What Book Makes YOU Feel Finally Seen?

Read Book Joy From Kids All Over America!

We asked kids "What book makes YOU feel FINALLY SEEN?" and here were their responses...

Ana on the Edge

By Hayley, Age 12

Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass made me feel finally seen because it relates to a lot of my life and some of my struggles that I experience. The first is that I’m nonbinary and it can be really hard to find a nonbinary character in books, so Ana being nonbinary was really nice to see. Also I don’t know another nonbinary ice skater in real life or in books, and I can really relate to some of the things that are hard for them being nonbinary and an ice skater. The second one is that I love to ice skate, and it was cool to see how much she loves to skate as well. The final one was that I’m Jewish, and seeing Ana be Jewish as well was great. The book doesn’t really talk about it too much, but it does mention that they are going to have a bat mitzvah soon which I can really relate to because mine is in only a few months. All and all reading this book was really amazing for me, because I can see so much of  myself in Ana. 

The One Who Loves You the Most

By Maisie, age 11

Literature has always been my way to feel that others understand anything I’m going through, and one book in particular made me feel finally seen: The One Who Loves You the Most, by Medina. It has wonderfully awkward characters and coming out stories. I am awkward with literally anyone in my age group, and the worst part is I can never control it! And I want to make others feel comfortable with my queerness, but who says I’m always fully comfortable with it either? Medina’s example of that in the book is so well-written.  In my school newspaper last year, I wrote an article about things that a lot of middle schoolers go through, like the stress of popularity, but no one talks about. So many kids connected with it!  That got me wondering why no one even mentions stuff like that. When I read this book, I was overjoyed that the characters weren’t afraid to speak to each other about those emotions. I felt  like the characters understood me. And when I write my own stories one day, I hope that some other tween in 6th grade will feel finally seen.


By Sarah, Age 11

I feel as though I’ve been seen in the book Blended by Sharon M. Draper. The main protagonist is Isabelle, a light-skinned girl. She loves piano and she has a stepbrother. I don’t have a stepbrother, but I do have a brother who doesn’t live with me. We both have things in common. She likes to play piano. She and I have the same skin tone and we both have brothers. I feel as though Blended also gives me a chance to feel seen by showing the struggles for African Americans being threatened.

A Good Kind of Trouble

By Grace, Age 12

One book that made me feel seen is A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée. One of the reasons this book made me feel seen is because I could see myself in the main character. The protagonist is an African American middle school girl like me.  I also related to her because I could understand her mindset. She has seen the activism from African Americans before her and wonders if she is not doing enough. She sees problems of racism still affecting her community and wants to stand up, but she is scared. I relate to that because I see examples of the world definitely not being perfect, but it is hard to know what to do about it. Sometimes I feel small, like whatever I try to do to fix it won’t make a difference. This book encouraged me to keep trying and showed me that even a small effort can make a difference. Overall, this book was a reflection of my thoughts and worries.

Drawn Together

By Elia, Age 11

The book Drawn Together by Minh Lê made me feel finally seen. My grandparents recently moved in with me and my dad. The problem is neither speaks English, which makes it really hard to communicate with them. When I read Drawn Together I got to see how someone else handled this situation and told stories with their grandparent without saying a word. This book actually helped me and my grandparents. Now we solve puzzles and play games together all the time. I hope this book has helped others and strengthened the relationship between them and family members who don’t speak the same language or don’t speak at all.

Best Friends

By Hazel, Age 10

Best Friends by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Pham made me feel like I was finally seen. This book was written about Shannon’s childhood. She dealt with anxiety and felt like talking with her friends was a minefield. One wrong step and the friendship would blow up. She always tried to say the right thing so that she didn’t mess up her friendship with them. I feel the same way, sometimes. Like you’re going down a rollercoaster, but scarier. She had a group of friends, and if she messed it up, she’d lose all of them. I too have a group of friends, so if I mess it up, I’ll lose all my friends.

I also sometimes have anxiety about certain things like being late to school and getting stuff in on-time.

This book helped me realize that you can choose your own path, even if it means splitting up from your friends. Don’t be afraid to show your voice. Make yourself heard. Be heard and be proud of that. I was finally seen by reading this book.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, even if it means you won’t be with the people you love hanging out with.

Amina’s Thread

By Pahel, Age 11

Last year, author Aisha Saeed came to my school to discuss window and mirror books. All my life, I’ve felt like I’ve been reading window books. Sure, the characters shared some characteristics with me, but I’ve never truly felt like I saw myself spun into the thread of a story before. Until I picked up Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan, that is. As my eyes danced across the book’s pages, I felt like I was staring at a mirror, watching myself pirouette through an intricately woven story full of passion, hope, and family. Amina became my sister – I felt like I had known her forever. She allowed me to see all of myself, not just tattered patches of fabric. In addition to showing me who I truly am, Amina acts like the light guiding me on the path. She nurtures the heart and mind, making me feel like one of the many threads of the finest silk, woven together with careful fingertips. The author produced an absolutely compelling story to take in chapter by chapter: like a stunning gown exquisitely stitched by a sophisticated seamstress. With Amina’s story, I feel more than seen. I feel understood and accepted.

The Hate U Give

By Taylor, age 13

The novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas makes me feel seen. In the book, Starr attends a white school with primarily white friends. People at her school and neighborhood make fun of her for the people she hangs around. Starr forms two personalities in fear of upsetting anyone. Starr eventually learns that she shouldn’t care how people look at her and judge her, her two personalities form one. She talks the way she wants to talk and does what she wants to do and nobody says anything about it because they’re her friends who don’t care about how she expresses herself. I relate to this because I used to be like this. This book helped me understand and realize that I should always be myself.

This book helped me understand and realize that I should always be myself.

At the end of the book, when her two worlds collide, she realizes that she can truly be herself and shouldn’t care what other people think. 

New From Here

By Eliana, Age 10

Have you ever felt like you can really connect with a book? The book I can connect called, New from Here, is about a boy moving from Hong Kong to escape much of the risk of the new virus. I am 10 years old and, like Knox, faced some of the many challenges of the covid pandemic, including online school, and the fear of getting sick. When my teacher announced that we were doing online school, tension formed in the air. I felt the same way Knox did when he stepped off the plane. What was going to happen to us after? To our families? When Breonna Taylor was killed, the news shocked the world. Racism is something we should all work to end.

That’s why, when I read New from Here, I feel finally seen.

Nat Enough

By Adam, age 12

Maria Scrivan’s book, Nat Enough made me feel “finally seen” because I have always felt a little out of place from my friends and classmates.  I have felt like I am not interested in things that are “cool” or popular, instead I am part of the progressive activist community.  Like Nat, at the beginning of middle school, one of my friends “ghosted me,” because she wanted to be cool and popular.  And just like Nat, I tried, and failed, to get her back.  It made for a challenging school year, but as I progressed, I built on my passion and started to find some other friends who were like me.

The things that I am interested in are not usually front and center in the minds of other children.  I particularly like to organize for progressive causes that are in my heart and really enjoy doing art for these causes. Nat’s love of art and her extreme focus while working on her art really spoke to me and made me feel seen.

Like Nat, when I started Middle School, one of my closest friends decided to “ghost me.”  That made starting middle school very stressful, and I couldn’t figure out why my friend no longer wanted to be around me.  Nat’s struggles with this, and her failed attempts to get her friend back, reflected my own experience like a mirror.

But just like Nat, I ultimately found my way through the ups and downs of middle school.  Like her, I became closer to other classmates who shared my interests.  We made art and appreciated each other’s talents. 

Copyright Kelly Yang 2019
PARACUTES Art © Chung-Yun Yoo.