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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is a self-help book for children written by Michael A. Brown and illustrated by Ilham Fatkurahman. The author bluntly lays it on the line for young readers. He tells them that their parents may not always be around to protect them in an emergency or hostile situation. It’s each person’s responsibility to be prepared, to be ready to defend yourself. No matter your size, physical condition, or situation, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Self-defense courses are a great idea, but even just being alert to what is going on around you is a good start. And if you see someone who may pose a threat, know your options: running away, calling 911, grabbing something sharp or hard to defend yourself in a pinch, or saying “no” and meaning “no” in response to unwanted advances. The author includes a form titled My Self-Protection Resources for essential phone numbers, a chart of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the digest of a self-protection legal case that went up to the Supreme Court.
What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and caregivers to get the young people in their care to understand the dangers they can face and the importance of being prepared and ready to deal with the unexpected. He stresses the need for kids to feel they can take charge and protect themselves if their parents are not around. I was impressed by the author’s handling of what is a sensitive and frightening subject and appreciated the recommendations he provides in this book. This should be shared with young readers followed by discussions of the subject matter covered. Kids should be prompted to ask questions and volunteer information they feel is pertinent. Ilham Fatkurahman’s illustrations transform those shadowy threats and fears into concrete images in an effective and dramatic fashion. Self-protection could make the difference in surviving an attack or other encounters. What I Tell Myself About Self-Protection by Michael A. Brown is highly recommended.