Giving a child a phone is a big deal. Not only do phones connect people on many different levels through calls, texting, and social media, they can also provide access to a plethora of information through the internet that is not always appropriate for children.
These two books provide excellent tips and real-life scenarios with quotes from actual kids on how to navigate the power of having a phone.
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First Phone: A Child’s Guide to Digital Responsibility, Safety, and Etiquette by Catherine Pearlman, 2022
(Ages 9 and up)
This is the perfect resource to teach children everything they need to know about using a phone. I love how the book is directed at children and empowers them to make good choices with their device. The writing is relatable, engaging, amusing, and extremely helpful.
From avoiding pop-up scams, to cyberbullying, to creating passwords, to healthy habits, a ton of information is included. I’m really impressed with how well-written this book is and the way it emboldens kids to become responsible digital citizens. I believe this is an absolute must-read for both parents and children regarding phone safety!
The Phone Book: Stay Safe, Be Smart, and Make the World Better With the Powerful Device in Your Hand by Jessica Speer, illustrations by Lesley Imgart, 2023
(Ages 9 and up)
This book cleverly combines, facts, anecdotes, and interactive elements that invite the reader to apply what they learned. While a lot is covered, including the dangers of too much screen time and how to detect disinformation, there is a heavy emphasis on social media.
One of the most effective aspects of the book is the cautionary tales provided based on real-life scenarios and what the reader can do to have a more positive and healthier experience as a phone user. I also appreciated that not all the stories are negative. There are also examples of ways teens used social media and their phones to make the world a better place on small and large levels.
I also really liked the format of this book which includes break-out boxes defining words, providing tech tips, and checking for understanding with a short quiz at the end of each chapter.