MAY I DREAM

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Aqueelah Brown’s May I Dream serves as a grief-counseling read for youth who may have lost a close friend, parent, or grandparent. May I Dream details Aqueelah’s experience with death as a pre-teen; she shares her perspective of witnessing melancholic emotions that ensued from her grandmother’s death. When she wakes up to console her sick grandmother, she quickly learns that she is unresponsive. Aqueelah vividly narrates the confused, troubled, and unprepared feelings that she endured after her grandmother’s death; however, she chooses to reminisce on the treasured memories that she shared with her grandmother. Aqueelah magnifies the intimate moments where her grandmother taught her how to be a courageous and dignified young woman who prioritizes community service, self-respect, and love for others. May I Dream takes the reader on Aqueelah’s journey of losing the physical presence of a deceased family member while learning how to embrace their spirit. She dreams of a prosperous future with her family, teaching her children the family traditions and life-lessons she learned from her grandmother and helping grieving children to discuss their feelings about the death of a loved one. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics1, pre-teens and teens need immense emotional support, so Aqueelah champions mentorship for grieving youth through May I Dream.Aqueelah encourages the reader to channel their grief in a constructive and healthy manner. Although she had her grandfather to guide her throughout the grieving process, she found that journaling was a therapeutic, organic source of counseling. The lines at the end of the book are designed to motivate the reader to jot down their sentiments about death. Aqueelah is an advocate for positive coping mechanisms. So, she informs the youth that in spite of the trauma and depression that arises from dark times such as death, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. 1Please visit https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/3/e20162147.

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