• Ananya Ganesh

For the love of shy kids

Do you have that one friend who's brimming over with personality? They could be a complete, unashamed goofball (guilty), an activist who cares about issues with a fiery passion (guilty again), a dreamer whose head is always in the clouds and feet are on the ground, or even one of the smartest, wittiest people you know. But the moment they're around someone new, they become super shy, quiet and hilariously awkward, and you're just shaking your head in the corner, completely bemused.


Well...I'm that friend.


I've read some gorgeous books with confident, bad-ass protagonists propelling the story forward with their general amazingness and risk-taking abilities. Now, I love these kind of stories almost as much as I love chocolate (which is saying something) but honestly, how many people are actually like that? Or rather, how many kids are like that? The kind that grabs the opportunity to stand up and read out their poem in front of the world's top artists. The kind that can jump into a conversation with people they don't know. Or the kind that doesn't stammer even a little bit when they have to introduce themselves at a new school. I know I'm not any of these but that doesn't mean I'm afraid either.


I think the marvelous thing about shy kids is that most of us, irregardless of whether we're so petrified we'd rather hide away in their room for the rest of eternity (true story), we still go up there and do it. Okay now, before I continue, I want to say that having anxiety is different from being shy. If you have anxiety, please don't beat yourself up over this piece if you're not able to 'go up there and do it'. I see you.


Shy kids, in my opinion, have this strange, raw magic about them. We have the same courage, empathy and compassion that a lot of extroverts do, perhaps even more. Beneath our reserved exterior, we hide entire worlds of our own that a lot of people don't know about. Yes, we are shy. Yes, we're a little quieter around new people. Yes, we have a little more (okay, a lot more) trouble making new friends. But we have opinions and beautiful thoughts swirling around in our heads too that will come out to the light someday or the other.


So, for the love of shy kids, here are some brilliant books with amazing shy characters:






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