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Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite
The Gift of Me: A 15-Year Family Journal by Trish Kiel is a book meant to be used throughout childhood, middle school, and even high school. The book begins with a child being five years of age and continues through year 19. However, I can see anyone starting at any point in their young life, and benefiting from it. Each section is designed for the child (or parent/grandparent, etc.) to answer questions about their favorite TV show, best friend, or even their favorite sound. Sections include areas such as “Would You Rather”, “About Me”, and “Finish the Following”, as well as the option of drawing a picture, telling a story, or writing a poem. As the book continues to later teen years, the sections dig deeper, asking more thoughtful things, like, “What is the Hardest Thing You Have Ever Done?” or “How Have You Amazed Yourself?”
I remember when I was a child in elementary school. My diary only had lines on the pages, so I had to fill it with my thoughts and come up with ideas on what I should write. It wasn't easy to write something for each day, as sometimes I didn’t know what to write down. Eventually, I just gave up writing anything (plus the fact that my brother kept “borrowing” it to read what I wrote down!), because the entire process was frustrating. But that’s where The Gift of Me really shines. The prompts are there to start the process of self-discovery, to bring up ideas, to challenge higher-order thinking, and to list things that are happening in a young person’s life that might otherwise never be shared. It even includes some jokes to laugh along with. I highly recommend The Gift of Me by Trish Kiel and can imagine it will become a family treasure for years to come.