Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Books I've read this week - Her Name Was Beauty

Her Name Was Beauty by Deborah A. Williams

About the book: Her Name Was Beauty, a new book by behavioral specialist Deborah A. Williams, is the story about a young multiracial girl and her encounters with being teased by others as she goes to school for the first time.

Williams, the daughter of a biracial father, knows firsthand the complexity that comes with the blending of cultures and with dealing with people who are unable to acknowledge that it is okay to be different. In her book, Beauty finds that her peers at school do not want to sit next to the "dark girl" and even call her a "mutt." The author hopes that readers will see how this world has changed in regards to diversity. With so many children of all different ethnicities in foster care, detention and ready for adoption, Williams says, "children are the future whether we know it or not."

The author stated in her letter to me that the book is intended ‘for young children and for families of all nationalities.’ The idea behind the book is very good - a racially-mixed mother and father explaining to their little girl that while she may be different, she is just as good as other children and they think she is beautiful. The book is large like a coloring book and only about 25 pages. I think a child would look at the book and say, “Where are the pictures?” for there are none in the entire book and even the choice of a dove on the cover is odd. It is written in a very large font with only a sentence or two on each page like a young child’s book, but it’s definitely a read-aloud book with the parent needing to explain words as they go along, and probably not a book the child would read by themselves.

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