By Linda Mc
image used with permission
I used the phrase ‘the suspension of disbelief’ with one of the younger members of my family recently. She was absolutely entranced (not least by the big words), and immediately thought of a hundred books we had read together which needed us to suspend our disbelief to enjoy the story. Every time we read a book which has animals doing human things (Lilly’s purple plastic purse); every time we believe in inanimate objects coming alive (The Indian in the cupboard); every time we watch children performing superhuman feats (How to train your dragon); every time we are scared by witches or monsters, or enchanted by impossibly handsome princes engaged in impossibly chivalrous feats – we are ‘suspending disbelief’ and allowing the power of the story to absorb and entertain us.
Many people tell me they only read non-fiction. There are certainly some non-fiction stories that are both amazing and unbelievable. Readers who limit themselves to one type of genre miss out on a level of imagination, which is readily accessible to the fiction lovers amongst us. Suspending disbelief feeds, nurtures and develops the mind’s eye, encouraging readers to think outside the square. It allows them to explore possibilities and impossibilities, and helps build the cognitive links that encourage creative thinking.
Try the ‘suspension of disbelief’ phrase out on a young readers – it won’t take them long to come up with a list of books, which fit the bill.