When readers know that THEME is a universal message about life and/or people, uncovering this within a text becomes a little easier and more understandable.
Before uncovering the theme of a text becomes an easier and more understandable task, readers must have had a variety of opportunities to study, dig in and think deeply about characters to discover how and why they change within a story.
The theme of a text is all about what message the reader can glean from a story and apply it to their own life. Readers must understand the characters. I don't just mean know what the character does in the story and how they look and act. Those are all literal understandings.
While literal understanding is important, readers must be able to connect with characters on a deeper level.
This brings me to...readers need to find books they are genuinely interested in and with characters to which they can connect.
You know that feeling when you finish reading a book and you sit there wondering what that character is doing right now?
Or...is that just me?
I admit it!
I wonder about characters from books that I read all the time.
It is what it is!
That feeling is inside me because I connected with the character and used that to create a deeper understanding of the character.