HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy
Authors: Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah
Publisher: Loving Healing Press, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1615992126 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 161599212X (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1615992119 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1615992111 (Paperback)
Related websites: http://www.ShailaAbdullah.com (author), http://www.MyFriendSuhana.com (book), http://www.LHPress.com
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 6-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Abdullah, Shaila and Aanyah. My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy (published in 2014 by Loving Healing Press, 5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105). Have you ever known anyone with cerebral palsy? Do you know what it is and how it affects people? While helping her mother with a special needs class at a local community center, a seven year old girl befriends another seven year old girl named Suhana who has cerebral palsy. Suhana cannot stand, walk, talk, play, answer when called, play tag or hopscotch, or ride a bike like other children. However, Suhana’s new friend holds her, rocks her, comforts her, helps her in other ways, and just generally shows love to her. She especially draws pictures for her. How do you think Suhana responds to the girl’s art?
When I lived and preached in Dayton, OH, there was a young man attending the congregation who had cerebral palsy. His mind was brilliant, and he could do many amazing things with a computer. Unfortunately, his body was twisted and he was confined to a wheelchair. However, he didn’t let that stop him. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition which causes physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of bodily movement. “Cerebral” means having to do with the brain. “Palsy” means having a problem with moving. The cause is believed to be congenital, coming at or about the time of birth, resulting from a permanent, non-progressive defect or lesion of the immature brain, and producing a central motor dysfunction affecting muscle tone, posture, and movement.
My Friend Suhana, for which Kindle and ePub editions are also available, was inspired by the experiences of the authors. Shaila Abdullah, a writer and designer, and her daughter Aanyah, now ten, often volunteer at a special needs community center, and Aanyah is drawn to children born with physical and mental disabilities. In addition to the cute story with adorable illustrations, the book contains a page of general facts about cerebral palsy to help youngsters better understand this condition. They will learn that while a person who has CP finds it difficult to communicate or control movement, he or she still needs love and can make friends. It is a simple tale of love and friendship that will warm everyone’s heart.