Friday, November 12, 2021

Your Life Matters - Chris Singleton (Illustrated by Taylor Barron)

Summary: Empowering and validating, Your Life Matters reassures Black children everywhere that no matter what they hear, not matter what they experience, no matter what they're told, their lives matter.  Written by national speaker Christ Singleton, who lost his own mother in the 2015 Charleston Church Shooting, Your Life Matters teaches kids to stand tall in the face of racial adversity and fight for the life they dream of.  Each page depicts a famous hero from Black history mentoring a child of today and encouraging them to use their mind, heart, voice, and hands in that fight.  Hero-mentors in the book include: Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Katherine Johnson, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, and others.  

(Summary from book flap - Image from - This book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review and will be gifted to a child who will benefit from the message).

My Review: Your Life Matters is profoundly moving and sadly necessary epistle of encouragement written to any Black children who may be looking at the world around them and questioning whether their life has any value.  Vivid illustrations feature young children keeping company with such notable historical figures as Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Katherine Johnson, and more, while powerful prose reminds each reader of their own inner strength and inherent worth. 

To give you a taste of what I mean, here are a few of my favorite lines:

  • Oh child, your life matters more than you can possible know. From the tips of your hair to the  lengths of your toes, you are beautifully and wonderfully made.
  • Your eyes matter, for they can see a way where others see a wall. 
  • Your voice matters, for it can carry across generations and resound with the ring of truth.
  • So rewrite those stars, child.  Sketch your dreams high in the heavens.  We are with you.
  • Your Life Matters is specifically intended for Black children, with Black child-characters and Black hero-mentors.  It was not written for me nor was it written for my white children.  And, you know what?  That is okay!  Books don't have to be written with me (or, indeed, any white person) in mind to be worthwhile reads.  That being said, I do believe that the overall message will resonate strongly with Black children and might inspire other members of the BIPOC community, even if they aren't the target audience.   

    I adored the inclusion of hero-mentors from history, striving alongside young Black children as they utilize their mind, heart, voice, and hands in courageous defense of what is right and true.  I also appreciated that the author refrained from centering politics or specific current events, choosing instead to focus on the myriad positive ways that Black children can influence the world for good, even in the face of adversity.  If ever a book was needed, Your Life Matters feels like it lands pretty high on the list. 

    If you're interested in helping Your Life Matters reach a wider audience, consider picking up a copy or two for the little ones that matter in your life.  Alongside my hearty recommendation, I also want to take the time to give a shout out toe this Your Life Matters publisher, Bushel & Peck Books.  They are so dedicated to fighting illiteracy all over the world that for every book they sell, they donate one to a child in need.  How cool is that?!  To nominate a school or organization to receive free books, or simply shop their selection, please visit the link above. 

    My Rating:  5 Stars

    For the Sensitive Reader: All clear.

    1 comment:

    Anthony Bidulka said...

    Wow - this sounds like it could be a wonderful Xmas gift for any kids on the lest.


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