The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: Stress-Relieving Words

Are children’s novels a new way to reduce teenage stress?
Ruby Morris
The books of our youth can offer a warm welcome during difficult times.

In the frenzy for good grades, social acceptance, and a determined future, high school students consistently look towards any aid for peace of mind.

But when the pursuit becomes unhealthy, as it often does, and the search for relief ends in scrolling through TikTok, our brains aren’t really finding rest. However, despite what students may think, there is a really easy solution for handling day-to-day stress, and its access is closer than they think.

Children’s novels are a unique way of taking your mind off of the overwhelming life of a high schooler.

Research proves that reading in general can be a useful cure for stress. One study found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. If this is true, how much better would teen depression and anxiety rates be if we simply read a book we enjoyed for 30 minutes each weekend? It’s even proven that reading fictional novels increases decision-making by over 50 percent and that reading for pleasure increases mental health and academic success.

But can the same be true for children’s novels?

Children’s books are essentially simpler in plot and characterization. They are geared towards developing minds and simple pleasures. Lengthy descriptions of food, child-like issues, friendships, animals, and jokes are commonly found in these novels. Children’s authors gear their books towards the funny, relatively easy life of childhood. In fact, the plots often involve content that may seem trivial to an adult but are engrossing to children.

As a result, children’s books are less stressful, and they allow older readers to return to simpler times.

Reading has a way of transporting us away from our own world and into a new one. The Penderwicks, written by Jeanne Birdsall, displays the beauty of getting lost inside a book. Four sisters are on vacation to a seemingly boring house. However, their vacation is filled with mystery and adventure when they see a figure in the window of a mansion. What better world to be transported into than one where your biggest concern is finding out who the mysterious owners of your vacation house are?

Focusing on trivial details for just six minutes a day can do a lot for our brains. We can learn to be more empathetic, more focused, and ultimately, more at peace with our lives. The value of reading may be in decline among teenagers, but the words themselves are of lifelong value. The answer doesn’t lie in something time-consuming or monotonous. Rather, it lies in the escape that words can bring, and the simplicity of the life of a kid.

If you’re interested in checking out children’s novels, some of my favorites, in addition to the three featured in the photo above, include A Place to Hang the Moon, Nevermoor, and Greenglass House.

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About the Contributor
Jaycee Mae Faber, Staff Writer
Jaycee Mae is a junior at NASH. She transferred to North Allegheny this past January and is excited to explore her opportunities in writing for The Uproar. She loves to read, bike, camp, hang out with friends, and travel to Ninja Warrior competitions with her family.

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