The Amazing You By Leyla Hekmatdoost PerkinsAmazing You
Blurb Publishing, 2015, ISBN 978-1320454667, 24 pages, $14.99
Reviewed by- Denise Rice, LCSW, LAC (DeniseRice@Hotmail.com)

Leyla Perkins debut book provides an opportunity for children to navigate and explore their feelings in a creative narrative format. After having worked in the education system for a number of years, the author has been working at a local hospital with children going through hardships and trauma and used pieces of the book to help children cope with feelings and encourage healthy self- expression. Children are often more comfortable community through words. Don’t be fooled by the book’s simple presentation as it offers the experience for the reader to go beneath the surface and explore their own feelings and individual gifts. “The Amazing You” is a tool that can assist and support children in a variety of situations including bullying, children in healthy families, children of divorce, victims of trauma, grief/loss, abuse, neglect and children who could benefit from improved self-esteem and empathy.
“The Amazing You” can be used individually or to enhance relationships between adults and children working collaboratively. Exploring the readers “Personal Power” and how it has been used in a negative way or to enhance coping, the reader is offered a unique insight into themselves. The book is written in a way that all children are provided with a safe place to explore their opinions and beliefs. “The Amazing You” is a beautiful introduction to Life book work with children who need a starting point to document their story and experiences. The pages in the book allow for the reader to write, draw or attach relevant pictures, school work or other documents that support their personal narrative. This book will assist therapists, biological parents, foster, kinship or adoptive parents, school counselors, teachers and case workers or any adult who values the healthy development of children and youth.
As a clinician it is difficult to engage children in “talk therapy” but this book provides the foundation from a strengths based perspective to engage them and honor their experiences. The book emphasizes the importance of a support system and surrounding the child with people who understand the importance of healing in the context of relationship.
The colorful pages, illustrations and varying fonts are appealing to the reader and the cover art is whimsy and adorable. This book has been added to my personal and professional library and I hope that others will find the “The Amazing You” useful, relevant and ideal for children from all backgrounds.

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