It's Me


Young Adult - Social Issues
57 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite

Discover how children react to their lives as they navigate difficult social issues in the young adult book, It’s Me by Jeff Kubiak. Prejudices run rampant in our society, and tragically this reflects on our children and how they view their world. Whether a person has a different color of skin, speaks another language, or has impairments, being ‘different’ can be scary and lonely. If we are too busy looking at the surface, we miss so much and we are shutting ourselves off from learning about that person’s unique experiences. Explore how it feels to be different in short prose from the eyes of eleven to sixteen-year-old children. With more than twenty-two vignettes including autistic, Muslim, and LGBTQ viewpoints, this book explores the beautiful diversity of children and adults of this world and the possibility of tragedy if we don’t learn how to drop our prejudices and become accepting of the unique qualities of others.

It’s Me by Jeff Kubiak is a touching OwnVoices peek into children’s everyday lives and the candid way in which they speak about how they like to relate to their peers. The message of these stories is clear; everyone deserves to be seen for who they are as people, not labels. Colorfully illustrated with engaging graphics, I was impressed with the heartwarming way in which the author portrayed the stories. I believe that this book is excellent for parents and carers that are interested in encouraging empathy and the celebration of diversity and inclusion in their children. It’s Me by Jeff Kubiak is a beautiful act of love.

Geree McDermott

Jeff Kubiak’s It’s Me is a collection of short introductions of persons from many different backgrounds and cultures. Each introduction has a vibrant illustration by Briannah Alpeter which demonstrates visually how each one differs. It’s Me is the most significant book I have read in a very long time. In a gentle presentation of short narratives, this book makes an important statement about racial and ethnic equality. It’s illustrated with an interesting and accurate depiction of each person by Briannah Altpeter. And, it is a page-turner too. Once I read the first introduction, I was hooked and I read it straight through.

It’s Me introduces us to many interesting persons who share personal information with us so we can relate to each one. Jeff Kubiak says it well when he explains, “Communication does not equal agreement, but it CAN equal compassion, understanding, and acceptance.” It’s Me is short and a quick read, making it the perfect common ground among educators to teach acceptance and understanding. I can see this book being taught in high schools and colleges. And I can see this book utilized in social services, businesses that target ethnic groups, public libraries, and schools. In fact, I think everyone should read it. Jeff Kubiak has written a magnificent book that demonstrates the truth of different cultures and why it is okay to trust those who may be different. I can see It’s Me becoming a quick bestseller.

Asher Syed

It's Me, written by Jeff Kubiak and illustrated by Briannah Altpeter, is a compilation of poetry revolving around a group of young people whose internal mental health and differently-abled learning capacities are reflected through Kubiak's verses. Each poem is accompanied by a name, which has been fictionalized to protect their identities, their age, their difficulty, and a full-color illustration that places them in their individual piece of Kubiak's anthology. Eleven-year-old Britney is dyslexic and has a processing disorder, which is made tangible in the poem itself that describes the emotional toll being picked on takes in a piece that reads phonetically. Ameerah is thirteen and proud to be a Muslim. She is also aware that her hijab makes others prejudiced against her.

It's Me is a perfect title for the book and it's really quite special in how it begins and ends each poem with the titular line. Jeff Kubiak and Briannah Alpeter have formed a truly spectacular team; a balance of words and imagery that hold each other up. From an emotional standpoint as a parent, It's Me hits very deeply. It is simple and straightforward but has something in it that absolutely everyone will be able to relate to. I have a sister who has struggled with Trichotillomania, an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that is defined by hair-pulling, and so coming across ten-year-old Jacquie who also has Trichotillomania was just remarkable. This is a fantastic collection and I have no doubt it will touch all who read it.