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God Made Me Unique: Helping Children See Value in Every Person is a book to give to your kids to show them that God made them just as they are, no matter what they look like, what kind of ailments they have, or what their personalities are. Joni Eareckson Tada writes this in the foreword, “This book was written to help you teach your children that God creates each unique individual and that disability is sometimes a part of his plan, whether as the result of a condition from birth, or an injury or illness. We want children to understand that every person is made in the image of God and has tremendous value, regardless of their appearance of abilities.”
Tada continues by sharing some of her story. At seventeen years old she broke her neck in a diving accident, leaving her to a quadriplegic. She grew in her understanding of how her tragedy could be part of God’s plan, and she started Joni and Friends “to advocate for those with disabilities and to help the church better understand how to come alongside families affected by disability.”
Full of color, Mahoney clearly illustrates children at school who listen and speak kindly to one another rather than awkwardly staring and cracking jokes. The author, Chonda Raslton, writes the book with rhyming couplets, making it easy to read and to follow along. One boy has a hard time focusing, another is in a wheelchair. There is a new girl coming to school who is unique. The teacher reminds the students that the first day of school is often the toughest, and she encourages the them to include this new student. The topic of the class that day is about special needs, and the teacher reminds the students that every one is made in the image of God. Some disabilities are easily seen, and others are not so obvious. But God created everyone unique. He knit us in our mother’s wombs, and we are all so intricately formed. We would easily lose balance if not for our toes (along with our tiny vestibular system)!
God made the church, and each person is like a body part. We all need each other to work well, and as one boy Jamal says, “Even if some parts don’t work right!” The parts of the body of christ that seem less important should be treated with special honor. God welcomes all who come to him in Christ.
The book ends with 4 ways to help your child understand Gods plan for uniqueness and disability. Everyone is unique (Rom 12:4-6), and God created everyone just as they are (Exod 4:11). We are to include those with disabilities (Lk 14:21-23). Jesus went through many towns healing many people (Matthew 9:35). Though not all are healed, all will be made whole in the new creation. A paralyzed man’s four friends tore a hole into a roof to bring him to Jesus (Mk 2:1-12). Teach your kids to befriend those who are different, awkward, or disabled. Find out more at Joni and Friends’ Kid’s Corner.
Everyone is made in the image of God, and everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. Every person and every child. If your children don’t have a disability, you can use this book to help them think of good, honest questions to ask other children who do have disabilities, instead of quietly staring at them. This book is a step in the right direction to teach children (and adults) to respond with empathy instead of harsh words, and it comes highly recommended.
- Series: God Made Me
- Author: Chonda Ralston
- Illustrator: Trish Mahoney
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Publisher: New Growth Press (August 19, 2019)
- Sample: Read the first four pages
Find it on Amazon and New Growth Press!
Disclosure: I received this book free from New Growth Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.