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My Name is Blessing    by Eric Walters & Eugenie Fernandes order for
My Name is Blessing
by Eric Walters
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2013 (2013)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

My Name is Blessing by Eric Walters, and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, is based on the life of a real boy, Muthini, who grew up in Kenya. His Nyanya (grandmother) raised Muthini and eight other grandchildren, but had little to offer them or herself. But she gave them plenty of love.

Life was even harder for Muthini than for his cousins - he was born with no fingers on his left hand and only two on his right. People often made cruel comments, but his Nyanya said, 'It is so sad that other children only have ten fingers when you have a larger heart, a bigger brain, and a greater spirit.'

One day, Muthini's Nyanya takes him to a new home, where he is accepted on condition that he change his name from Muthini (which means suffering) to Baraka (a blessing).

My Name is Blessing is intended for children aged six to nine. When you read it with them, don't miss the author's summary of Baraka's World at the back of the book. Use this volume to encourage kids to see past their own and others' surface limitations and to raise their awareness of life in other parts of the world.

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