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I’m not meant to be like you; you’re not meant to be like me. Sometimes we will get along, and sometimes we will disagree.” –I Am Enough
I Am Enough
by Grace Byers
Must Read, Picture Book
4 – 8
This story is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from actor and activist Grace Byers and artist Keturah A. Bobo. Byers’s story uses an unnamed narrator, who appears in illustrations with dark skin and curly black hair. In the beginning of the book, the girl compares herself to things, such as the sun, time, rain, etc. For example, “Like the moon, I’m here to dream.”
Towards the end of the book, the story shifts to focus on other ways the narrator is different from other people. For example, “I know that we don’t look the same: our skin, our eyes, our hair, our frame.” The theme is clear: despite everyone’s differences, we should love and help each other. While writing the book, Byers hoped to “empower young girls against the effects of bullying.” Even though bullying is not mentioned, the story does show that girl’s differences make them special.
Each page is illustrated beautifully, using crayon accents and realistic pictures of young girls. The girls are diverse: there are girls of different ethnicities, one girl is in a wheelchair, and one girl is wearing a hijab. The diverse group of children reinforces the idea that girls should help each other despite their differences. Each page has 1 to 4 lines of text. Even though the story uses simple vocabulary, readers may need help understanding the deeper meaning of the story. I Am Enough would be an excellent book to read aloud and discuss with a child. The picture book uses both text and illustrations to encourage girls to embrace their uniqueness as well as be kind to each other.
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