What’s Inside Your Backpack?

What’s Inside Your Backpack?

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All around us, children are carrying backpacks that are heavy with more than just textbooks. Each day, they also bear the weight of difficult life experiences and intense feelings.

Zoey Harmon just wants to feel light-hearted and carefree. Unfortunately, she keeps getting weighed down by pesky “books” in her backpack, like Worry and Shame. Much to her surprise, she’s not the only one! Zoey learns that the adults in her life deal with difficult feelings too! Luckily, they have some ideas that can help her set aside the books she’s not meant to carry. Will it be enough to help her unload the heaviest book of all?

“You look a little worried, kiddo,” Zoey’s mom said, giving her a squeeze. “Sometimes I need a bright thought to help me when I’m feeling upset. Here, try this.” She slid a bookmark into Zoey’s hand. Zoey looked down and read: Imagine with Hope.

“What’s this?” asked Zoey.

“When we don’t know what to expect, worry wants us to imagine with fear, to think about all the worst possibilities. This is a little reminder I use to think of the good things that might happen when I imagine with hope instead.”

While there are no quick fixes for all of life’s complex problems, What’s Inside Your Backpack? highlights some of the ways we can nurture resilience in body and mind. Using the metaphor of books and bookmarks, author Jessica Sinarski offers gentle, effective strategies to help children impacted by trauma. By sharing their burdens with people they trust, kids can lighten their load and realize just how strong and courageous they really are!

This book is also available as an E-Book.


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Author: Jessica Sinarski
Illustrator: Joanne Lew Vriethoff
Audience: Elementary (K-5)
Grade Level: 2-5
Format: Paperback
Page Number: 32
ISBN: 9781953945235
Publisher: National Center for Youth Issues
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Language: English
Product Type: Storybook
Topic: Anxiety, Divorce, Mindfulness & Brain-Based, Social & Life Skills

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