THE LIGHT SHE FEELS INSIDE, by Gwendolyn Wallace and Olivia Duchess, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Oct. 3, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 5-8)
A girl notices how her inner glow changes in certain situations and learns how to harness it in The Light She Feel Inside, by Gwendolyn Wallace and Olivia Duchess.
Maya feels a warm glow when she picks strawberries in the community garden, hears music in her neighborhood, or spends time with the people she loves.
She feels a different kind of glow when she gets pushed down on the playground, overhears her family worrying about bills, and sees her favorite cousin stopped by police. Sometimes that glowing seems like too much to carry.
But Maya is learning that others feel the same glowing light. Black women throughout history, like Ida B. Wells, Nina Simone, June Jordan, and Maya’s own ancestors, found ways to honor these glowing feelings. They were guided by their light to make a difference. The light Maya feels inside is an important part of her that she’ll share as she works toward a brighter world. —Synopsis provided by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
The Light She Feels Inside has a twofold purpose — helping children recognize their feelings and using those feelings to create change.
The book starts out with Maya’s joy — joy from spending time with neighbors, friends and family. Her glow changes from a yellow to orange when she’s treated poorly by a friend. And orange shifts to a red-hot red when she witnesses injustices. Her glow becomes a purply-blue with sadness. But as she’s introduced to women from the past who found ways to honor those feelings, her glow becomes a rainbow.
Author Gwendolyn Wallace creates a narrative that natural expands through straightforward and accessible text. Illustrator Olivia Duchess’ use of color throughout The Light She Feels Inside helps young readers visualize their emotions and really emphasizes the importance of community.
The Light She Feels is an excellent resource for home or the classroom.
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