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Just Like Me: 40 Neurologically and Physically Diverse People Who Broke Stereotypes

Just Like Me: 40 Neurologically and Physically Diverse People Who Broke Stereotypes

“In this book, we follow the stories of forty amazing individuals from all four corners of the globe who have challenged the misconceptions of living with an illness, disability or mental health issue, and shown the world what they can do.” Louise Gooding

Just Like Me: 40 Neurologically and Physically Diverse People Who Broke Stereotypes written by Louise Gooding is a beautiful collection of biographies with illustrations by Angel Chang, Caterina delli Carri, Dante Gabriel Hookey, and Melissa Iwai.

When I got the opportunity to review this book, I was very excited. I love featuring neurodiverse characters on my blog especially when they are so underrepresented in children’s literature. This book is an excellent way for children to learn about these important people who broke stereotypes. The author wrote this book for her children, “one with mild Asperger’s, one with ADHD, and the other had suffered from discitis” to show them role models that were like them.

Within each biography, there is a brief description of the person, achievements, and a small section on the specific disability, illness, etc. I like how the book is organized because it makes it helpful for both readers and parents to begin important discussions about these interesting role models.

Who are some people that are included in this book? 

I love all of the biographies in this book but will just highlight a few to give you some examples!

Madeline Stuart “became the face of change for diversity in the fashion world by becoming the first professional model with Down’s Syndrome”. She has walked in some of the biggest and most famous runways around the world. She had been determined to become a famous model from a young age. 

Matt Stutzman was a healthy baby born in 1982 but he didn’t have arms. Matt’s parents did feel they could support a child with disabilities so decided to put him up for adoption. He was adopted by the Stutzman Family. Matt was not treated any differently because he had no arms. This leads him to try the sport of Archery. How can you play archery with no arms? Matt not only figured out how to use a bow and arrow without arms, but he also set records of shooting the farthest accurate shot with a bow and arrow!

Sudha Chandran loved to dance from a young age. On a pilgrimage with her family, she got into a bus accident. She was treated for a broken bone and some minor cuts. Unfortunately, one of her cuts got infected and developed gangrene. As a result, she needed to have her leg amputated below her knee to stop the infection from spreading. She received a Jaipur leg and finally learned to walk and dance again three years later. She is a famous and accomplished dancer and actress. 

Just Like Me

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