I remember reading a quote that said, what if I fall, but what if you fly" -e.h.
In the delightful story, Perfectly Norman, the main character, a young boy, suddenly grows beautifully colored wings. Recognizing his difference and not wanting to be judged, he hides wings under a coat. His family wonders about the sudden change, but does not push the issue, allowing the boy to wear his coat. At times, life's situations; rains, weather etc., make it appropriate for his coat, Eventually, covering his wings becomes overwhelming as the heat changes. What will become of him? He must now face his truth and risk being judged for not being like others. To his surprise, revealing his wings is a blessing not only for him, but for the countless others that have been hiding too.
Though this is written for children and can certainly be used to talk about being true to oneself, respecting people who have interests that differ from your own or to build a classroom community, I believe the message is more than just a surface one. Without speaking about sexuality or racial differences, I can clearly see how one could use this exceptionally illustrated book to have discussions surrounding those topics as well.
This book made me think deeply about people and how we respect each others' differences and humanity. Just think how much better our world would be if we all showed more love and left room for soaring. If young readers could grasp this concept now, I imagine a much more loving AMERICA.
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