Am I Different?

Written by Johnathan Aubrey, Illustrated by Ben Rowberry

This is an empathy-building picture book with an inspiring message. It tells the story of John, a child with cerebral palsy, who receives from his parents a bike with training wheels. The first time he tries to ride it he and his sister crash into each other, so his parents decide it isn’t safe for him to ride the bike and he should stick with his little tricycle. Years pass and John feels left out as his friends ride bikes places and he can’t join them, thinking people with cerebral palsy just can’t ride bikes. Then one friend challenges his thinking, telling him that it will be hard work but he should try to learn how to ride a bike. John begins the work of learning to ride a bike; it is difficult, but ultimately he succeeds!

The story feels honest and realistic, and features a character with attributes and perspective not often shown in picture books. Readers can see themselves in John’s story regardless of whether they themselves have disabilities or health challenges. The illustrations effectively serve the story. An author’s note at the beginning provides a helpful explanation of cerebral palsy. This could be a good addition to a collection, but it is independently published and difficult to obtain other than directly through the author’s website.

Reviewed by Joshua Whiting, OtherMedia/Technology Specialist, Library Media Program / Educational Technology Dept.
Review shared in January 2024
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 3+, younger if read aloud

Book Website:

Purchasing Note: if you are a librarian or educator in Granite School District wishing to purchase this book, please contact Josh Whiting in Educational Technology to obtain direct contact information for the author for tax exemption, bulk discounts, delivery, etc.

Am I Different?
Written by Johnathan Aubrey, Illustrated by Ben Rowberry
Winning Despite Obstacles
27 pages
Release Date: 2024
ISBN: 9798989248100

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3 thoughts on “Am I Different?”

  1. Giveaway! (February 8, 2024)
    I have a copy of this book available for the first person from a Granite school who replies to this comment saying they’d like this book for their school library collection.

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