I am honored to premiere the book trailer for Salina Yoon's Be a Friend. Mr. Colby Sharp and I knew right away that we needed to give Be a Friend the trifecta treatment, feature it during an upcoming meeting of the #SharpSchu Book Club, and tell everyone about it at conferences. It is a forever book.
Before you watch Be a Friend's book trailer, please read this letter from Salina.
I write a lot about that. A friendship between a penguin and a pinecone, between siblings, and even a friendship between a bear and a stuffed animal. Each one is important.
Be a Friend is yet another friendship story, but with a twist. It is unlike any other friendship tale. This friendship saves the boy.
Not from a cliff, not from a moving train, but from the isolation of his own unique world. Dennis' world is silent, and sometimes it makes him feel invisible and alone.
I was born in South Korea and came to the United States when I was 4 years old. I started kindergarten a year later speaking no English. I could hear things that I couldn't understand, and I couldn't say things that I wanted to say. I was shy and stayed silent--until one day, I met a friend who spoke the same language. She pulled me out of the shadows and into the sun. I blossomed. And learned. I was happy, as every child should be.
But the story of Dennis is not about me. It speaks to the universal theme of loneliness due to having special needs, a language barrier, cultural differences, childhood depression, self-identity issues, and other inner conflicts shared by both children and adults. It can speak to everyone because we all have something that makes us feel different inside however it's labeled. That is what makes us human. But the spark of joy that happens after a connection is made is also human. And wholly universal.
Every person on this planet has the potential to be happy. Sometimes, it takes just one other person to make that bridge. A friend. A teacher. A librarian. A stranger.
Dennis' story encourages readers to embrace their uniqueness. A quirky, yet universal story of self-acceptance, courage, tolerance, and the power of friendship. Be a Friend will make you laugh, cry, and possibly break out in jazz hands!
Be a Friend by Salina Yoon | Publication Date: January 5, 2016