I recently had the chance to interview author C. J. Quinn about the role fantasy novels and reading can play in kids' lives.
1. How can stories and books help raise awareness of environmental issues for kids?
Fiction stories that contain information about the environment provide a great avenue for a child to become more empathetic toward important issues. Their brains may not be developed enough to understand factual, scientific evidence-based environmental issues, but reading environmental fiction allows them to explore these issues in ways that their brain can understand and process the information. Through characters and plot, this allows a child’s mind to receive information differently. The child may choose the book to read for entertainment purposes, yet find that the environmental issues in the book teach them about environmental issues in a subtle fashion. This crossover allows the child to see outside of themselves and gives them perspective into others’ lives. This transforms into empathy towards others. It allows them to have empathy relating to issues such as the environment in which they live and how others are caring or not caring for it.
2. What role can fantasy novels play in kids’ lives?
Fantasy novels encompass a world of imagination and
make-believe with myth and legend. Fantasy is timeless and has shaped culture for centuries. Reading fantasy transforms reading into a magical reading adventure. Children who read about other peoples lives creates more understanding of others and what is going on in the world surrounding them. Children who read fantasy are more prone to being empathetic towards their environment because they learn how important it is to care for their natural world. Something that is outside of them, yet affects them immensely.
3. How can families encourage family story/reading time?
Families are busier than ever right now. They are trying to juggle work, driving, errands, cooking, cleaning, and all of the things that are necessary in their lives on a daily basis. Fitting in family story reading time seems almost impossible. Yet this time together is vital because of the bonds you create, the message that you bring. Setting reading as a golden standard in the home makes it more normal out in the world. In order to squeeze in this reading time together one must build it into the daily routine. Designate 30 minutes a night before lights out to it. This can take place silent reading, parent/sibling reading aloud to one another, or listening to audio books together. In order to make this a successful use of time, one must set up guidelines for this to take place. Set a specific time for this to happen in the evening. Make the reading environment cozy and comfortable whether it is in the family room or a bedroom. Make this family reading time as least distracting as possible by turning off all electronics that are not involved in the story time. Make it rewarding by making the story age appropriate, engaging and a story that all can relate to reading if it is read aloud. Create discussion around the story at the end of the chapter, end of the week or when the story has ended. This discussion can lead to more insight and understanding of the book. The profits from families who read together, are families who stay together. Once you engrain reading into your ordinary family routine, the outcome is extraordinary.
C.J. Quinn earned degrees in Education and English Literature. After traveling the world, she settled down to start a family, which has proven to be the biggest adventure yet. The curiosity of her children inspired Quinn to write Talia and the Capture of Wrath, a middle-grade portal fantasy series. She has enjoyed writing as a hobby for over twenty years, and is currently working on the next book in the Talia series.
Talia and the Capture of Wrath is available in paperback and e-book formats viaFind C.J. Quinn on , and wherever books are sold. The audio version of Talia and the Capture of Wrath will be available in November 2016. , , , , , and at .