Review from the October 2016 Issue of Story Monsters Ink Magazine
MyaGrace Wants To Make Music
Midwest Book Review
"MyaGrace Wants To Make Music" is an exciting new title from a series featuring true stories of inclusion and the development of skills needed for self-determination. Finding My Way Books, the publisher, promotes books about real children who deal with special needs or disabilities. Filled with color photo portraits and brief narrative explanatory text, "MyaGrace Wants To Make Music" appeals to kids who might have reading skills at K-2 or less. MyaGrace is excited because she wants to learn to make music like the other members of her family. Each of her three brothers and both her parents play different musical instruments. MyaGrace is beginning to learn to play piano. A touching visual narrative shows MyaGrace attending her piano lesson with her piano teacher, Cathie. Cathie introduces MyaGrace to the piano keyboard and encourages her to use both hands to play notes on the piano, after practicing. When MyaGrace is distracted by another sound from outside, Cathie redirects her to the lesson and making music on the piano. She even helps MyaGrace to compose her own song and learn to clap the rhythm and play it, also writing it down for her. MyaGrace is happy and proud of her accomplishment and growing ability to make music with her family. "MyaGrace Wants to Make Music" is described as a true story promoting inclusion and self-determination. It is a very inspiring book. In addition to the story, there is a MyaGrace Wants To Make Music index listing specific self-determination skills and more, a Family Guide for Promoting Self-Determination, and Classroom Activities for 'MyaGrace Wants To Make Music.' It is especially effective that the story is written from the viewpoint and in the voice of the child, MyaGrace. Other titles by the same authors from this publisher and series that are also highly recommended include: "MyaGrace Wants To Get Ready (978096835794)," "I Don't Know If I Want a Puppy (9780990354338)," "Marco and I Want To Play Ball (9780990354376)," "I Want To Be Like Poppin' Joe (9780990354321)," and "Kaitlyn Wants To See Ducks (9780990354314)."
OE Wants It To Be Friday is a special book
Nancy Lorraine- Senior Reviewer
Midwest Book Review
"OE Wants It To Be Friday" is a special book celebrating a girl named Olga Ellise who has cerebral palsy but still leads an active, rich life. Another real person featured in "OE Wants It To be Friday" is Austin Hanson, who is an adult US Paralympic Boccia Team competitor despite his cerebral palsy diagnosis. OE is an adopted child from Russia who spent the first five years of her life in a crib. Now she leads a full active life, up every day, using a wheel chair and an assistive communication device, attending school, and playing her favorite sport, boccia, on Fridays with her coach, Austin. Using a special ramp and a special ball, OE plans and places her ball shot to win points in boccia, with coaching from Austin. Both OE and Austin work hard on playing boccia, taking time for a break and a drink when they need it. OE just loves her Friday boccia lessons with Austin and her Dad!
"OE Wants It To Be Friday" is part of a series, featuring an inspiring true story about a child's life that exemplifies self-determination and skill building in children with disabilities. After reading the inspirational description of OE's daily life and routine, with accompanying color photo action portraits, there is a Family Guide for Promoting Self-Determination to assist parents and caretakers of children like OE. Also, there are further suggestions for Classroom Activities for 'OE Wants It To Be Friday,' emphasizing facilitating problem solving and listening, increased understanding of non-verbal communication, and learning about different ways to communicate. "OE Wants It To Be Friday" is a typical inspirational biographical sketch about a real child who is practicing learning the skills of self-determination and communication. The message of inclusion is paramount in this and other books in this series.
OE Wants It to Be Friday
"The book is an excellent tool for all schools and families"
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite (See Actual Review)
OE Wants It to Be Friday: A True Story of Inclusion and Self-Determination by Jo Meserve Mach and Vera Stroup-Rentier is the heartwarming story of OE and Austin who, with their personal stories, are both inspirational and motivational characters for readers. OE finds Friday the best day of the week. Friday is the day she has fun with her dad and her coach Austin. She keeps counting the days until Friday and shares the activities she does with readers. This story celebrates the success of inclusion and self-determination of children with special needs in families and communities.
The story is encouraging and tells parents and people dealing with kids with special needs how to boost their self-confidence and promote self-determination. The book is an excellent tool for all schools and families, and teaches children to be compassionate and accept another person's strengths, skills, and abilities. It's a good bedtime storybook and can also be used for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries. The story also encourages decision making and choice making in kids at an early age.
The story of OE will touch the hearts of readers and many parents can relate to her story. The story shows different ways to communicate with children with special needs. The pictures shared in the book are great, making it easy for young readers to connect with OE. The pictures help them understand that she is a good role model for other children; especially those with special needs.
"Stories are magic"
Jack Pearpoint, Inclusion Press; Marsha Forest Centre
"Stories are magic. Good stories change lives and cultures. Finding My Way Books are spectacular story resources that feature youth and adults living inclusive lives. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and delightfully presented for kids and adults alike. The teaching guides are thoughtful and doable. A great resource for every family and classroom."
"These stories fill a gap in children’s literature..."
Marilyn Kaff, Associate Professor of Special Education
“Each of the books tells the unique and personal story of a child with special needs. These stories fill a gap in children’s literature in that they provide a point of view that is often missing, the voice of a child with a disability. These stories are ones that the students in my classes at K-State are eager to share with their students.”
Bilingual Books Starring Kids with Special Needs
Lydia Breiseth, Colorín Colorado
"The stories are told in the child’s voice and are accompanied by photographs of daily activities such as going to the zoo or preparing for a holiday. Photos also show family members, friends, pets, and other important details of the child’s day. Each story highlights the ways the children are becoming more independent in their activities." Read the full review
This book is wonderful!
Kelly Crowl, Special Education Teacher, reviewing 'Kaitlyn Wants To See Ducks'
"This book is wonderful! It shows how every child has their own interests and desires as well as how families work together to promote self-determination skills. Plus, my three year old loves the animals at the zoo, too!”
'Marco and I Want To Play Ball'
Muriel Hinshaw, Physical Therapist
“Isiah’s perseverance to participate and determination to succeed make a Physical Therapist’s job easy and have been an inspiration to many others and me. This book aptly captures the drive that fuels Isiah and his family.”
Review from the December 2016 Issue of Story Monsters Ink Magazine
Review from the February 2017 Issue of Story Monsters Ink Magazine.
Review from the February 2018 Issue of Story Monsters Ink Magazine.
Claire Wants a Boxing Name
Fitting in among our peers is tough, and it’s even harder if we are regarded as “different” in any way. Finding My Way Books honor children with disabilities by telling their stories and highlighting their unique strengths and abilities. Claire, in this story, is working hard at learning to box. She is eager to earn the very special boxing name her coach will give her. Her determination rewards her efforts.
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