Book Review: You Are So Much More by Serena Tejpar



Research has shown that building resilience in the face of adversity or challenges helps children and young people develop effective coping strategies and improve long-term outcomes across a spectrum of illnesses. You Are So Much More reminds children who have gone through or are going through an illness or injury, that they are indeed so much more. Trauma survivor and medical student Serena Tejpar shares a story of inspiration, reflection, and encouragement that can be read over and over again.

Available to buy from… Barnes and Noble GPlay Paperback Hardcover

My Review

I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

This is not a book for all children, but it is an absolutely amazing book for children are sick and are in the hospital. It is a great resource for parents to help children find strength and hope within themselves. At a time when parents are overwhelmed, this book can help them convey to their child that they are not just the illness, that they are a special person who has so much to offer.

The illustrations are realistic, colorful, and are perfect for the text. My favorite page: “You are a loving soul. A child. A little giggler. An explorer. A friend. The most mischievous little munchkin.”

This would make a great gift for someone whose child is ill.

“This book is so much more than a story, it is a message of strength and courage for children experiencing illness and hospitalization, for their parents and caregivers. The author refers to the reader in the first person and the narrative stimulates the internal resources of the child. Under the guidance of a caring adult, the book becomes a useful addition to children’s recovery process.” — Isabella Cassina, MA, PhD Candidate, registered Therapeutic Play Specialist and international speaker, author of The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better

 “I am thoroughly impressed with the children’s book, You Are So Much More. It is geared toward children experiencing long term hospital stays and reminds them that their illness or injury does not define them. While many outsiders often try to distract a compromised child with upbeat messages and avoid talking about the elephant in the room, Serena Tepjar acknowledges the child’s situation, even all of the bad parts, and then puts into perspective that there is more to the child than their medical condition. She is both realistic and supportive. Tepjar creates a self dialogue with positive messages the child can use, reminding them of their strength, resilience, and bravery. I am pleased to read a book written by such a medical student. Her empathy will carry her far as she exercises her skills in the life work of healing others.” — Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Board Certified Psychologist, author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me

 “As a Play Therapist I am constantly working with children with chronic issues. I loved how You are So Much More focuses on the child and not the illness. I found it to be sweet, encouraging, uplifting and compassionate way of encouraging children with chronic illnesses to cherish themselves and cope with their emotions as they heal. At a time where many families are facing illness and hospitalizations it is a timely message that I am excited to share with the families I work with.” — Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, author of Sam Feels Better Now!

 “This book is an amazing resource for children and families who are struggling with medical trauma. Within the pages, the reader will find messages of healing and hope which is truly important when we sometimes forget that sun can follow dark days.” –Theresa Fraser, CYC-P, CPT-S, RP, MA, RCT, Trauma, Loss and Attachment Clinical Specialist, author of We’re not all the same, But We’re Family

 From Loving Healing Press



Enjoy these excerpts!



About the Author

Serena Tejpar (she/her) is a medical student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Global Health and a Certificate in Narrative-Based Medicine.

 Serena carries a passion for the intersection of health humanities and clinical practice. She was commended for her “commitment to improving the Canadian healthcare system and addressing inequities in healthcare systems worldwide” following her experience as a trauma patient after a near-fatal motor vehicle collision in 2015.

 She has received numerous awards and honours in recognition of her leadership, community service, and resilience including being named YMCA Ontario’s Young Woman of Excellence, Top 50 Emerging Canadian Leader, and a Young Director with G(irls)20.

You can also find the author here…
Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page





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Book Review: Life, A Bit More? by Andrew Tomas Elder

Andrew is a guy who had to relearn life as a double amputee at nineteen years of age. He hopes to inspire the reader with topics he has written, topics that we have all experienced and can gratefully relate to.
Every one of us is handicapped in one way or another. The topics Andrew writes about are through his handicapable point of view. This really is good food for thought, and we could all use some good news today!
Besides good news, our faith, intestinal fortitude, and elbow grease are examined. We’re all in this boat together, and hopefully we work together in meeting our common goals. Helping ourselves first, then our brothers, and by doing this, we help HIM!
Knowing we were able to help anyone makes us feel good for a good deed done. And that much more on a spiritual realm, yet humble realm. He helps us with our needs and more, and we can feel that growth within us!


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This collection is not your traditional poetry but it’s more like bits of a memoir with philosophical thoughts and full of inspiration.

Andrew was pedestrian who was hit by a drunk driver 35 years ago and is now a double amputee. He has had a hard road as you can imagine, but he hasn’t let it stop him. It is apparent through his poetry that he is grateful to be able to write and play the piano. He has learned how to play the piano with one hand and it sounds like he’s playing with two!

I like that there is a page between each poem for the reader to write notes. How many times have you read an inspirational book and wanted to make a note? There’s the margin to write in if it’s a paperback to which many of us have an aversion, or you have to stop to find pen and paper before you lose the thought.

Of course, I liked some of the poems more than others. One that I liked:

Death and Time
How much time do I have before the ultimate reality?
Only His divine plan will tell.
Am I ready?
I like to think so, but there is so much more to be done.
Will I leave some kind of good contribution for others to ponder?
I hope so, and think I have a fair start as I learn.
Will you be ready?
I pray so

If you’re looking for some inspiration that’s a little different with an interesting author, you can’t go wrong with Life, A Bit More?

About the Author

Andrew is a regular guy who had to relearn life as a double amputee at
nineteen years of age! He hopes to inspire you with topics that he has, and
he is learning about life and a bit more.