Blog tour: ‘Just Like Me,’ by Louise Gooding, illustrations by Angel Chang, Caterina delli Carri, cathyhookey, and Melissa Iwai.

I leapt at the chance to participate in this blog tour because I know how important is that children are able to read books which feature people likes themselves and those around them. It is equally important that children read books about people different to themselves so that they are able to broaden their world view and develop empathy.

‘Just Like Me’ is a wonderful celebration of forty truly inspirational figures from around the world, each with physical or neurological differences.

Author, Louise Gooding, wrote this book due the frustration of being unable to find many books which represented herself as a neurodivergent person and mother, or her three daughters who are all also neurologically or physically diverse. Louise knew that there would be other people out there hoping to find themselves represented in books, and also wanted to ensure that people had access to books featuring people different to themselves to help develop understanding and to challenge stereotypes.

As part of this tour, each blogger was asked to pick a different figure to spotlight. I chose award-winning teacher, Brad Cohen.

‘Everyone, regardless of ability or disability, has strengths and weaknesses. Know what yours are and build on your strengths and find a way around your weaknesses.’

I chose to spotlight Brad because, as a teacher, I recognise how valuable it is for children to have diverse role models in their lives. And who is better placed to be a role model and make a difference to a child than a teacher?

By celebrating and representing diversity in the teaching community, we are allowing children who are similarly unique to aspire to be in similar positions. If they can do it, so can I!

Brad perfectly embodies the values of resilience and determination which are key values in schools today. He want going to be held back by Tourette’s, he was going to achieve his dream of becoming a teacher regardless of the barriers put in his way by others. Truly inspirational!

This is a book which should be in every school library as part of a larger collection celebrating diversity in all its many forms. Schools have a responsibility to help broaden their pupils’ experiences and understandings to encourage them to become tolerant and supportive members of the wider community. Books such as ‘Just Like Me’ are a key part of this.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks ask to Studio Press Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour – be sure to visit the other stops to see who they’re showcasing*

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