Learning to Be Oneself
by Mabel Moyano and Daniella Barberry

"'I called our Good Providence until I did not have a voice and nobody came to help me. Finally, I had to solve the problem myself.'"

In the book's first tale, a young Spanish boy named Peter navigates his father's sudden illness, sloppy roads with a vegetable cart, and a journey into independence and self-reliance. After calling on an entity known as Good Providence and receiving no answer, Peter learns that often one must rely on inner wisdom and common sense to make decisions. More importantly, he proves to his parents that he is transitioning from boyhood into young adulthood, and that his road into independence—thanks to his work ethic and their keen guidance—will be a smooth one. In the book's second tale, young Ravi encounters Thanksgiving in America for the first time. His classmate, Sarah, teaches Ravi about this special day, and Ravi teaches Sarah about the Sri Lankan celebration of Pongal. This respectful exchange of cultures and traditions opens the gate to friendship, diversity, and acceptance.

These two stories intertwine in a single book to form lessons about the undeniable value of independence, individuality, self-respect, community, and self-acceptance. Such a collection of teachings is perfect for young readers struggling to understand their role and their purpose. In the spirit of children's classics such as Goodnight Moon and Corduroy, this book places emphasis on the development of self through problem-solving, communication, and personal strength. While this book may serve as a great bedtime read or a spur-of-the-moment conflict resolver, it may also easily become the coffee table addition that is perfect for after-school motivational talks. Either way, with its easy-to-read text and its realistic illustrations, this book is sure to become a quick favorite for any young reader.

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