meditation resources for children

“Loving Kindness,” by Deborah Underwood

loving kindness by deborah underwood

Rather than purchasing from Amazon, please buy from the publisher (MacMillan),  Indiebound (US), or Bookshop.org (US and UK).

Deborah Underwood kindly sent me a copy of “Loving Kindness” in late 2021. As a fan of books on lovingkindness for children, and as a fan of Deborah’s work in particular, I fully intended to write a review in the new year — of 2022. That was more than a year ago!

The delay has nothing to do with the quality of the book. The book is excellent. It’s just that 2022 was intensely busy for me, and I set the book aside. And then (literally) set another book on top of it. And then another. And another. It was only after I’d published a review of Sumi Loundon Kim’s “Goodnight Love: A Bedtime Meditation Story” that I remembered Deborah’s book and dug it out from the pile on my coffee table.

So here’s my belated review.

First, the author. Deborah Underwood has been a firm favorite in my household for years. My daughter was addicted to the Sugar Plum Ballerinas series of books, which have Whoopi Goldberg’s name on the cover but which Deborah wrote. I read these to my daughter at bedtime for months, and we both loved them. It was only later that I discovered that Ms. Underwood had written books for younger children as well. Her “Quiet Book” and “Christmas Quiet Book” were absolutely lovely, but came out a little too late for my own children to appreciate.

“Loving Kindness” is another of her books for younger children.

It’s a beautifully affirming book, with charming illustrations by Tim Hopgood. The text, Deborah told me in an email, was “inspired by the lovingkindness meditation, which I’m pretty sure I first learned from you.” It’s lovely to hear that I (might have) had a hand in inspiring this book. I’m not particularly good at teaching meditation to children, and so it’s wonderful to have others take up that task.

The text is designed to be read to a child by an adult. “You are a blessing,” it tells the child. “You are beautiful just as you are. You are, loved and you love.”

What a lovely message for children to receive!

Title: “Loving Kindness”
Author: Deborah Underwood, Tim Hopgood (illustrator)
Publisher: Henry Holt
ISBN: 978-1-250-21720-2
Available from: MacMillanIndiebound (US), or Bookshop.org (US and UK).

Children are also reminded that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that mistakes are how we learn.

They’re reminded that they dream and dance, and feel the sun’s warmth, and that they touch the earth that connects us all. The book teaches them empathy by reminding them that others too dream and dance, and feel the sun’s warmth, and touch the earth that connects us all: This little girl does. And animals. Everyone does.

We’re all connected by the fact that we all do these things. And above all (or below all, supporting everything) is the earth, connecting us. That universal connection to the earth is a vital part of this song of connection.

Just reading through this book on my own helps evoke kindness in me. It even helps me be more forgiving of myself for the long delay in writing this review.

My kids are in their teens now, and too old (or think they are) for a book of this kind. But I will be treasuring my copy of “Loving Kindness” as I await the opportunity to read it to a younger child.

See also:

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“Goodnight Love: A Bedtime Meditation Story”

goodnight love, by sumi loudon kim

Please order books locally, rather than from Amazon, through, Shambhala, Indiebound (US), or Bookshop.org (US and UK)

A little while ago I received an email from Sumi Loundon Kim, telling me about a new bedtime book for children that she’d just had published. The book is an adaptation of a traditional Buddhist loving-kindness meditation, which helps us to develop warmth and kindness, and to take our own and others’ well-being into account.

Sumi’s family practiced this meditation every night for five years as they snuggled in bed. She went on to teach it to other families. and discovered it was a popular approach that many parents and children ended up doing together.

When my review copy arrived, my heart melted! The warmth and love embodied in the cover image by Laura Watkins is simply stunning. In fact, the illustrations are gorgeous throughout: full of life and love.

Sumi Kim’s text gives a lovely, child-friendly guide to bedtime loving-kindness practice. There are a few pages that describe a series of brief practices that prepare the ground for kindness to arise: arriving by acknowledging that snuggling we’re in bed; grounding ourselves with deep in and out breaths; relaxing (“soft and heavy, melting into our resting spot”); and connecting with kindness by placing our hands on our hearts and picturing a warm glow radiating outward.

