Willie

A Super Friend (Mom's Choice Award Recipient)

Children - Social Issues
32 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

We’re all different. Sometimes our differences make us stronger. That’s certainly the case for Willie. He has cerebral palsy and moves around in a wheelchair. He still wants to play with other children his age. Only, like Willie’s mother, the other children are worried they might hurt Willie due to his so-called handicap. He’s determined to prove them wrong. After donning a superhero cape, he returns to the playground and starts shooting hoops, moving about the court like anyone else might do on two legs, only Willie’s in a wheelchair. Other special needs children join in the fun and soon everyone, even those who were afraid of hurting Willie, join in.

Barry Kienzle’s picture book story, Willie: A Super Friend, is based on a true story. There are even photographs of the real Willie in his superhero cape at the end of the book. The story is told in simple language so young readers can follow along as they learn to read the story themselves. These young readers will instantly feel a connection to Willie and to the uncertainty of other children on the playground. Perhaps the situation in the story will compare to something they have experienced. Young readers will learn about cerebral palsy, living in a wheelchair or with other special needs, and how one’s differences define who they are and how strong they are.

Willie is definitely a strong person, both inside and out, and young readers will instantly see that. They’ll be cheering him on as he wheels his chair around the basketball court. But Willie learned an important lesson, too, that handicaps, special needs, whatever you want to call it that make us appear different, are all in the mind, not in the heart and the willpower to succeed. Beautiful illustrations that complement the story. Told with compassion and attention to detail.