The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

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Originally published in: 2018

What it’s about: The struggle to accept yourself and your life when you don’t quite fit in as a kid.

What made me pick it up: I love everything Woodson writes and was excited to see this book announced.

My favorite parts: The illustrations are lovely and really add another layer of emotional depth to the story. I was not expecting the emotional gut punch this book has about not fitting in and all the self doubt that can bring up as a young person. If your lunch, clothes, or abilities are different, or your adventures are smaller, or you have no “good” stories school can be a really uncomfortable place to be. Learning to be confident with who you are and find kindred spirits who reflect that back to you is such a gift and this book is an excellent reminder that it is possible, even if it’s hard.

Who it’s great for: Unique young ones who may doubt themselves. Anyone who remembers wondering if they were enough as a child, and hopefully found out they were.

Erica’s rating: four and a half shells

Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Paris Rosenthal

 

deargirl

Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A story telling young girls it’s ok to be their authentic selves.

What made me pick it up: Rosenthal’s widow’s TED talk as recommended on Twitter by John Green.

My favorite parts: You be you. That’s the message. One I want to tell every young impressionable unsure girl. And also the ones who haven’t yet learned to be unsure. You’re the only you there is. Be that, whatever that looks like.

Who it’s great for: Girls of any age.

Erica’s rating: five shells


Find this book in your local library, or on Amazon (affiliate link).


 

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

JulianIsAMermaid

Originally published in: 2018

What it’s about: A young boy who wishes to be a mermaid like the performers he sees at the pool.

What made me pick it up: I’d seen it well reviewed online.

My favorite parts: Obviously the entirely accepting and incredibly sweet abuela is my favorite. Instead of yelling at the child for taking the curtains down to make a tail and using the fern as a headdress while she’s in the bath, she gets him a necklace to compliment his outfit. Then she takes him to a parade to see other mermaids like him. The acceptance is almost too beautiful to read without tearing up.

Who it’s great for: Everyone. Littles who do their own thing.

Erica’s rating: five shells


Find this book at your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).