Title: “Goodnight Love: A Bedtime Meditation Story”
Author: Sumi Loundon Kim, Laura Watkins (illustrator)
Publisher: Shambhala
ISBN: 978-1-61180-944-2
Available from: ShambhalaIndiebound (US), or Bookshop.org (US and UK).

As is traditional, the loving-kindness instructions begin with adopting a kind and loving attitude toward ourselves: “May I be healthy. May I be safe and protected. May I be happy and peaceful.” They then widen into cultivating kindness and love for our families and loved ones, our friends, including friends who are hurting, and then out yet further, into forests, mountains, oceans, and the whole world.

In case you think it’s odd to wish a mountain well, the illustrations make it clear that we’re considering not just a hunk of rock, but all the living creatures that live on and around it. The same is true for forests and oceans.

Finally — and this was a really lovely transition — we come back to the intensely personal, as the adult reader wishes their snuggling child well: “And now, little one, it is my turn to share my love for you: May you be healthy. May you be safe and protected. May you be happy and peaceful, always and forever.”

The return from the universal to the intimate was very effectively done. This must be so pleasing to any child, reminding them that out of all the billions of being in our world  they have a very special place in their family.

My children are about the same age as Sumi’s — they’re both teenagers – and beyond the target age for this book. I really wish something like this had been available when they were younger, because I’d love to have had the experience of sharing it with them.

I wholeheartedly recommend Sumi Loundon Kim and Laura Watkin’s book to all parents of young children. Books like this are rare. They are important tools for bringing more love and kindness into the world.

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“When the Anger Ogre Visits,” by Andrée Salom

When the Anger Ogre Visits

Available from: Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

Some weeks ago I read this book with my kids (a six-year-old boy and an almost-eight-year-old girl) several times now, and they enjoyed both the story and the images. But the book became especially relevant recently when my son developed the habit of kicking and punching his sister. That’s a phase a lot of kids go through, but it’s especially worrisome because he’s taking karate classes, and at some point he’s going to be able to do some serious harm.

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So last night, when my son was getting mad, we picked up the book again, and read through it. he wanted to read the book out loud himself, and he was able to do so with only a little help. Daddy was proud!

After he’d finished with the reading we talked about some of the things we can do to calm down our anger when it pays a visit.

  • We can breathe slowly and deeply.
  • We can use our imaginations to picture ourselves floating and relaxing on the sea.
  • We can relax the body.
  • We can listen to the sound of our breathing.

Salom reminds the child that “As you pay attention, the Ogre will change form,” and in fact we see the red, swollen ogre deflating like a balloon and his contorted face dissolving into a smile as he becomes “friendly, gentle, and warm.”

“Next time it comes a-knocking, you’ll know just what to do. Invite the Anger Ogre to relax and breathe with you.

By the time we’d finished reading the book, my son was calm again. Success!

Title: “When the Anger Ogre Visits”
Author: Andrée Salom
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
ISBN: 9781614291664
Publication date: April 2015
Available from: Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

I’d highly recommend “When the Anger Ogre Visits.” The content is generally very practical, and the illustrations (by Ivette Salom) are colorful and entertaining. The one piece of advice for relating to the Anger Ogre that I think could have been clearer is this:

“If the Anger Ogre is still swollen, tense, and hot,
Offer it some honey of the sweetest kind you’ve got.”

This is a nice image, but we’re left guessing what it actually means. My own guess would be that the child thinks of something positive (perhaps a calm scene or a friendly face) but I’m sure other people will interpret this differently, that some will take the metaphor literally, and that yet others will be confused about what’s being suggested. The rest of the book, though, is crystal clear.

“When the Anger Ogre Visits” was pitched perfectly for my two kids. I’d imagine it would work with children from about three to eight or nine years old.

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“The Christmas Quiet Book” by Deborah Underwood & Renata Liwska

The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.

The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.

Shhhhh!! Let’s be very quiet while we review author Deborah Underwood and illustrator Renata Liwska’s The Christmas Quiet Book.

Are you sitting comfortably? Have you silenced all the alarms on your computer and phone? Have you closed all other windows or switched your browser to full screen mode? Have you taken three full breaths, closed your eyes, and spent a few minutes quietly listening to the world around you? No? OK, go do that now…

I adore Ms. Underwood’s books. So does my six-year-old daughter and, to a lesser extent, my four-year-old son. My wife’s a big fan, too. Underwood writes a lot of different kinds of children’s book, but those that I suspect are most popular are those she’s least known for: The Sugar Plum Ballerinas books, which are nominally by Whoopi Goldberg, but which in fact are written by Deborah Underwood. These books are so well-written that dad is always pushing the kids so that he can go back and catch up on the two chapters he missed when it was mom’s turn to put them to bed.

