I Am Odd I Am New
I Am Odd I Am New written by Benjamin Giroux and illustrated by Roz MacLean is a picture book based on a poem that the author wrote when he was 10 years old. The poem, which is pictured below describes Ben’s feelings about feeling “out of place”, “like a castaway”, and how he tries “to fit in”. Benjamin, who is autistic wrote this poem as part of a school assignment. The poem is beautifully written and unique but the feelings he expresses through the poem are felt by many others. This was evident after his parents shared the poem on social media and it became viral inspiring many others to discuss similar feelings. Whether your child is neurodiverse or neurotypical, this book can be an excellent tool to be read at home or in the classroom.
During our podcast, I ask Ben and Sonny about their experience getting this book published and what he wants others to learn from it. In our interview, Benjamin describes the ups and downs of his journey and what it feels like to be a newly published author.
As you are reading to your child, describe words such as “odd” and “castaway”. Talk about times that you might have felt like this or ask your child about their experience ever feeling “out of place” or “worrying what others may think”. I think that Ben was brave in moving forward with publishing the book and sharing his experience. Talk to your children about what being “brave” means to them.
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About Benjamin Giroux
Benjamin Giroux, Kirkus Reviews Star Author, has been featured on many websites, in the Huffington Post, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. He was named Poet Laureate of Plattsburgh, New York, and of his school district, and has also been the face of the National Autism Association’s antibullying campaign.