The best books about the healing power of story and storytelling

Who am I?

My name is Susan Perrow. I am an Australian whose ‘work’ passion is stories and storytelling. I am an author, storyteller, teacher trainer, and parent educator. For the last 30 years, I have been documenting stories from other cultures, writing stories, and telling stories to groups of children and adults – all this woven in with a career in teaching, lecturing, and consulting in Australia, Africa, Asia, China, Europe, and North America. I currently have four published story collections, in a total of 14 languages. Three of my collections are Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour, An A-Z Collection of Behaviour Tales, and Stories to Light the Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities.

I have chosen my fourth collection to introduce to you below.

I wrote...

Therapeutic Storytelling: 101 Healing Stories for Children

By Susan Perrow,

Book cover of Therapeutic Storytelling: 101 Healing Stories for Children

What is my book about?

Working with imaginative journeys and the subtle power of metaphor, Susan has developed the art of therapeutic storytelling for challenging behaviour and difficult situations. She encourages us to adopt the premise that ‘stories know the way’. She offers a tried and tested method for creating a unique story to help resolve issues, build emotional resilience and character, and nurture positive values. The 101 examples of therapeutic stories include many for children’s behavioural challenges as well as some for community and global issues, for all ages. The book also provides motivational thoughts and tips for creating your own stories developed from Susan’s work in practice, in many cultures and many countries.

The books I picked & why

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Storytelling for a Greener World: Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning

By Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson,

Book cover of Storytelling for a Greener World: Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning

Why this book?

Mother Nature must be very grateful this handbook exists. Within its 368 pages is a treasury of time-tested stories, creative activities, and methods that environmental educators and storytellers can use to affect people’s pro-environmental behaviour. Its collection of 21 chapters share a myriad of ways to use storytelling for a greener world. Each chapter has a different author(s), bringing their perspective on environment, community, and learning through stories. They explore the links between storytelling and emotional literacy, place, environmental justice, connecting with alienated youngsters, how to encourage children and adults’ curiosity about nature, building community, sustainability, and indigenous peoples, local legends, human-animal communication, and how to co-create a sustainable future together.

The New Story - Storytelling as a Pathway to Peace

By Inger Lise Oelrich,

Book cover of The New Story - Storytelling as a Pathway to Peace

Why this book?

This is a book for all who work with people – in other words, it is a book for everyone. It is full of inspiration and practical tools to bring transformation and healing into your daily life, wherever you are. During times of conflict, storytelling dedicated to peace and reconciliation has proven successful in creating a common ground between people of all ages, from different cultures and disparate world views.

The New Story includes more than 30 tales from around the world plus easy-to-do exercises, with contributions from six modern storytellers at work in places like Israel, Kurdistan, and Sierra Leone.

Birds of Heaven

By Ben Okri,

Book cover of Birds of Heaven

Why this book?

Birds of Heaven is a tiny book full of noble thoughts on why stories and storytelling are integral to our humanity. Okri, the Man Booker Prize author of ‘The Famished Road’, eloquently states ‘The universe began as a story… we are part human, part stories.’

The text contains two inspirational essays on the meaning of language and its power to shape our lives. The work presents an alternative spiritual response to the problems of the present day. It is bursting with beautiful and insightful gems.

The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children's Imagination and Consciousness

By Horst Kornberger,

Book cover of The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children's Imagination and Consciousness

Why this book?

Why do we tell stories? What power lies within storytelling? From the great myths and legends to enchanting fairy tales, parables, fables, and folk tales, stories can have a great healing and educative power. They come from our subconscious and imagination, deep inside us. They have much to teach us about ourselves and the world we create around us.

Described as a manual for ‘soul ecology’, in his book Kornberger first explores this ‘story power’, then explains how to apply it to help a child develop, or to heal and transform a child with difficulties. He then discusses the art and practicalities of creating new stories to help children with particular needs.

This is a valuable and inspiring book for teachers, parents, creative writers, and students of literature.

Storytelling with Children

By Nancy Mellon,

Book cover of Storytelling with Children

Why this book?

If you feel inhibited about making up stories and telling them to children, this is the book for you. Encouraging you to spin golden tales, Nancy Mellon shows how you can become a confident storyteller and enrich your family with the power of story. Children love the unique and human quality of storytelling, and parents and teachers alike can learn this practical, magical art with Nancy’s methods, tips and resources. This book may help give you storytelling wings - even if you didn’t think you could fly this way! It is a must for any adult who seeks to enrich and deepen communications with the young ones in their life.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in storytelling, Israel, and heaven?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about storytelling, Israel, and heaven.

Storytelling Explore 47 books about storytelling
Israel Explore 41 books about Israel
Heaven Explore 10 books about heaven

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue & Vice for Box Office Success, Children Tell Stories: Teaching and Using Storytelling in the Classroom (Multimedia DVD included with the book), and Once Upon a Time... Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying if you like this list.