This isn’t a review of the Sugar Plum Ballerinas books, but I’d just like to note that I found myself wondering if Underwood was a meditator, given how good she is at describing the physical sensations of emotion (and if you don’t get the connection, read this article). The reflective nature of The Christmas Quiet book, and its predecessor, The Quiet Book, reinforces Underwood’s meditative aura (actually, she is not only a meditator, but is a fan of Wilmdind — I asked her).

As I wrote of her earlier “Quiet” children’s book, Underwood “creates a space of stillness in which children’s imagination and attention can grow.” That’s true of the new book as well, especially given the snowy Christmas settings of many of the vignettes that illustrate the many kinds of quiet that normally slip by us unnoticed. There’s an old Buddhist saying that what we repeatedly turn our attention to becomes the inclination of the mind, and by focusing children’s attention on quiet, they will learn to appreciate silence and stillness. This is a kind of contemplative children’s picture book.

Thus we have Searching for Presents Quiet, Getting Caught Quiet, Hoping for a Snow Day Quiet, and Bundled Up Quiet — in all, 29 forms of quiet. As you’ll have picked up from the few examples given, there are storylines connecting some of the vignettes, and the illustrations reinforce those storylines, helping us to see how one kind of quiet can flow into another.

The illustrations themselves are charming, with a dramatis personae of various fluffy and not so fluffy animals, from bunnies to iguanas (but even the iguana seems cuddly, somehow). The drawings are varied, evocative, and emotionally expressive. The crouching bunny in “Shattered Ornament Quiet” is a study in shame and anxiety, while the skating owl in “Skating Quiet” exudes quiet confidence. The varying emotional tone of the images will surely help children to slow down and empathetically enter the world of the characters.

This is an adorable book. If you have children up to the age of six, and you’d like to encourage them to pause more, be more introspective, to empathize more, and to be quiet, I’d highly recommend The Christmas Quiet Book.

PS. The Sugar Plum Ballerinas rock!

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“The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime,” By Dharmachari Nagaraja

Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Three years ago I walked into a bookstore in Vancouver, where I was doing a book launch, and literally the first book spine that caught my eye in the Buddhist book section was called Buddha at Bedtime. As the father of two young children I pulled it from the shelf with excitement, and was astonished to discover it had been written by an old friend of mine from my days in Glasgow.

Of course I got a copy of the book, and it’s been a bedtime fixture in our household ever since. Now comes a much-welcomed sequel, The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime.

As with the first volume, The Buddha’s Apprentice contains adaptations of traditional “Jataka” tales, which are Indian fairy tales that tell of the previous lives of the Buddha. Each tale illustrates a particular virtue, in a similar way to the Fables of Aesop, which draw on the same body of folk tales (Indian and Greek cultures have a historical connection).

The stories have been updated in order to make them more accessible, and are no longer presented as the past lives of the Buddha. In a way that’s actually more accurate, since these would have originally been non-Buddhist tales. In fact the Buddha isn’t mentioned in the stories, nor are they all set in India. Although some of the settings are (from a Western point of view) exotic, they quite are multicultural, taking place in locales as disparate as jungles, deserts, the Scottish Highlands, Thailand, and, of course, India.

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The names, unless the stories are explicitly set in a foreign land, are westernized. For example, one story features Rosie (a tough girl, who injures a rabbit), Hazel (who nurses the rabbit), and their teacher Miss Poppy. This makes the experience for both the reader and the average child much easier than struggling though Sanskrit names such as Siddhartha and Devadata. Additionally, in the tale of Rosie and Hazel the genders of the characters have been changed as well, so that we end up with more female protagonists than there are in the traditional tales. Since moral truths are universal, and not dependent on gender, this tweak to the originals is a valuable way of making the stories, and the lessons they contain, accessible to all children.

And as with the first volume, this is a delightful read. The stories are exceptionally well-written and a delight to read out loud. Nagaraja is a skilled storyteller.

