Through the eyes of 10-year-old Benjamin Giroux, being odd is different, and different is a good thing. This is what the then fifth-grader hoped to convey in his poem, beginning every few sentences with "I am,” about what it is like to live with autism. Inspired by a school assignment, Benjamin’s raw and emotional words poured out onto the page, but when he feared they were not any good, his parents shared the poem with friends and family. Little did they know that it would go viral and end up inspiring thousands of strangers who identified with him to share their support. Now for the first time, Benjamin’s iconic poem "I Am Odd, I Am New," comes to life in this lovingly illustrated picture book with a foreword written by the National Autism Association. So whether you know the poem, or it is new to you, discover how Benjamin's honesty will reassure children of all ages that it's okay to be different.
Benjamin Giroux has been featured on many websites, in the Huffington Post, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. He was named Poet Laureate of Plattsburgh, New York, and has also been the face of the National Autism Association’s antibullying campaign. His poem has been translated into several languages.
Roz MacLean is an award-winning Canadian illustrator and children's writer. She especially loves making art about themes that are important to her, like exploring emotions and diverse ways of being in the world. She has written and illustrated two books, The Body Book and Violet's Cloudy Day.