In 1994, J. Halstead wrote “Some of my best friends are books: Guiding gifted readers from preschool to high school”. This book is an informative read and it has really made me ponder some of the choices we have made with my foxling and her reading materials. She has always been a voracious reader, and age seems not to have changed this aspect of her personality.

In the aforementioned book, Halstead contends that gifted girls tend to prefer fiction to non-fiction, while boys’ preferences are reportedly the opposite. It is possible that gifted females choose fiction because it allows them to be “themselves” in a way that our real world does not… a place their talents can be developed, and role models which they can strive to emulate. Developing their talents is a real desire of the gifted adolescent female, and access to books showing them how many other women did just that can be a way of “fitting in” for them. Finding a setting where the things that you value are valued is what we all want, and feeling different, or outside the norm, can take a toll on a young person. Books can be a way for these children to set their sights on the future, while feeling accepted in the present. A common bond with a main character, or using a character’s situation to deal with her own struggles can enable her to see her differences from peers in a positive, rather than negative light. To be able to reinforce their identity thru books is a way for them to begin the self-actualization process that will help them adapt, grow and become the person they wish to become. And to think, we can accomplish all this with a little thought and a trip to Barnes and Noble. =)


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