The illustrations, by the very talented Sharon Tancredi, are luminously colorful, and the characters exude abundant personality. At first I thought I preferred the illustrations in the original book, but actually these are every bit as good, and in many ways the facial expressions are more “alive” than in the original Buddha At Bedtime. Some of the elements — mainly the monkeys’ faces, and those of some of the other animals — seem a bit child-like for my taste, but on the whole the images are delightful.

My seven-year-old daughter certainly doesn’t find this book too childish, nor did my son, at age four, find it too grown up. I’d guess that a good age-range for The Buddha’s Apprentice would be three to eight.

One thing I was pleased about is that the Buddha, who is illustrated at the end of every tale delivering a brief moral punchline, is now actually the Buddha. In the first book the illustrations were of Budai, who is the fat Chinese monk (often called the “Laughing Buddha”) who you’ll have seen in many a Chinese restaurant. It’s a common thing for westerners to assume that Budai is “the” Buddha (i.e. the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni) even though this is rather like confusing Christ and Santa Claus! As well as being more culturally accurate, the use of the serene and dignified figure of Buddha Shakyamuni seems more proper, and many Buddhist parents will be inclined to take the book just a little more seriously.

The book contains some meditation instructions for children, which I confess I haven’t tried with my own kids. The inclusion of meditation instruction for children gives another good reason for buying this book. There’s just not enough of that kind of material in circulation.

The ultimate reviewers of a book such as this, though, are the children. Mine love it! And I’m sure yours will too. Remember, Christmas is coming!

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Cookie Monster: “Me practice mindfulness!”

cookie monster

Well, Cookie Monster doesn’t quite say that, but he comes close. In this Sesame Street video promoting self-control (which psychologists call “executive function” these days) he says:

When me lose control, when me have no doubt
Me have strategies, that can calm me down
Me can talk to self, me can stand up straight
Me can take deep breath, me can self-regulate!

And also:

When me lose control, when me on the brink,
Need to just calm down, me need to stop and think
Me need control me self, yeah that’s the way to live
And then me functioning, like an executive.

Check out Cookie Monster’s excellent message, which is as applicable to many adults as it is to children:

You can view the video on YouTube if you can’t see it above.

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“No Ordinary Apple,” by Sara Marlowe and Philip Pascuzzo

no ordinary apple

Title: No Ordinary Apple: A Story About Eating Mindfully
Author: Sara Marlowe, Philip Pascuzzo (illus.)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
ISBN: 1-61429-076-8
Available from: Wisdom Publications, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

No Ordinary Apple is a variation on the famous “raisin exercise” that’s so popular in meditation classes. (If you’re not familiar with the raisin exercise it’s where we mindfully eat a single raisin, thoroughly exploring it with our senses.) But No Ordinary Apple is, of course, a children’s book — and a very welcome addition to the growing body of meditation resources for children.

The fruit is question is an apple rather than a raisin and the mindful eater of this apple is a young boy called Elliot, who is waiting at his adult neighbor Carmen’s house between school and his parents getting home.

Elliot is hungry and asks for a snack. Carmen counters with an offer of an apple: a suggestion that is none too popular with Elliot, who wants candy.

Carmen is a good saleswoman, though. Or perhaps she teaches meditation. At any rate, she persuades Elliot that this is no ordinary apple, but tells him that he’ll have to find out for himself why this is the case.

Carmen guides an excited Elliot through an exploration of the apple using all of his senses. He moves from having a stereotypical view of an apple as “red” to recognizing the many colors that it contains. He touches the apple and explores its textures. He smells it. He even listens to the “thwap” it makes as he tosses it from hand to hand. And of course he eventually bites into it, chews it, and swallows it — all the time exploring the apple mindfully.

Of course Elliot realizes that this is indeed no ordinary apple, but it has to be pointed out to him that it’s not the apple that’s special — it’s the attention that he gave to it that created a special experience. And Carmen helps him to see that anything he eats — even candy! and perhaps even food he doesn’t like — will be extra-special when eaten with mindfulness.

No Ordinary Apple is a lovely book. The illustrations are larger-thank life and they do in fact make the experience of eating an apple look special. The story is fun, and children will feel like they’re learning something rather than being preached at.

