My Brain Won't Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando Review

My Brain Won't Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando
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By Constance Castaneda, Speech and language pathologist, New YorkImagine that you are born with a disability that affects your motor skills and makes your body do odd things. It makes one of your hands smaller than the other and nearly useless, and makes one of your legs weaker.
Imagine that due to this condition, simple tasks become difficult and hard tasks become practically impossible.
What if that disability made you the target of ridicule as a child, and now as an adult it still makes people stare at you, or pretend not to see you when you walk down the street?
What would you do?
Perhaps you should do what Annette Perez did; you write a funny, uplifting children's book about your experiences.
The New York City native of Puerto Rican descent, and York College (City University of New York) graduate, just released a children's book titled My Brain Won't Float Away (Campanita Books, New York) based on one key event in her childhood that changed her life forever, for the better I should add.
It's the story of Annie, an eight-year-old girl who, realizing there is something "wrong" with her, gathers the courage to ask her mom what is going on, leaving her mother with the tough job of explaining to her daughter that she has a condition called hydrocephalus (also referred to as "water on the brain," even though as you learn in the book, it has nothing to do with water). Her first reaction, as I am sure we all can imagine, is fear. Annie is scared of that strange-sounding label her mother has just placed on her, and terrified when she hears that she has "water on the brain." But knowledge is usually a good way to dispel fear, and with her newfound information Annie embarks on a journey of discovery that teaches her about hydrocephalus, but also teaches her about love, friendship, and courage. The book is a pleasure to read, and Ms. Pérez gives Annie a voice that sounds fresh, and authentic. As a person with a disability, she knows first-hand the daily struggle that so many adults and children have to go through to do what most of us take for granted. She writes about the time and determination that it takes to learn to live with a body that sometimes will not, and at other times cannot do what you wish it to do.
And she does it while telling a story that reads more like an adventure (which it is). That she also writes on the subject of being ostracized as a child for being "different" and how important it was for her physical and emotional well-being to be accepted by her peers, is a lesson that any child reading the book will relate to, without the need for lectures or a preachy tone. You have to read the book to understand how well it was written, and how much fun it is. Yes, fun.
Ms Pérez, who based the story on her own experiences growing up with hydrocephalus has covered so many bases that it feels like My Brain Won't Float Away is the only book that you'll need to buy for your kid this year. Funny? Yes. Suspenseful? Yes. Uplifting? Yes. Educational? Yes. Does it help you practice a foreign language? ¡Sí! I forgot to mention, My Brain Won't Float Away is also called Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando. The book is 100% bilingual in English and Spanish! That means it is also a perfect tool for any bilingual program. And it is a jewel in any language.
Recommended for all Parents, Elementary Teachers, Special Education Teachers, ESL Teachers, Librarians, Counselors, and Occupational Therapists. A must have for Character Education Curriculum Collections. Children 6 to 10

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Annie, an eight-year-old girl, gathers the courage to ask her mother;Why is one of my hands smaller than the other? Why do I fall so much? What follows is a story of fears, will, self discovery, and finally, triumph. Annette Perez narrates her true story of growing up with hydrocephalus with humor, honesty, and compassion, and proves with this story that even the simplest act can change one's life forever.

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