What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety, by Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD, and Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, is a terrific self-help book for children at the elementary/middle school level. This very effective interactive book addresses adolescent fears of shyness and anxiety. Janet McDonnell created the black and white illustrations that are are age-appropriate and friendly. These drawings help connect the reader to the text in a comfortable way.
Our world can feel like a scary place. As an educator I’ve seen young people from every cultural, socio-economic background struggle with feelings of anxiety and social fears that lead to shyness. Drs. Freeland and Toner present an easy-to-relate-to approach with a circus theme. Included are explanations and passages that explain various emotions children deal with regularly and strategies to strengthen their self confidence. Young readers are encouraged to make lists, draw pictures, and practice responses to help them overcome their fears. They learn social skills that will help them throughout their lives, whether it’s at home, school, a friend’s house, or a party.
I have already used a few of the exercises with some of my students and had wonderful success. I will definitely continue to use the great strategies from What to Do When You Feel Too Shy: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Social Anxiety!
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