What is bibliotherapy?
Bibliotherapy is the process of having a student read a book to learn about social/emotional issues or developmental needs by identifying with a character from the book. The student reflects on the struggles or problems the character is having and can learn from the characters needs or conflicts. Readers are presented with ways to cope and can better understand themselves through reading. They can learn that there are others who have the same feelings, concerns or problems and that they are not alone. They can connect with the character and gain personal insight into themselves through reading about other gifted people. Students develop a more positive self image and can change attitudes, and values by reading about other gifted people. It promotes mental and emotional health. Adding this to a reading program adds depth to reading and challenges the reader to make complex analyses. They connect to the character and this allows a deeper understanding of the character.
Using Bibliotherapy in a classroom.
Students can choose books from a list. These books are to be read and the readers could be given a list of questions to think about while reading the book. After reading the students could have a group discussion based on the questions that they thought about while they were reading. It does not matter that the students read different books. The questions are the same for the students to share their thoughts and feelings on the topic of being gifted. The questions listed below are sample questions from the article by Tamara Fisher.
- Who in the book did you identify with and why?
- What situations, events, problems did you identify with and why?
- Do you agree or disagree with the significant decisions that the gifted character made and why?
- How did being gifted impact the characters life? Was the impact positive or negative?
- In what ways was the character gifted?
- How did you know he or she was gifted?
- What do you think are the messages the author is trying to send with this book?
- Do you agree or disagree with the authors message?
- What was the problem or challenge in the book and how was it solved or overcome?
- Alvin Webster's Surefire Plan for Success and How it Failed by Sheila Greenwald
- Airborne by Kenneth Oppel
- Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
- Apollo 13 by James Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger
- Arilla Sun Down by Virginia Hamilton
- Artimis Fowl
- The Bat-Poet by Randall Jarrell
- Been Clever Forever by Bruce Stone
- Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Curtis
- Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Letham
- Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson
- Children of the Atom by Wilmar Shiras
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- Deliver Us From Normal by Kate Klise
- Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
- Einstein: A Life in Science by John Gribbin and Michael White
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
- Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald Sobol
- The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by Patricia MacLachlan
- Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
- Forever Changes by Brenden Halpin
- Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho by Jon Katz
- Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
- Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson
- Good Enough by Paula Yoo
- The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
- Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling
- A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey fro the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind
- Ida B:... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
- Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey
- The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs
- Leonardo's Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci (edited by Anna Suh)
- Letters From Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes
- Libby on Wednesday by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- Maizon at Blue Hill by Jacqueline Woodson
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Lee
- More than a Test Score: Teens Talk About Being Gifted, Talented and Otherwise Extra-Ordinary by Robert Schultz and James Delisle
- Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nihm
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart
- The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy by Diane Stanley
- My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- Pride of the Peacock by by Stephanie Tolan
- Prince Prigio by Andrew Lang
- Rocket Boys (also called October Sky) by Homar Hickam
- Saving Lilly by Peg Kehret
- The School for Cool by P.G. Kain
- Seeing Emily by Joyce Lee Wong
- Smart Talk: What Kids Sya About Growing Up Gifted by Robert Schultz
- The Snowflake Man: A Biography of William A. Bentley by Duncan Blanchard
- Some Day Angeline by Louis Sachar
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- Sticks by Joan Bauer
- Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan
- The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
- The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
- The Teenager's Guide to School Outside the Box by Rebecca Greene
- The Triple Chocolate Brownie Genius by Deborah Sherman
- The 39 Clues series
- The View From Saturday by E.L. Konisburg
- The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
- Walt Disney: An American Origional by Bob Thomas
- The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplanre by Russell Freedman
More Sources for researching this topic:
- Mary Frasier- A leader in the area of bibliotherapy for gifted students. It helps gifted students to better understand themselves. She has been instrumental in using bibliotherapy in the counseling of gifted children.
- Hoagies List of Books Featuring Gifted Children
- Gifted Kids, Gifted Characters and Great Books
- Books for Gifted Children Featuring Gifted Children
- GT World Reading Lists
Clark, B. (2008). Growing Up Gifted (7th Edition). Columbus, OH: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
Delisle, J. & Lewis, B. (2003). The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Programs for Gifted Youth K-12. Minneaopolis MN: Free Spirit Publishing.