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Reviewed by Ananya Hazarika for Readers' Favorite
I Am Awesome! by Luvinska Golam Oogarah is the tale of Luka, a boy who loves going to school and learning new things. But there are also days when he is worried about performing specific tasks at school, such as unbuttoning his shirt, climbing the stairs, or something as simple as writing. The reason behind this is that Luka suffers from dyspraxia, a condition that makes it challenging for Luka to take on activities that require physical coordination and fine motor skills. His confidence sinks, and fear of failure grips him when he is mocked and judged by his peers whenever he takes a bit longer than them to perform tasks. Luka does not mind being alone even though nobody at school wants to play with him. Instead, he creates his fantasy world of dinosaurs and Formula One cars. And just as Luka's mother assures him, Luka is given ample opportunities by his teachers to practice and master his skills and is encouraged to pursue his creative potential. The support and guidance from his teachers boost Luka's confidence, making him a hula hoop prodigy in his physical education class.
I Am Awesome! is a heartwarming story by Luvinska Golam Oogarah that will inspire children and adults to celebrate our uniqueness and learn the acceptance of different individuals. I loved how a simple story can spread awareness about dyspraxia. It sensitively addresses the needs of children who require special attention. I could not ignore the tiny details mentioned in the story, and one of them is when Luka wears trainers with velcro, instead of ones with laces since tying them becomes an anxious task for him. It is how Oogarah suggests that there could be alternate ways to solve any problem. As the author says, it is not a book to diagnose dyspraxia, rather it is about anyone who does not fit into the traditional conventions of society and learns to celebrate self-acceptance. The efficiency of adults and educators in normalizing being different is prominent throughout the story. I Am Awesome! spreads the message of inclusivity through its bright illustrations and catchy storyline. I recommend it be read by parents, educators, and children of all ages and I can't wait to read more about Luka and his adventures.