Children’s Book Review: Your Beautiful Mind

Your Beautiful Mind, by Zoe M. Kozina, is not only a children’s book written FOR students with learning differences.  It’s written BY a student with learning differences herself.


The Story

Black and white illustrated panda, yellow background, book title: Your Beautiful MindPenelope the Panda enters the third grade SO excited to go to school.  That is, until math lessons become much more difficult for her than for her fellow students, who appear to breeze right through them.

Diagnosed with a learning disability, Penelope learns to navigate the school’s special education services.  She does so with a fair amount of resistance and confusion at first.

With the support of her peers and teachers she embraces her identity, no longer as someone who believes she is “dumb” but as someone who has a beautiful mind.


What I Love About the Book, Your Beautiful Mind

The 17-year-old author of Your Beautiful Mind truly understands what being diagnosed with a learning disability feels like, because she lived it.  Feeling like the only one in class who couldn’t keep up, she understands the confusion that comes from that.  She understands the ridicule by other students and what it feels like to question her own intelligence.

One important lesson in the book, especially for educators, is how to help the uniquely wired students who resist receiving the extra help they need.  (No spoilers here!  I’ll let you find out what that is on your own.)

Your Beautiful Mind is recommended for ages 5 – 10.  Although this children’s book may not have undergone professional editing by a publisher, that shouldn’t matter.  The underlying message allows students with learning differences to feel seen and heard.  That’s powerful!

Also powerful, students with learning differences can see and follow the author’s example.  If you want to write a children’s book, go ahead, write a children’s book!

Find Your Beautiful Mind at your favorite book seller.  Plus discover more Children’s Book Finds here.