Six Great Books for Graduates, from Kindergarten to Senior Year (page 2)

Six Great Books for Graduates, from Kindergarten to Senior Year

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Updated on Apr 17, 2014

High School Graduation

Though The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins, 2006) is steeped in mysticism and the wisdom of ages, it reads as simply a child’s fable. Its message is equally uncomplicated: “[N[o heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.” Santiago, the simple shepherd boy in search of his dream, meets several spiritual guides along the way, and the tale is rife with lessons about empowerment and success that will be easily applicable to grads on the cusp of adulthood.

Idea: Match this book with a journey of your own—whether a camping trip or a college visitation. Long drives are great opportunities to talk with your teen about the future.

Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally by Patti Digh (skirt!, 2008) is a book that begins with death—which may make it seem like an unconventional choice for a grad just beginning the next stage of life. But out of tragedy (the author’s stepfather died 37 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer) comes triumph: Digh challenges herself to a 37-day reevaluation of her own life that focuses on overcoming negativity and achieving purpose. Funny, edgy and intelligent, Digh’s no-nonsense book dispenses advice (“Always rent the red convertible . . . .”) and gives homework (“[L]ist five people that seem unlovable . . . . Make a conscious decision each morning to hold those people in your thoughts.”) that will be appreciated by teens eager to find themselves in an adult world.

Idea: Give this book with a blank journal for completing Digh’s exercises.

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