Most books written for children do not include characters that have disabilities. But one Sheridan student author is working to change that.
Annetrista Absalom is a student in Sheridan’s Education Support program and is the author of We Are More Alike Than We Are Different. She wrote the children’s book after returning from a trip to Sri Lanka. “I was inspired to write it after meeting a little girl who was blind, deaf and couldn’t speak,” said Absalom.
The book focuses on a 9-year old girl named Rosie with multiple disabilities and her daily routine. “She lives in an orphanage and while she needs help with some tasks, she can do many things on her own as well like draw and play on the swing,” said Absalom. As the title of the book suggests, the moral of the story is that Rosie is just like other children and that ‘disability’ does not mean ‘inability’.
“Figure out your reason for wanting to write and the impact it can have on others” – Anne Absalom
Her book came out in March and is available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle. She credits Sherry Cayea, who illustrated the book, and Debra Ruth, who worked with her to get it published, for helping bring the story of Rosie to life. Absalom said she wants to write more books about Rosie in the future.
Absalom provides some advice for others who want to write a book. “Follow your heart. Do it from your heart. Figure out what your reason is for wanting to write and the impact it can have on others.”
The impact of We Are More Alike Than We Are Different will be felt by readers as well as residents in Georgetown. Absalom met with the city’s mayor, Rick Bonnette, and announced that the proceeds from the book will go towards building an accessible swing for local residents. The swing will add to the community by creating an inclusive recreational experience for people with physical disabilities.
Pictured at top of page: Cover art for Anne Absalom’s book
Written by: Greg Lowenthal, a Sheridan Journalism student.