Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 16, 2021

Book Giveaway: I AM ODD I AM NEW by Benjamin Giroux

Benjamin Giroux has written a picture book titled, I AM ODD I AM NEW, illustrated by Roz Maclean and published by Schiffer Kids. It is debuting today. Ben has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Josh and Jenn.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Benjamin Giroux, was a 10 year old boy on the autism spectrum, when his teacher assigned the class a poetry assignment. Ben went on to write his poem as he would any school work. Once finished, Ben didn’t think it was all that good. After all, to him, he was simply writing about himself and how he felt living in a neurotypical world.  Not believing his parents, Ben’s dad posted the poem online and within hours it went viral. Around the world, translated in over 20 languages. Ben’s poem touched so many hearts that he was put in contact with a literary agent. Three years later, the book was picked up by Schiffer Publishing and is now a beautifully illustrated children’s book. The imagery, drawn by Roz MacLean, give even more life and depth to Ben’s powerful words of feeling different, like a castaway. Ben’s book has received the prestigious Kirkus Reviews Star, becoming one of the youngest authors ever to receive the honor.

BOOK JOURNEY:

I was 10 years old and in fifth grade when my library teacher assigned my class a poetry assignment. I went on to write a poem about how I felt as a kid on the spectrum. I finished it that night at home, but I didn’t think it was all that good. My parents thought it was amazing but I didn’t believe them, because as my parents, they always support and believe in me.  My dad asked to post the poem online, I told him it was okay, and within hours it went viral. Around the world, translated in over 20 languages. People even turned it into songs. The whole thing was and is a little overwhelming.

I couldn’t believe my poem touched so many people. I thought I was alone in feeling like a castaway. It really felt good knowing I wasn’t alone. One person that shared my poem was the author Anne Rice. My dad messaged her for help with my poem on how to protect it. It was her assistant Beckett that had posted my poem to her page and he put me in contact with his literary agent. She loved my poem as it was really personal to her as well. She sent over a contract and I signed it.

Two years later, she passed along my poem to Roz MacLean, a client of hers,  to see if she liked it and could illustrate it. She did and within a couple weeks she had a few pages illustrated. They sent those over to me to see if I liked it and I couldn’t believe how much what she drew went with what i wrote. With that, Naomi Davis, my agent, was able to sell my book the book to Schiffer Publishing. From there Roz had to illustrate the entire book. I think it took her like 6 to 8 months to do. She asked for my input near the end and it was my idea to change the final pages.

At first all the airplanes were the same. I thought it would be better if they were different with mine being colored, since we’re all different and I see myself differently then I see others. When Schiffer were choosing the cover, it was again my idea to have the current image but with the planes reflecting in my glasses. Now my poem is about to come out as a illustrated children’s book, all because of the help of people I’ve never met before.

My book has received the prestigious Kirkus Reviews Star,  becoming one of the youngest authors ever to receive the honor and got a awesome review from Publisher Weekly. I’ve  since written another book that’s being shopped and the follow up to that book that’s being edited. I plan on making it a series. They see books about my pet Cornsnake Monty and he’s put into situations that I’ve dealt with over my life. I really think kids will like them. Naomi loves the book that’s being shopped right now, maybe more then my current book.

BEN’S BIO:

Benjamin Giroux is a Kirkus Reviews Star Author of the children’s book;  I am odd, I am new, and has been featured on many websites, including 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 MCLEAN’S BIO:

I’m a visual artist, children’s book author / illustrator, and educator living and working on the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation in Comox Valley, British Columbia.  My own art practice helps me to understand, hold agency within, and navigate the material and emotional world. I believe the opportunity to engage in art making should be accessible to all regardless of socioeconomic status, background, or ability.

In my own work I investigate ideas of human nature and relationship, community, mental health, interconnection, and the natural world through an anti-oppressive and LGBTQI + inclusive feminist lens.

In addition to my own art making I develop and facilitate art workshops and projects for children, youth and community members. Past workshops have centered around themes of inclusion, emotional well-being, skill development and material exploration, beautification of public space, story telling and book making. Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating.

Ben, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It is amazing you did all this as a 10 year old. I hope this gives you the inspiration to continue to write and publish more books. I see great things down the road for you. Congratulations!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Such an amazing book written by a young author.

    I receive daily emails from you, Kathy. I shared this on my Word Press, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. I tweeted about this post.

    Thank you for posting about Benjamin Giroux and his debut book.

    Suzy Leopold

    Like

  2. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it with us. I shared on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this sounds amazing. Congratulations to Benjamin!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Ben! I’m looking forward to reading your book. I’m retweeting and sharing on Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations to Ben. This looks like an amazing book. I am subscribed to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Ben for writing this story. My son is also on the spectrum. I think your story is so important for those on the spectrum and their families. To let them know they are not alone. And those on the spectrum do have feelings like everyone else. We’re not all so different. Great work. I look forward to your next book or series.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is my favorite book journey I’ve ever read about. Just wow! Congratulations on sharing your story with the world and helping readers see themselves in a book. I’m an email subscriber and shared: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570620215295961561

    Like

  8. There are quite a few books dealing with autism issues now, some are picture books too. This one does really stand out though. The poem is heartfelt and beautifully stated and the illustrations are just about perfect. I’d love to have a copy. Thanks
    I’ve tweeted, https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1461027742976151555, and shared, https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772161020849/.
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!

    Like

  9. What a great story. Congratulations on your book and your star.

    Like

  10. Wonderful story! I am an email subscriber. I am putting a link to this article in my Creative Juice feature on ARHtisticLicense.com tomorrow.

    Like

  11. Ben, your words are like music playing on my heartstrings…CONGRATULATIONS on the success of your courageous book journey! Kathy, I’m a subscriber.

    Like

  12. Happy book birthday! I love your book! Congratulations, Ben!

    Shared on Twitter and I follow by email. Thanks, Kathy!

    Like


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