Award-winning author Shaila Abdullah coauthored new book My Friend Suhana with 10 year old daughter, Aanyah Abdullah. Both authors volunteer at a local community center of which the inspiration for My Friend Suhana, came. The book is inspired partly by Aanyah's 2nd grade essay about her friendship with a child at the community center who has cerebral palsy.
My Friend Suhana reveals beauty in true friendship. The book is simply written, the words illustrating beautifully just what true friendship is; its meaning broken down by simple actions of one child reaching out in friendship to another. Though Suhana cannot reciprocate in play, as cerebral palsy restricts free movement like running, walking and even hugging, the narrator does not see these as restrictions and loves her friend just the same. Nothing is expected in return, as is true in childhood friendship, and that is most expressive and refreshing in the book.
In a friendship, there is usually a commonality that exists between the two parties, such as common likes, talents, and/or shared activities such as hobbies. In childhood, friends often bond over shared toys or by performing activities together such as in a class or in a team. Childhood friendships are for the most part simple and as kids get older the nature of their friendship become more complex. The book, My Friend Suhana, explores the simplicity and the truthfulness of childhood friendship, and by this the reader discovers that friendship can also be a descriptive verb. The narrator shares drawings with Suhana; cheers her on when she learns to stand; and is just there as a companion to a child who may otherwise have a lonely childhood. And though Suhana may not reciprocate these actions, you can tell that she shows her love for her friend in her own way; by a simple touch.
The book raises awareness for cerebral palsy and readers will find the narrator's actions commendable. Why? Answer: She has unconditional love for her friend, who cannot walk, run, tumble or play. Yet, at seven, she understands that Suhana is special and looks past the restrictions and loves unconditionally anyway.
Great read. Colorful and lively illustrations! A book of actions! So vastly opposite of the nature of cerebral palsy! Children and adult will find it endearing and heartwarming.
Author's website: http://www.ShailaAbdullah.com
Book's website: http://www.MyFriendSuhana.com