by Eloise Leigh & Taylor Norman
Chronicle Books August 2013 .
Ages 7 and up 120 pages .
Connect dots on the graph paper pages to create various sizes of boxes. Use the spaces to answer the prompts (they’re pretty compelling) or keep track of any other random thought (they’re pretty important). Have you ever met anyone else with your brain? No. You’re not going to meet anyone else with your journal, either.
“Before you start this journal, consider something: How many thoughts pass through your mind in one second? How about in a full minute—or an hour . . . We’re thinking all the time—all kinds of things. In one brief second, your thoughts might range from where you sprawl in your bed at home (sic) to a summer on a beach in Cape Cod . . . “
Connect the Thoughts can be a fun journal for kids. Every thought, whether written, drawn, or diagramed will be a look into yourself. This is a unique journal in that the pages are all graph paper with nine dots. Use the dots to connect thoughts, or ideas, or anything you want connected. To help you sparkle with ideas, there are sections devoted to music, movies, family, friends, books, food, travel, ideas, dreams, and a section for everything else you can think of that the publisher did not.
Connect the Thoughts is perfect or boys. Using a diary is out of the question. Diaries belong solely to girls. But Connect the Thoughts is not gender biased. The cover is orange and none of the images is gender specific. Inside, on the bottom on each page, is a prompt to help you get journeying. Of course, you do not need to follow any prompt, but they are nice. Once you have posted in your journal for a few weeks, those prompts will not be needed and probably not noticed.
Using Connect the Thoughts for a journal caused me to be more creative. Rather than simply writing, as I have always done—since I was a teen, I turned to drawing, which needs to stay in a private journal. I like the graph paper as it helps me stay straight, but the dots do not interest me. I do like the prompts. Some are practical:
“Family Recipes/Secret Ingredients”
“A map of your house”
Some are silly:
“What would you look like as a comic book character”
“Weirdest thing you have ever eaten”
Some are thoughtful:
“Your life map: where you have traveled so far/Where you want to travel someday”
“Things you’d like to do before you die”
The biggest reason I think kids—girls and boys—will enjoy Connect the Thoughts is that middle grade kids are transitioning between an elementary personas to their teen personalities. I believe it will help kids master that transition better if they take a half hour each day to write about their day, how they feel, what they did, and what they want to do. Seeing the day on paper can make mistakes easier to see, along with the correct solution. You can see (read) yourself objectively, seeing the parts you like, what you did great that day, and those you want to change.
The other side to Connect the Thoughts is the fun approach to stress relief. It really helps to simply doodling your day. It will make you laugh, I promise. I really think. Connect the Thoughts is a wonderful book for kids, even teens, to record their life, relieve stress, and, most importantly, watch themselves grow and guide that growth. Connect your thoughts, your goals, your life, and get to where you want to be.
Learn more about Connect the Thoughts HERE.
CONNECT THE THOUGHTS, A JOURNAL: DOT YOUR LIFE ∙∙ FREE YOUR MIND. Text copyright © 2013 by Eloise Leigh and Taylor Norman. Illustrations and design copyright © 2013 by Eloise Leigh. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.