One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is time. One of the best ways parents can share time with their children is through reading. The ability to read is a critical skill for social and academic development. Reading helps individuals obtain knowledge. It also fuels discovery. Through her book, Moving Day, Dionna L. Hayden provides parents and children with a wonderful literary resource that makes reading a fun, informative, and imaginative activity.
Besides providing a great read that can be added to any child’s library, Dionna L. Hayden, in writing Moving Day has, perhaps indirectly, championed the cause of youth by amplifying their voice. We live in a society that too often advances agendas and sanctions policies that affect the quality of life of so many without giving attention to the impact of those agendas and policies on groups that lack power and voice. Unfortunately, children are among the voiceless. Their views and concerns are frequently marginalized and in many cases ignored. Moving Day masterfully and light-heartedly captures this social dynamic in near parabolic form. Through illustrative genius and witty dialogue, Dionna urges us all to remember the children. She gently pulls on the heartstrings of adults and creatively prompts “grown folks” to acknowledge that children too are family and community stakeholders who feel the effects of that timeless, yet inevitable reality of life—change.
To be sure, everyone is affected by change. And, few instances of change stimulate more diverse emotions than moving from one home to the next. Regardless of age, many people detest moving. Generally, adults have the psychological and emotional capacity to compartmentalize their feelings and “handle their business”. But, too often, adults either forget to acknowledge it, or they make assumptions about the impact that relocation (e.g., local, national, international) has on children. The common and primary thought is that children will miss their friends. Certainly, this is true. But, as you’ll discover in Moving Day, children may express a variety of feelings and thoughts related to change, especially when they didn’t ask for it. Nevertheless, with guidance and compassion from caring adults—namely parents—children come to the realization that change may be uncomfortable but it isn’t impossible.
We owe Dionna L. Hayden tremendous thanks. By sharing this family tale, she’s done us all a huge favor. Moving Day confirms that age notwithstanding, we all fear loss and require consolation amid change. It encourages children to talk honestly about their feelings. It highlights the vantage point of children and in doing so encourages parents and caregivers to lead children through transitions with love and listening ears. Most importantly, Moving Day offers hope by teaching us that the initial storms of change do pass and that families survive change best when they go through change together!
Marcus L. Arrington, Ed.D.
Young, Anointed and Empowered Project