Girls can fly by Sally Morgan

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Illus. by Amberlin Kwaymullin. Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925936759. 48pp.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Sally Morgan and her daughter, Ambelin Kwaymullina have collaborated to produce a small but pithy tome studded with vibrant statements for young girls to read and so be encouraged to fly. Each second page has a few sentences, asking questions, ending with a statement that reads like a homily or poem, encouraging the reader to take hold of what they dream, to be proud, to be a role model and to always have good thoughts. Many encourage positive thoughts and actions, eschewing dark thoughts, fear, worries about being a lesser person or the ear worm that settles in your head filling it with darkness. Many talk about positive mental health and could well be used in a class where mental health is being discussed, along with self worth and self image.
This important addition to the books which encourage a positive outlook is aimed specifically at girls in the middle school, a time when many children struggle to maintain their equilibrium. A book such as this will encourage them to think more clearly about who they are and where they want to be in this world, and this book would augment programs designed to do just that.
Each page encourages the reader to stop and think, to take hold of how the few sentences apply to them, and inspire them to be positive about themselves. Each page is colourful and stimulating, vibrant and attractively designed, with the facing page having just two or three words which summarise what is said in the clutch of sentences. Any could be used as a poster around the classroom: love your awesome self, girls can do anything, grow a big heart, trust yourself, being but a few, which will enliven, encourage and gladden the hearts of the students in your classroom. And for a girl taking the book from the shelf, finding a quiet spot and reading the pages, the results could be uplifting. Themes: Participation, Encouragement.
Fran Knight