. The hero or heroine was, without exception, the child of impaired, absent, or dead parents.

On Love (September 2013)

On Children

In her autobiography, Life on Two Levels (1978), Quaker dynamo Josephine Duveneck tells of a year when she provided a foster home in Los Altos Hills, CA, to a seven-year-old Jewish boy from Germany, while Hitler was rising to power in Europe. “What a sweet little personality he was . . . He had been to school just before the time when Jewish children were banned, hence he was thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. . . He told me that Adolph Hitler was the greatest man since Jesus Christ. I did not try to disillusion him. Soon, with the help of our horses, his hero worship was [redirected]. At Peninsula School, he learned English and also found out how to play games instead of how to march. I remember vividly the day when the portrait of Hitler that he had tacked up on his closet door had disappeared, and a poster with Franklin Roosevelt’s photograph on it took its place.”

On Children (September 2018)

Nineteen Children

Dear Friends: I am Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga, a member of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in eastern Uganda. We are a new Friends meeting, inspired by David Albert of the Olympia Friends Meeting. We have worked with David for many years and have felt a lot of love and admiration for him, so we started asking him questions about what it means to be a Quaker. He answers fire pumped us, and in February 2018, sixteen of us met under a mango tree in Kamuli and resolved to start a Friends meeting. We now meet every Sunday, 9am to 11am, under that mango tree in Kamuli. [pullquote]We agreed on the name “Bulungi Tree Shade,” thanks to our mango tree, which gives us shade during worship.[/pullquote] The word “Bulungi” means “welcome,” and we are welcoming to all. On any given Sunday, we have at least 53 adults and 75 children, many of them orphans and children with HIV, as we meet on the campus of a school and orphanage.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Two children’s picture books about mindfulness - Review

Charlotte and the Quiet Place (2015) is a story for ages five to nine, set in one of the noisier places in North America: New York City. Charlotte and her dog find a quiet space in a park, where she notices her breathing and inner quiet. She learns how to re-create that space in other parts of her world, closing her eyes, breathing deeply, and taking her mind back to that park.

On Insight (March 2017)