I Am Darn Tough

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Tilbury House Publishers
Publish Date
9.4 X 10.3 X 0.3 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Licia Morelli is an internationally recognized life coach, writer, and clairvoyant psychic who lives with her husband and two young children on the coast of Maine. Her work has been published in The Elephant Journal and other publications. This is her first book.
Maine Diaz was born in La Plata, Argentina. She studied Audiovisual Communication and her work can be seen in a number of films as well as children's books.


Incredible book alert! I Am Darn Tough is a beautiful new picture book that I am so excited to share with you. Picture Books have such a magical way of tackling important subjects...and I am Darn Tough does it in such a powerful way. It is the story of determination and perseverance. Of looking within when times get tough and finding the inner strength that we all have inside of us. This is so relatable because we have all experienced moments of self-doubt, moments when we weren't sure if we could keep going. This is a must-read for girls and boys of all ages. Author Licia Morelli's writing has such a beautiful poetic quality to it. Morelli's words flow so lyrically across the page while still sending such an important and powerful message. The story follows a young girl as she faces a physical and mental battle during a long race. As things get difficult she has a moment of self-doubt...but she looks deep within herself and knows she has it in her to finish the race. The illustrations by artist Maine Diaz are simply breathtaking. You can feel the pain, anguish, and triumph in the images. They are so rich and warm and pair absolutely perfectly with the writing. I adored this book. This was one that I immediately read to my kids. What an important message that I think we ALL need to hear. When we are feeling overwhelmed or down on ourselves this serves as such a beautiful reminder that we CAN do hard things. We really can. Belief in ourselves is such a powerful tool to overcoming hardships. I love how this was conveyed in the story! Something that stuck with me was that she was allowed to stop and feel her feelings. It wasn't viewed as a moment of weakness. I think this is such an important message to share with our kids. Being able to pause and think things through is such an important quality to learn...and it is a sign of strength! Just love that this was conveyed through the story!-- "Homeschool By The Beach" (10/4/2020 12:00:00 AM)

Morelli isn't just writing about a cross-country race run by a young girl, perhaps 11, with brown skin and flushed cheeks. The girl prepares at the starting line with her teammates. There is the crunch of gravel, large hills, and twisting paths, captured in soft-focus watercolors. It is a true quest, right down to the moment of stumbling and scraping her knee. "I remember crying, feeling defeated. My heart hurting, stomach in knots." Readers are there at the start of the race, and at the end, when the girl crosses the finish line, the wind at her back, a cramp receding in the rush of accomplishment. In the voice of the narrator that is both strong and true, the story has a simple, empowering message: that even to the fleet of foot there will be moments of self-doubt, injury, and pain. Diaz's scenes carry readers along with various perspectives and styles, from the close-up of the girl's determined face to the ghostly outlines of the moment when she falls and drags herself back up.

VERDICT A necessary purchase; a surprisingly poetic glimpse of the heart of the athlete, with a welcome, winning heroine. STARRED REVIEW

-- "School Library Journal" (9/1/2020 12:00:00 AM)

I see your strength. I see your fight. I see you running and never stopping. Falling and never stopping. Fighting and never stopping.

What Lucia Morelli and Maine Diaz bring to I AM DARN TOUGH has grit and persistence and strength and universality. And it's a brilliant and beautiful and important and unputdownable book. A picture book that doesn't stop and delivers solid with each read.

More of this always. In books and in those who read them. And in all those mighty girls who see themselves mirrored throughout.

--Matthew Winner "The Children's Book Podcast" (8/13/2020 12:00:00 AM)
A runner's high is an exhilarating mix of relief and tenacity. Running is largely a solitary and quiet activity, combining muscle memory and mental strength. A race puts this book's protagonist, who has light-brown skin and straight, black hair in a ponytail, together with other runners; all present female. She lines up at the start, runs at her own pace, and finishes strong. Her friends and teammates, a merry band of casually diverse girls, are supportive, yet the text understands that the girl's race is hers alone. What Morelli and Diaz do remarkably well is show what the girl thinks about and sees with each step and how that fuels her to keep going and not give up. Diaz's illustrations prove that anyone who runs has a runner's body; the stereotypical vision of what a runner looks like is a misconception. In the middle of the book are two illustrations that leave lasting impressions: The first abruptly ends the soft images seen heretofore when the girl falls and scrapes her knee; a stark, almost aggressive smear of blood is rendered with sharp, jagged lines. In the second, the girl breaks the fourth wall and stares out at readers. Her gaze is so straightforward and penetrating that it's almost startling, yet it feels simultaneously compelling, daring readers to look away first. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 48.6% of actual size.) A tender introduction to the discipline and community that running provides to its athletes. (Picture book. 5-8)-- "Kirkus Reviews" (6/30/2020 12:00:00 AM)