Book Blast and
About the Book
|My Friend Suhana|
Title: My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy | Authors: Shaila Abdullah & Aanyah Abdullah | Publication Date: December 16, 2013 | Publisher: Loving Healing Press | Pages: 17 | Recommended Ages: 3+
Summary: A simple tale of love and friendship to warm your heart. Award-winning author and designer Shaila Abdullah teams up with her 10-year-old daughter Aanyah to bring you this heartwarming tale of a little girl who forms a close bond with a child with cerebral palsy.
My Friend Suhana is written in a very understanding light to the challenges that a disabled child faces on a day to day basis. Many of the things that Suhana struggles to do are things that we, who are not disabled, take for granted. What makes this story so unique is that it's written from an able-bodied child's perspective and this child has a big heart for Suhana. She tells us why Suhana can't walk and do the kinds of things that most other kids can do. And she perseveres in her relationship with Suhana even when some days aren't as good as others.
Some of the pictures didn't seem to correspond with the text, but I think that's because I could only view one page at a time on my screen. I think if I was holding the book and could see two pages at once, it might make more sense why the pictures were placed where they were.
I read this story to my 5-year-old, Amanda, and she could understand it, even though she hasn't met a child with Cerebral Palsy before. I asked her what the story is trying to teach us and she replied that it teaches us to be good and friendly. I think Amanda could understand a little about Suhana's limitations, because we live in the only town in South Africa that caters for the blind, deaf and disabled of South Africa.
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I think a story like this reminds us of the meaning of love. People caring for someone like Suhana are regularly having their love put to the test. In what ways can we be more loving toward the care-givers and toward those who have physical and/or mental limitations? Perhaps we can help in some practical way. For example, I have been volunteering at the Blind Institute for the past 3 years a couple of hours a week. I go into a sound room and read school subjects, exams, novels and many other things. What I read gets put onto CD's for the visually impaired of South Africa.
“Children with cerebral palsy, like Suhana, the special 7-year-old child in this book, might never take a first step, say their first words or even do the same things other kids can do. But, they can understand kindness, love and true friendship. This is a story about two young 7-year-old girls whose friendship will span a lifetime and whose love will never die … There are so many themes that are brought to light in this wonderfully illustrated book. Friendship, understanding, love, kindness and trust…This mother and daughter have presented a well written, special, colorfully illustrated book that is definitely a must read for children in the lower grades, read aloud in every classroom, hospital groups, book store book signings and even at centers with children who have CP who can learn that they can do anything––all they need to do is try.” ~ Fran Lewis, former Reading and Writing Staff Developer at NYC Public Schools
“Promoting friendship, respect, and support, this children’s book aides in teaching others that art can help overcome and accept the differences of physical characteristics in others. It shows the bond that a mother and daughter share caring and loving those who have physical or mental disabilities as they convey how to be a true friend.” ~ Conny Crisalli, Book Pleasures
“This heartfelt story shares what it would be like to have a friend with cerebral palsy. Parents, teachers and young readers will appreciate the stories purpose and enjoy the colorful illustrations depicting the moods of Suhana and the love and caring she receives from her friend…Both authors have done an excellent job of educating us on how to be role models by opening our minds and hearts to the possibilities.” ~ Kristi’s Book Nook
“My Friend Suhana, for which Kindle and ePub editions are also available, was inspired by the experiences of the authors. While helping her mother with a special needs class at a local community center, a seven year old girl befriends another seven year old girl named Suhana who has cerebral palsy. It is a simple tale of love and friendship that will warm everyone’s heart.” ~ Wayne Walker, Home School Book Reviews
“My Friend Suhana is a delightful read for a children’s book. Very well illustrated with respect, friendship, and advocacy all in mind at the same time.” ~ Dawn Cruzan, President, Camp Craig Allen for all abilities
“This is the story of a seven-year-old’s first attempt at unconditional love. Tough but tender, inspirational yet utterly real, this is a small gem of a tale. Highly recommended for anyone in the position of mentoring a beloved child through the hard places of life.” ~ Paula Huston, author of A Season of Mystery and A Land Without Sin
About the Authors:
|Shaila & Aanyah Abdullah|
Shaila Abdullah is an author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She is the author of two award-winning books: Saffron Dreams and Beyond the Cayenne Wall. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award, Norumbega Jury Prize for Outstanding Fiction, Patras Bukhari Award for English Language, Reader Views Award, Written Art Award, and a grant from Hobson Foundation. My Friend Suhana is Shaila’s first children’s book. In her free time, Shaila loves to run around with her children–Aanyah and Aaliyana.
Aanyah Abdullah is a creative and compassionate 10-year-old, who is drawn to children born with physical and mental disabilities. When she was in second grade, Aanyah along with her mother Shaila, started volunteering out at a local community center where they helped assist special needs children. Later Aanyah wrote an essay about her friendship with a girl in the class who had cerebral palsy. That essay is the inspiration behind My Friend Suhana. Aanyah dreams of establishing a special school for children with disabilities one day. She is known to always stand up for what is right and is-–in her parents’ and teachers’ eyes––a perfect role model for her baby sister.
* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest runs: February 12 to March 12, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Shaila Abdullah & Loving Healing Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
Be sure to check out the My Friend Suhana Blog Tour
(coming Mar 4 to 11, 2014)
Discloser: I received a free copy of this book in digital format in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated under My Review are my own.