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Book Review – How to Be Me by Cath Howe

How to Be Me by Cath Howe. A book with a yellow cover, with a stick figure in the shape of a cloud looking anxious. This book is about grief, loneliness, and being shy.

How to be Me: Super-rich, Super-shy, Super-lonely

This is a wonderful story, that touches sensitively on issues of grief, anxiety and loneliness in a way that inspires empathy. A great book for 8-11 year olds. It shows a family navigating through really difficult emotions and not always getting it right. The characters are likeable and the story captivates all the way through.

Since his Mum died, Lucas feels grief, is very lonely, and his relationship with his father seems to have disappeared. Added to that his Dad has found a new partner who is nothing like his Mum.

They don’t communicate and seem to no longer understand each other at all.

Without  asking, Lucas’ dad enrolls him in a summer drama club to help him with his confidence.  Lucas absolutely does not want to go to and sees it as a further sign that his Dad doesn’t know who he is.

But it turns out to be the best thing for him.  Finding new talents and new friends he gains confidence to open up and finally express himself..

The story ends with a massive performance and a heartwarming moment between Lucas and his Dad

Who’s this book for?

Kids who are aged between 8-11 – who are anxious or shy and are nervous about trying new things and meeting new people. It’s a useful book for children who have lost a parent, especially at a young age. This gentle story reiterates that it’s good to talk but it’s not always easy.

It’s a great book to help encourage children to be open minded and to feel the fear and do it anyway! And to show children that it’s ok to have all kinds of feelings and to express them. Nobody is positive all the time.

Whose life do we get an insight into and understand better after reading this book?

This is a book that accurately depicts the life of a boy with a lot on his mind. He’s so young and dealt with so much. We all travel through the world differently, and deal with challenges in so many ways. It’s crucial to extend understanding to those who seem afraid and unconfident. Finding thing that we have in common with others who appear different from us is a great way to keep minds wide open and not full of preconceptions.

Who will see themselves in this story and feel better understood?

Going through the loss of a parent can be lonely. Use this book to support those going through grief and bereavement of any sort, to make them feel less alone.

Lucas is adapting to his Dad having a new partner that is not his Mum and this takes time. The wicked stepparent isn’t an uncommon storyline… so this a refreshing look at a family who are having problems blending. And most people have problems when they’re blending. Communication and understanding is key.

When any child is introduced to a new partner, there is understandably a lot of apprehension. This book is a lovely companion for children going through that.


Purchase How To Be Me here.

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Visit Cath Howe’s website for more.