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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
I Am Because I Choose is a children’s educational picture book written by Patrice McLaurin and illustrated by Dian Wang. The little boy in this story knows how important it is to make good choices. Making choices is his superpower. He can make good or bad choices, but when he considers the consequences of his decision-making, he usually makes the right one. His decision to be kind and empathetic means he has good friends who know he cares about them. Likewise, his decision to read and learn makes him a good student, one who will be a leader when he grows up, one who will be successful. He finds it fairly simple and obvious to make the right decisions, to choose wisely, and because he does, his life is pretty cool.
Patrice McLaurin’s I Am Because I Choose introduces the concepts of choice, consequences, empathy, and perseverance to young readers. As they follow the little boy’s story about his choosing skills, they learn how his success in school, on the playing fields and in life generally are under his control -- because he chooses how he will conduct himself. His gift of making the right decision is his superpower, one which makes him powerful and strong. Dian Wang’s illustrations work quite well with the text. We see the boy riding a golden key to success through his ability to make good choices, and, likewise, we see him running on the track -- and winning. Each brightly colored panel reinforces the author’s underlying message and gives the story dimension and heft. The author also includes a glossary of terms that will be helpful for kids and grownups to have discussions after reading the book. I Am Because I Choose is highly recommended.