Have you ever wondered why you are you?

Or who you would be if you were someone else? Someone taller, faster, smaller, smarter? Someone lighter, older, darker, bolder?

Presented as a poetic exchange between two characters — who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions — this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

If the first step toward healing the world is to build bridges of empathy and to celebrate rather than discriminate, WHY AM I ME? helps foster a much-needed sense of connection, compassion, and love.


illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko
40 pages
Scholastic Press (September 12, 2017)
ISBN#: 978-1338053142

“The beautifully textured artwork by Qualls and Alko adroitly captures the mood and feel of a city in which diversity among people is such a natural occurrence, it doesn’t need to be called out–– it simply is.”

–– R.J. Palacio, The New York Times

★”Universal questions combine with richly layered, captivating compositions, presenting opportunities for careful examination and stimulating conversations. Perfect for classroom or one-on-one sharing.”

--School Library Journal, starred review

★”A mindful, captivating ode to wonder and a must for any story-or bedtime repertoire.”

--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[I]invites very young listeners to consider something both astonishing and elegantly simple: What do I know about myself? What makes me different from everyone else?”

--The Washington Post

★”. . . a benevolent, multicultural landscape depicted in lushly textured, jewel-toned collage and paint . . .”

--Publishers Weekly, starred review

★”A boy and girl, both on their way home, silently wonder about their diverse, individual identities, until a single-word greeting turns ‘I’ and ‘me’ into an opportunity to share ‘we.'”

--Shelf Awareness, starred review

“The interplay of art and text will invite the book’s audience to grapple with themes of individuality, diversity, universality, and what it means to be human.”

--Horn Book Review