My daughter, who’s six, was very excited about the prospect of us doing this exercise together, and she even set aside some apples on top of the refrigerator, awaiting the perfect moment (the kids had to be in need of a snack, and we needed some uninterrupted time). When the right time arrived, both my kids (I also have a five-year-old son) enjoyed the exercise, although the youngest had some trouble restraining himself from eating the apple during the looking-feeling-smelling-listening stage, and once we were tasting our apples he couldn’t stop himself from swallowing it. But he had fun. My daughter, who’s almost two years older, really enjoyed the exercise and was old enough to restrain herself. Actually, when I’ve done the raisin exercise with adults there have been a few who’ve had no more discipline than my son!

The principles outlined in the story can very easily be translated into practice, both for encouraging children to eat mindfully, and for encouraging parents to do likewise! Trying to teach a child to eat mindfully is going to be more successful if the parents exemplify mindful eating.

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The power of appreciative words: “Mishan’s Garden,” by James Vollbracht & Janet Brooke

mishan's garden

“The greatest gift you can ever give another is to see what is best and unique about them.”

This morning I stumbled downstairs, bleary-eyed, having got home late after teaching a class the night before. My six-year-old daughter gave me a running hug and a huge smile. She’s naturally affectionate, but I suspect there was an ulterior motive, because a few seconds later she came running back to me with Mishan’s Garden in her hands, asking that I read it to her. And so, I did.

Mishan is the titular heroine, a young girl who lives in The Village Above the White Clouds, where her father is the innkeeper. Misha is a special girl, whose birth was accompanied by the song of a white bird — a song so sweet it seemed to unite heaven and earth.

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The land around The Village Above the White Clouds is too cold and barren for anything to grow. The barrenness is metaphorical, since people there say it is not a place where people belong. But Mishan’s father predicts that she will cultivate a beautiful garden of hopes and dreams.

Mishan dutifully plants seeds in the cold, infertile soil, but those are not the seeds that are to grow. Instead, it is the seeds of goodness in the villagers’ hearts that Mishan is to cultivate, watering them with her kind and appreciative words.

When an argument breaks out in the inn, Mishan asks a worn-out old soldier to intervene and prevent violence. He says he’s too old and weak, but Mishan convinces him that he still has strength, like an old tree whose boughs offer shelter. And so the old soldier asserts himself and puts a stop to the fight.

She tells an arrogant and rich merchant that he is like the village stream, bringing life to all who are in need. Her kind words inspire him to be generous, and we see him giving alms to a beggar.

She offers kind words to the village children, whom she compares to wild flowers, and to the young girls, whose talk about the beauty of others perfumes the air like the scent of lilac flowers.

Title: Mishan’s Garden
Author: James Vollbracht (Illus. Janet Brooke)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
ISBN: 978-1-61429-112-1
Available from: Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com.

Lastly, she tells a white lie to an angry woodcutter who has come to the inn looking for his son, whom he regards as a lazy good-for-nothing. She praises the woodcutter’s wisdom in coming to the inn, saying that it is wise to know that there is a time to work and a time to rest and dream, like the vine that grows by day and bathes in the moonlight by night. The woodcutter not only accepts his son’s need to rest, but asks him what his dreams are.

But Mishan is still waiting for her garden to grow. And distraught that her seeds have not germinated, she becomes seriously ill. But although her literal garden has failed to blossom, around her kindness is blooming in every heart, and the villagers run to help her. The birdsong so beautiful that it seemed to unite heaven and earth is heard once again, and the villagers see Mishan’s garden, filled with beautiful flowers, vines, bushes, and trees.

When people think of the village now, they think of it as a special place where everyone not only belongs, but where every person has a “special place and their own special dreams.” And those who come to the village in search of their dreams hear the song of the white bird, and feel encouraged to keep on with their searches.

My daughter loved the book, and I enjoyed reading it to her. The story is charming, and open to many interpretations. Does Mishan die toward the end? Is the flourishing garden we see her vision of heaven? Why does she really become ill? Is it because she lied to the woodcutter? Does the white bird’s appearance at Mishan’s birth and possible death suggest that Mishan is some kind of bodhisattva — a being reborn in order to help others? I rather like all the ambiguity, which allows for much discussion and exploration with children.

