What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection

Non-Fiction - Self Help
30 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is a self-help book for children written by Michael A. Brown and illustrated by Ilham Fatkurahman. The author bluntly lays it on the line for young readers. He tells them that their parents may not always be around to protect them in an emergency or hostile situation. It’s each person’s responsibility to be prepared, to be ready to defend yourself. No matter your size, physical condition, or situation, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Self-defense courses are a great idea, but even just being alert to what is going on around you is a good start. And if you see someone who may pose a threat, know your options: running away, calling 911, grabbing something sharp or hard to defend yourself in a pinch, or saying “no” and meaning “no” in response to unwanted advances. The author includes a form titled My Self-Protection Resources for essential phone numbers, a chart of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the digest of a self-protection legal case that went up to the Supreme Court.

What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and caregivers to get the young people in their care to understand the dangers they can face and the importance of being prepared and ready to deal with the unexpected. He stresses the need for kids to feel they can take charge and protect themselves if their parents are not around. I was impressed by the author’s handling of what is a sensitive and frightening subject and appreciated the recommendations he provides in this book. This should be shared with young readers followed by discussions of the subject matter covered. Kids should be prompted to ask questions and volunteer information they feel is pertinent. Ilham Fatkurahman’s illustrations transform those shadowy threats and fears into concrete images in an effective and dramatic fashion. Self-protection could make the difference in surviving an attack or other encounters. What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection by Michael A. Brown is highly recommended.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

In this unfair and often unsafe world, our parents might not always be around to defend us. Therefore, we need to take the matter of safety into our own hands. This is the message Michael A. Brown conveys in What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection, a book belonging to the ‘What I Tell Myself’ series. A considerably short book boasting a rhyming narration and colorful illustrations, this one highlights the necessary precautions we can take to ensure safety. Brown mentions important yet simple measures we might employ to keep ourselves safe, such as being vigilant, defending ourselves, running away from dangerous situations, calling for help, etc. At the end of the book, Brown includes a separate page to jot down emergency contacts.

The most satisfying aspect of What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is its bold approach. Brown maintains an assertive tone throughout the book that will make readers courageous. The repetition of the key points helps to drive the message home. The use of rhyming sentences, resembling a mantra, not only engages readers but also helps them to remember the instructions. The realistic expressions on the characters’ faces, masterfully illustrated by Ilham Fatkurahman, make the story even more engaging. Admirably, the cast features characters belonging to diverse racial backgrounds and those with special abilities. The summation of all these factors is a useful guidebook, a must-read for all children. This is a perfect book to read aloud, either by the parents or by the children themselves.

K.C. Finn

What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is a work of non-fiction in the self-help and personal empowerment sub-genres, and it was penned by author Michael A. Brown along with illustrations by artist Ilham Fatkurahman. Designed for all members of the family and community to share and learn from, the central concept teaches self-protection and emancipation from oppression and threatening situations. Written in the form of a picture book with rhyming couplets, the work teaches readers from all walks of life to be vigilant against violence, learn self-defense, and accept that it is okay to run, fight, or break the proposed rules when personal safety is at risk.

Author Michael A. Brown has crafted a helpful book that provides an important service in the community, teaching readers that they must develop their individual self-protection strengths. The illustrated pages from Ilham Fatkurahman deliver a diverse range of protagonists to whom these guidance points can apply, indicating that we can all stand as one for empowerment, so long as each individual learns to play their role in awareness and raising their own strength. I found the back matter of the book especially informative, particularly in reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the interactive list of resources that readers can complete so that they know where to turn when they are in need. Overall, I would highly recommend What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection as essential reading for children and all of their contacts and guardians: an accomplished and intelligent work of guidance.