10 Lessons for the Gifted Child from Children’s Literature

June 2, 2015

Literature has so much to teach all of us. Because reading is a cherished pastime for many gifted individuals, we thought we would share some great quotes from children’s literature and beloved children’s authors that teach gifted kids and adults alike important lessons.

Be Yourself

“It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration, peppermint-scented sweet, a source of timber, or a potato pancake.” ― Lemony Snicket, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story

“Never be ashamed! There’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth bothering with.” – J.K. Rowling

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss Be Who You Are Quote

You are Unique and Special and Complex; Embrace It

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

You Will Find Your Tribe, and It Will Be Magical

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss

Use Your Talents to Make the World a Better Place

“‘We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.'” – Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter

Do Not Be Afraid of Failure or Obstacles

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Live in the Present

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

A.A. Milne Quote - Today is a Gift

Embrace Life’s Quiet Moments

“In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked. Yet a child’s need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.” – Margaret Wise Brown

quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked

Dream Big

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child,
Listen to the Don’ts
Listen to the shouldn’t
The Impossible, the won’ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen child,
Anything can be.”
– Shel Silverstein

“How do we know imagination isn’t just a different way of knowing something? A message from outside.” ― Stephanie S. Tolan, Welcome to the Ark

Listen to Your Heart

“‘Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart!’” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Believe in Yourself

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

A.A. Milne Quote - Braver than you believe

What are your favorite lessons from children’s literature? Share in the comment section below.

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Related reading: “Five Great Children’s Books for Gifted Kids”

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