#FridayReads | Fiction’s Wisdom

I stumbled upon this piece about how encountering fictional characters in our reading helps us gain insight to ourselves, others, and the world around us.

I love reading–fiction and nonfiction–and wish I had time to read more. Of the 10 books referenced in this article, I’ve read only five. Several of my daughter’s favorites are included here, including the Harry Potter series and A Wrinkle in Time; and a favorite of my father and son’s, The Hobbit–a reason I was immediately drawn to this post.

Here’s an excerpt of the article that describes the wisdom of a few fictional characters. Maybe it will inspire you to pick up a work of fiction this week:

1. Dumbledore, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling


One of my most beloved teachers says to Harry, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ‘It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’

There are many great quotes J.K. Rowling has given Dumbledore throughout the series, but this one is poignant in how we teach kids. It shows how Dumbledore believes in a growth mindset, and despite the natural abilities we each come to an experience with, it is the choices we make in important moments that define us, not those talents.

2. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


‘You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anyone says to you, don’t let ’em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.’

We must always teach our children that, despite what the bullies of the world do and say to us, we mustn’t let them reduce us to fighting. We all have our triggers, but we must rise above it, and try to take the high road.

3. Mrs. Whatsit, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle


‘Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.’

We are all given these things in life, but like what Dumbledore suggested, what we do with it is what matters. Mrs. Whatsit reminds us that we are all poetry, and how we choose to write ourselves is a matter of our creativity and longing.

4. The Fox, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


‘Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’

Too often, we don’t see clearly when we focus with our eyes, and the fox is so right about this. Our hearts guide us devinely, unafraid of the vulnerability that our minds put forth.


To read more, including the other six books in this list, go to EdWeek.