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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Brittnie Blackburn’s picture book story, You Are a Superhero, Too!, is a sentimental, touching tribute to all siblings, especially those with special needs. What would you do if your sibling had special needs? Would you help her (or him), as the little girl in the story helps her sister? Would you stand up for her (or him) when others, who don’t understand, choose to be mean? Everything siblings do together makes life special, even when one of the siblings has special needs. There is a unique, forever bond within a family unit, and siblings can be more than just best friends, despite their needs and differences.
Brittnie Blackburn tells the story from the parent’s point of view, with the parent paying special attention to the main character (the typical, ‘normal’ child) and how she looks out and cares for her special needs sister. The parent repeatedly reassures the ‘normal’ child that she is a superhero in all she does for her special needs sister. This repeated positive message affirms that parents do appreciate what ‘normal’ siblings do for their special needs brother or sister. All children need this affirmation; they need to know that they make their parents proud and that their parents love them. The story is told in rhyming verse, in simple language, with the repeated affirmative phrase, “You, you, beautiful you. Did you know, my dear, that you are a superhero, too?”, to help young readers learn to read and to recognize this positive message. The illustrations are bright, bold, and colorful and help carry the story along. You Are a Superhero, Too! is a beautiful and tender story told with care, love, and compassion.