I found You Are So Much More to be ‘so much more’ than just an inspiration book for physical illness or injury. Keep reading to see what we thought!
Disclosure: I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
Research has shown that building resilience in the face of adversity or challenges helps children and young people develop effective coping strategies and improve long-term outcomes across a spectrum of illnesses. You Are So Much More reminds children who have gone through or are going through an illness or injury, that they are indeed so much more. Trauma survivor and medical student Serena Tejpar shares a story of inspiration, reflection, and encouragement that can be read over and over again.
“This book is so much more than a story, it is a message of strength and courage for children experiencing illness and hospitalization, for their parents and caregivers. The author refers to the reader in the first person and the narrative stimulates the internal resources of the child. Under the guidance of a caring adult, the book becomes a useful addition to children’s recovery process.” — Isabella Cassina, MA, PhD Candidate, registered Therapeutic Play Specialist and international speaker, author of The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better
“I am thoroughly impressed with the children’s book, You Are So Much More. It is geared toward children experiencing long term hospital stays and reminds them that their illness or injury does not define them. While many outsiders often try to distract a compromised child with upbeat messages and avoid talking about the elephant in the room, Serena Tejpar acknowledges the child’s situation, even all of the bad parts, and then puts into perspective that there is more to the child than their medical condition. She is both realistic and supportive. Tejpar creates a self dialogue with positive messages the child can use, reminding them of their strength, resilience, and bravery. I am pleased to read a book written by such a medical student. Her empathy will carry her far as she exercises her skills in the life work of healing others.” — Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Board Certified Psychologist, author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me
“As a Play Therapist I am constantly working with children with chronic issues. I loved how You are So Much More focuses on the child and not the illness. I found it to be sweet, encouraging, uplifting and compassionate way of encouraging children with chronic illnesses to cherish themselves and cope with their emotions as they heal. At a time where many families are facing illness and hospitalizations it is a timely message that I am excited to share with the families I work with.” — Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, author of Sam Feels Better Now!
“This book is an amazing resource for children and families who are struggling with medical trauma. Within the pages, the reader will find messages of healing and hope which is truly important when we sometimes forget that sun can follow dark days.” –Theresa Fraser, CYC-P, CPT-S, RP, MA, RCT, Trauma, Loss and Attachment Clinical Specialist, author of We’re not all the same, But We’re Family
From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com
I think You Are So Much More is a great book for adults and children, but it can be for more than just a child with a physical illness or injury.
The book is certainly written for a physical illness or injury, including a hospital stay or visit, but I feel like this book is also amazing for those – adults and children – with mental health issues.
As a mom with mental health (I have depression and anxiety), raising a child with mental health issues (ADHD, ODD, anxiety, and depression); this book is a great reminder that we, too, are so much more than our diagnosis. We aren’t our illness. We are people. We have good days and bad just as someone with a physical illness or injury may. Our illness is just invisible.
There is a little boy in my life who struggles with mental health issues as well and I think You Are So Much More would be the perfect gift for him (and more age appropriate than my teenage son).
The story seems simple enough for young readers; I am thinking maybe 2nd or 3rd grade level. There are not a lot of words and most of the words are easy to read words.
Whether you know a child with a physical illness or injury or a mental one; I think You Are So Much More is a great gift to remind them that they are not their illness or injury, but people who giggle, have fun, and are brave!
Enjoy these excerpts!
About the Author
Serena Tejpar (she/her) is a medical student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Global Health and a Certificate in Narrative-Based Medicine.
Serena carries a passion for the intersection of health humanities and clinical practice. She was commended for her “commitment to improving the Canadian healthcare system and addressing inequities in healthcare systems worldwide” following her experience as a trauma patient after a near-fatal motor vehicle collision in 2015.
She has received numerous awards and honours in recognition of her leadership, community service, and resilience including being named YMCA Ontario’s Young Woman of Excellence, Top 50 Emerging Canadian Leader, and a Young Director with G(irls)20.
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