Dr. Enright’s Book Named One of “Best Children’s Books About Forgiveness”

As it nears its 20th anniversary of publication, Dr. Robert Enright’s only children’s book, Rising Above the Storm Clouds: What It’s Like to Forgive, has been selected for inclusion in an exclusive list of “the best children’s books about forgiveness.”

The honor was bestowed on Dr. Enright’s book by Bookroo—the world’s largest website platform dedicated entirely to children’s books. The website, with more than 30,000 children’s books in its curated digital collection, says its goal is “to make it convenient for parents and magical for kids to fall in love with reading!”

Rising Above the Storm Clouds was written by          Dr. Enright in 2003 and was published the following year by Magination Press, the publishing arm of the American Psychological Association. It is a          32-page book crammed with colorful full-page illustrations by Kathryn Kunz Finney, a popular artist and portraitist specializing in children and pets.

In the book, a brother and sister who are angry with each other learn from their father the benefits of forgiveness through a series of symbolic images. Together they see what it’s like to forgive and discover that forgiveness can feel good to the forgiver, perhaps even more so than to the one forgiven.

The book also includes a note to parents from            Dr. Enright, co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI), in which he defines forgiveness, differentiates it from reconciliation, and guides parents in helping their children learn how to forgive. He also highlights in that note why children should learn to forgive:

“Forgiveness has a way of cutting through our angers and resentments to give all involved a fresh start. As you forgive, you are set free from the prison of resentment. As you offer forgiveness to another person, he or she has the chance to begin anew with you, trying to be more civil, more respectful, more kind. Those around you benefit because you are less likely to carry your anger into other situations. You are less likely to displace your anger onto those who don’t deserve it.”

According to Bookroo, children’s literature offers an ideal medium for helping children develop the ability to forgive their friends, family members, and others. That sentiment is echoed by another children’s book website called the Third Hour which is funded by the More Good Foundation. Third Hour has Rising Above the Storm Clouds listed 3rd on its top ten checklist of “books that teach children—from toddlers to tweens—the importance of forgiveness.”

Both the Bookroo and Third Hour websites include these other popular children’s books on their “Best Forgiveness Books” list:

  • The Year the Swallows Came Early, Kathryn Fitzmaurice
  • I am Extremely Absolutely Boiling, Lauren Child
  • Will You Forgive Me?, Sally Grindley and Penny Dann
  • Enemy Pie, Derek Munson
  • The Forgiveness Garden, Lauren Thompson

Students in more than 30 countries around the world– like these at Mar Elias Elementary School in Ibillin, Israel (near Nazareth) — learn about forgiveness through the IFI’s Forgiveness Education Program.

All those children’s forgiveness books are not only on the best books lists but have also been recognized for their positive moral values by Dr. Enright. Because of that, they are all included as supplemental reference materials in one or more of his Forgiveness Education Curriculum Guides that are available for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students.

Rising Above the Storm Clouds is incorporated into both the 3rd and 4th grade curriculum guides as part of that IFI Forgiveness Education Program. The book is available in both hard cover and paperback versions for as little as $3.01 (used condition) on various websites including amazon.com, amazon.com.uk, ThriftBooks.com, and ebay.com. It is also available in a          10-minute online video version produced and narrated by Mary Lou Coons, founder of the                   Puppets for Peace Foundation.

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