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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s not easy fitting into a right-handed world when you’re a left-handed person. But, amazingly, some of the brightest people in history were left-handed: even some presidents like Obama and some great athletes. Some left-handed people have the added talent of being ambidextrous: they can write and do things with both hands. Gracie is left-handed. She can only write, color and scoop ice cream with her left hand. Even throwing a ball with her right hand is a problem. She doesn’t mind being left-handed. She does mind when Scott calls her Lefty. The teacher tries to stop the bullying, but Gracie is upset when she goes home from school. The teacher makes things better the next day by assigning all the left-handed students and the ambidextrous students the task of researching all the famous people that were like them. It was a clever way to help the entire class accept their differences.
It’s important to be yourself and to accept your own differences as well as the differences of others. Dr. Kris Condi’s picture book story, Don’t Call Me Lefty, is a powerful tool to help young readers understand and appreciate the importance of being different, of being unique or being oneself. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, this simple story leads young readers through an interesting plot as Gracie learns to accept her left-handed abilities and be proud of who she is. The dialogue is used well to help move the story along. The young characters in the story are allowed to develop and share their left-handed abilities and to learn from others who are also left-handed. They are encouraged to accept left-handedness as a vital part of who they are. As a daughter of a left-handed father and the mother of a left-handed child, I appreciate the message shared so eloquently in this little gem of a book.