A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cerrie Burnell's beautifully illustrated book, I Am Not a Label: 34 Artists, Thinkers, Athletes and Activists with Disabilities from Past and Present, is full of fascinating biographies of people who have made an impact on the world, from centuries past to the present. This insightful book includes both physical and mental disabilities, helping readers understand that mental and physical health play a role in navigating everyday life. Burnell prefaces the information with her own biography as a disabled person, and includes an extensive glossary.
What's the story?
I AM NOT A LABEL delves into the lives of 34 artists, athletes, activists, and thinkers who have dealt with physical and mental disabilities on their way to making a tremendous impact on the world. Full-page illustrations show people from centuries ago, such as Beethoven, Henri Matisse, Helen Keller, and Abraham Lincoln, along with modern public figures including Lady Gaga, Michelle Akers, Stella Young, Catalina Devandas, Lil Wayne, and more. There's a glossary and index at the back of the book defining medical terms and some of the more advanced vocabulary.
Is it any good?
With a fresh look at both the way we refer to disable people and the ways in which physical and mental health can impact lives, there's tremendous breadth, depth, and value on these colorful pages. I Am Not a Label includes notable historical figures, but the most powerful connections are likely with the many pages of modern artists, thinkers, and athletes, as young readers see that the people on their screens today have overcome quite a lot to make an impact on the world.
The inclusion of many people with hidden physical disabilities and mental health obstacles is an important reminder that not all challenges are obvious, and that these conditions can come and go throughout a lifetime. These stories are packed with hope and dare readers to follow their dreams no matter what obstacles are in their way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the individual stories in I Am Not a Label. Why were people with disabilities often denied opportunities? How are they still? What can we do to be sure everyone has the chance to follow their dreams?
What can you do if you see someone being treated differently because of their disability?
What skills do you think help people overcome these kinds of obstacles?
- Author: Cerrie Burnell
- Illustrator: Lauren Baldo
- Genre: Biography
- Topics: Activism, Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
- Publication date: July 7, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 12
- Number of pages: 64
- Available on: Hardback
- Last updated: July 30, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love stories of people with challenges
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.