Review Blog

Oct 01 2020

I believe I can by Grace Byers

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Illus. by Keturah A. Bobo. Balzer & Bray, 2020. ISBN: 9780062667137.32pp., hbk.
One of the downsides of this new instantly-connected world with its emphasis on social media is that there is a generation growing up who are becoming dependent on external validation for everything they do, who view their self-worth through the lens of the number of likes and friends they have, and whose self-belief and self-confidence as a person is very low. In this look-at-me world, resilience seems to be in low reserves and what came naturally as previous generations dealt with what we encountered, is now explicitly taught.
In this companion to I am enough, young children of all shapes, colours and sizes are encouraged to be their best selves and to reach their potential by believing that they can, without needing approval from outside sources. They let the power of their imaginations project them into the future and know that because they are just who they are, they can achieve those dreams. They can be as fierce as the lion's roar and as powerful as the dragon's flames, and even though they might falter and make mistakes or not succeed at what they try, they learn from those experiences to build on what they tried and take another step forward.
It is aimed at our younger readers in the hope that they can build their sense of identity and worthiness before they are old enough to officially be on social media platforms (COPPA restricts membership to 13+) and promote positive mental health, an area that's of increasing concern amongst our youngest.
While the dark side of social media is now being recognised and explored and talked about in mainstream media, this video shows what can be achieved through the power of self-belief. Molly suffered horrendous epileptic seizures from the age of 2 and in an effort to save her life, had a third of her brain removed at 16. Look at her go!!!
A must-have and a must-promote in any mindfulness collection and program.
Barbara Braxton

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