Title: The Push
Author: Patrick Gray
Illustrators: Justin Skeesuck and Matt Waresak
Publisher: Tyndale Kids
“That’s why we’re friends, right? We’re stronger together than we are on our own,” Marcus tells John in Patrick Gray’s children’s book, The Push: A Story of Friendship.
~ What ~
This numbered thirty-page oversized hardbound targets children four years and older, especially those who have a disability or help those with one. With no frightening scenes, the book has colored ink-drawn pictures that are simply illustrated on every page.
In this story told from the writer’s personal experiences with a dear friend, John is wheelchair bound and unable to use his hands or legs. When Marcus moves in next door, the two become fast friends. Marcus goes out of his way to include John at birthday parties, outdoor activities, and get-togethers. While John feels he cannot do much for Marcus due to his limitations, his friend tells him how much he appreciates and learns from him, reminding him they are better stronger together than apart. The ending has a quote from Mother Teresa and a written out Bible verse from the New International Version.
~ Why ~
This is an engaging story how friendship grows between two young boys. While one makes sure his friend is feed, safe, and a participant in the fun, the other loves to make jokes, keep everyone happy, and help those with math issues. I love how it focuses on the friendship between the two boys and not their differences.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a disability or are not around those with a handicap may feel uncomfortable reading this book, but it does show how we all can help each other in spite of our limitations, seen or unseen. Due to some complicated three- and four-syllable words, the book may be hard for beginner readers.
~ Wish ~
I wish the book mentioned that God has each of us where we are supposed to be in spite of our inadequacies and that we can turn to Him always, and He will always be there for us.
~ Want ~
If your child has a disability or perhaps a friend does, this book is great for showing how we all struggle with our problems, but we can learn from others and allow them to help us without feeling shame or guilt.
Thanks to the Tyndale Blog for this book that I am under no obligation to review.
This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-push-patrick-gray/1126701663