Friday, December 12, 2014

Bibliotherapy for Teens

Even if you've never heard of "bibliotherapy," you've likely experienced it, picking up a book about an emotionally charged subject that resonates with something you've experienced. In 1966 the Association of Hospital and Institution Libraries defined it in part as "guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading." 

In my role as a school librarian, I regularly am asked - by teachers, school counselors and students themselves - to provide books that fill this role in a small way, for example recommending titles about the death of a pet or conflict with a friend. More often students' own choices of books are influences - consciously or not - by this need.

There is huge comfort in picking up a book and seeing your feelings mirrored in it. It is a comfort to know you are not alone and to see how fictional characters deal with their situation. School Library Journal recently published two excellent bibliotherapy book lists for teen readers - check them out!