History of Me

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Who do you see when you look in the mirror? One mother’s account of her experience as the only Black child in school serves as an empowering message to her own daughter and children of color everywhere.


Life can be hard for the only brown girl in a classroom full of white students. When the teacher talks about slavery, she can feel all of her classmates staring at her. When they talk about civil rights, she is the one that other kids whisper about on the playground. In those moments, she wants to slip away or seep into the ground; and she wonders, is that all you see when you look at me?

What really matters is what she sees when she looks at herself. She is a reflection of the courage, strength, intelligence and creativity that’s been passed down from generation to generation through her ancestors.

Inspired by her daughter’s experience in school as well as her own, Adrea Theodore’s debut picture book is a powerful testament to the past as well as a benediction for the future.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

“[A] poetic debut informed by Theodore’s own life as well as that of her daughter. . . . Refrains emphasize the child’s isolation and resolve, punctuated by Robinson’s textured digital illustrations, before an affirmative ending.”—Publishers Weekly

“A love letter of recognition to children of color. . . . The colors go from subdued to vibrant, with the protagonist’s daughter shown on one page as an almost literal beam of light”—The Horn Book

“An empowering picture book seeks to instill pride in the descendants of enslaved people. . . . This emotionally honest look at the challenges of processing historical injustice and racial trauma provides a much-needed mirror for Black students, but anyone who has ever felt trapped by other people’s definitions of who they are can relate to the story on some level. . . . An uplifting story that rightfully asserts the multidimensionality of Black identity.”—Kirkus Reviews