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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Let Me Be Me by Mary Clark Dalton, illustrated by Adrienne Anderson, is about Amanda, a girl many other girls will identify with. She’s never first or best at anything. Her best friend Sandy gets all the prizes, and while she’s happy for her friend, she wants to win something, at least once. This year, she has a new teacher. A teacher who doesn’t know that Sandy is the best at everything. Maybe this year will be different. The class starts out with a test that is really the star of the book. The test asks the children to get to know themselves. It asks questions like who is the person you admire the most? And If you could be anyone, who would you want to be? Amanda thinks about wanting to be Sandy but realizes that’s not completely true. She leaves that question blank and goes home to think about it and talk it over with her mother. After she chooses her answer, her new teacher gives her perfect marks on her test. Amanda is learning to know herself. Readers may want to take this test themselves.
Let Me Be Me by Mary Clark Dalton is a step up from most of the I-Like-Me books because it requires Amanda to think about what she likes about being herself, and about her life in general. She is amazed when her best friend Sandy tells her that she wrote down she wants to be Amanda. This book is a good introduction to self-awareness and gratitude. Adrienne Anderson’s illustrations show how other students in the class react to the test, and Mary Clark Dalton introduces this complex topic in a way most children will be able to understand.