Tyaja Uses the THiNK Test


In this simple and clear story, Linda Ryden offers valuable lessons for our children to bring more clarity, care and thoughtfulness to the power of words.

-Oren Jay Sofer, author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication

 A great book to share with children for social-emotional learning. – Kirkus Reviews
Children’s Book Council “Hot Pick” for August 2019!
Five Stars from the Youth Services Books Review

WASHINGTON — July 31, 2019 — At a time when more Americans are becoming aware of the negative impact of harsh words, the only full-time Peace Teacher we know of in the U.S. has a new book with a powerful lesson.

Linda Ryden, who has been a full-time Peace Teacher for 15 years in District of Columbia Public Schools, has authored “Tyaja Uses the Think Test,” which highlights mindfulness for elementary school students. It’s the fourth book in the “Henry and Friends” storybook series.

The book encourages students to take the THiNK Test in their mind before they say something. They should ask themselves the following before they say it:

  • Is it True?
  • Is it Helpful?
  • Is it Necessary?
  • And is it Kind?

If it isn’t all these things, maybe it’s better left unsaid.

“I wrote this book to spread this message of mindful communication and it’s especially timely as students head back to school,” says Ryden. “The ‘THiNK Test,’ first described by radio host Bernard Meltzer, is one example of mindfulness practice, something that serves children well as they get older and are confronted with more difficult choices.”

Ryden’s students agree. One says, “Learning about controlling my actions and speech helped me when transitioning from elementary school to middle school because sometimes I’m stressed out from assignments, or just mad because I missed the bus and I want to lash out and express my feelings. When I have those moments, I think about the ‘THiNK Test’ and if what I say or do will hurt someone.”

“Tyaja Uses the Think Test,” is published by Tilbury House Publishers and is beautifully illustrated by Shearry Malone.

Part of Peace of Mind

The book is part of the Peace of Mind program that includes curricula, storybooks and classroom resources. Peace of Mind is a research-based social and emotional learning nonprofit program that teaches mindfulness, kindness and conflict resolution to pre-K–5th grade students.

Survey results from participating schools found:

  • Teachers highly embrace the curriculum;
  • Students report that they felt the skills they learned in Peace of Mind helped them “a lot” or “a whole lot” and that they used what they had learned outside of class.

Peace of Mind is a teacher-created, evidence-based program that supports mindfulness-based social and emotional learning in elementary school. The Peace of Mind Program helps children develop life skills to notice and manage challenging emotions, build healthy relationships and solve conflicts peacefully. Peace of Mind moves schools toward kindness and inclusion. https://teachpeaceofmind.org/