Janet Brookes’ watercolor (?) illustrations are very beautiful, simple, and give a good sense of a non-specific Himalayan culture and landscape, with bare craggy mountains and fluttering prayer flags. I especially enjoyed the sensitivity and love expressed in the faces of Mishan and her father.

James Vollbracht’s storytelling is poetic, evocative, and beautifully illustrates the power of appreciative speech.

Mishan’s Garden is 30 pages long, and is the perfect length for a story at bedtime — or for reading before breakfast!

As well as being a regular book review, this post is one of our 100 Days of Lovingkindness series. You can see all of our 100 Days of Lovingkindness posts here.

100 Days of Lovingkindness

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A Buddhist blog by kids, for kids

Child's drawing of the Buddha

Children from the The Dharma School in the UK, Europe’s only Buddhist-based primary school, have set up a blog to present their experience of Buddhist pracice.

At the school’s blog<, pupils from Years 3 to 6 are creating a series of podcasts and blogs about meditation and mindfulness as part of an ICT project with teacher Ross Young. As most of the information online about meditation is written by adults (and primarily for adults) the kids wanted to relay their experiences and perspectives in a way they felt would be accessible to children their own age.

You can subscribe to receive regular updates and podcasts (via itunes) and check out their “how to” guide to meditation, ideas for mindful activities to try at home, “mindful mind skills”, poems about meditation, favourite books, “wicked websites”, “what’s cool about our school”, their radio show and podcasts and much more.

Please enjoy, subscribe, comment and share!

It’s great that school-age children are learning meditation and mindfulness. It’s even better that they’re teaching it!


Update: Dharma Primary School was the first primary school and nursery in Britain to offer an education based on Buddhist values. It celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was an independent school and nursery based in East Sussex, on the south east coast of England. The 14th Dalai Lama was a patron.

The Dharma Primary School educated around 80 children in a large historic house in Patcham, Brighton.  Children of all abilities and backgrounds were eligible to attend. There were generally 10–20 children in each class with a teacher and an assistant.

The school closed in July 2020.

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Room to Breathe: The official trailer

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Room to Breathe is a surprising story of transformation as struggling kids in a San Francisco public middle school are introduced to the practice of mindfulness. Topping the district in disciplinary suspensions, and with overcrowded classrooms creating a nearly impossible learning environment, overwhelmed administrators are left with stark choices. Do they repeat the cycle of forcing tuned-out children to listen, or experiment with a set of age-old inner practices that may provide them with the social, emotional, and attentional skills that they need to succeed?

Even just this brief extract of the film is powerfully moving. I can’t wait to see the whole thing.

Here’s some more background information from the film’s website:

The film begins in the halls of Marina Middle School in San Francisco – kids pouring out of classrooms, shouting to each other as they sweep down the stairwells into a concrete schoolyard that lies outside of the massive art deco building that is the weekday home to almost 1,000 children. The tough language and raw physicality suggests the underlying violence to which these kids are exposed.

Topping the San Francisco school district in disciplinary suspensions, and with overcrowded classrooms creating a nearly impossible learning environment, overwhelmed administrators are left with stark choices. Do they repeat the cycle of forcing tuned-out children to listen, or experiment with a set of age-old inner practices that may provide them with the social and emotional skills that they need to succeed?

We are introduced to Omar, a troubled African American boy with a love for playing basketball, partly to forget his brother’s murder in an unsolved crime in 2007; Lesly, a highly social girl with no interest in academics, whose hard-working parents immigrated from Mexico; Lesly’s friend Jacqueline, a tough and disruptive girl who is frequently in trouble with school administrators; and Gerardo, a winsome but defiant boy who sees himself as unfairly persecuted by his primary teacher and other school officials.

Room to Breathe has two primary adult figures — Ling Busche, an overworked young Asian-American counselor helping seventh graders deal with what they perceive as a hostile school or home environments, and Megan Cowan, a buoyant 30-something Executive Director of a growing mindfulness-in-education organization. The first question is whether it’s already too late for these kids. Confronted by defiance, contempt for authority figures, poor discipline, and more interest in “social” than learning, their young meditation teacher runs into unexpected trouble in the classroom. Will she succeed in overcoming street-hardened defiance to open their minds and hearts? Under Megan’s guidance, our characters and their peers slowly start to take greater control over themselves, and a new sense of calm begins to permeate their worlds, in class and at home.

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