Paloma’s Secret is an important book because it reminds teachers and families to pay attention to our children’s social and emotional well-being, and not focus solely on their academics. I also like how Paloma’s friend, Marisol sticks by Paloma from the beginning to the end of the book. Friends can help a lot by showing up and actively listening without judgment. Paloma’s Secret shows us the power of schools, friends and families working together for student emotional health success.
Assistant Principal, Bronx Collaborative High School, NY
I think Paloma’s Secret will help a range of audiences name emotions that can be so hard to pin down. It’s important for young people, and especially teenagers to know that they have allies in mental wellness. Paloma’s community-her friend Marisol, her parents, and her teacher Ms. Rodriguez support her at all times. Paloma’s Secret shares a powerful message: You are not alone and allies in your life are there for you!
Teacher and Literacy Specialist,
Muchin College Prep, Noble Network of Charter Schools
Paloma’s Secret is the kind of book that helps families get comfortable with talking about emotions because the book captures the experience of children who feel different than other people and from how other people see them. The illustrations help the reader understand the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and depression growing inside Paloma.
Dr. Alice S. Nadelman, PhD
Paloma’s Secret is an important book because it positively portrays adults supporting young peoples’ mental health. In the book, Paloma’s teacher, Ms. Rodriguez sees Paloma struggling, brings Paloma to the counselor’s office and calls Paloma’s parents. Together, the adults support Paloma. Our schools can become compartmentalized, where resources, books like Paloma’s Secret and the feeling chart in the back, may reside in the counselor’s office, but the teachers don’t know about it. We get so specialized in our schools and things get missed when it’s not universal in a community, like resources for emotional health.
There’s no recipe for resilience. Some kids go through so many traumas and manage their emotional health, while others may seem okay, but struggle deeply inside. We just don’t know what’s going on unless we create the time and space to share our emotions and normalize having feelings. I would like to see a copy of Paloma’s Secret in every classroom and with every school counselor!
Beth Zacher Burke
LCSW, CA, Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
As teachers, we are always looking for books that unfold new worlds, so children can imagine the impossible. We hope that somewhere within the hundreds of books, that each child can find at least one story connects with their experiences and nurtures their love for reading. Within the past few years, that search for books broadens as our children face more challenges and new childhood experiences.
The book Paloma's Secret is timely, and a must read. This book is an honest and graceful account of a child's emotional journey. Paloma's Secret combines narrative and poetry to create a multidimensional reading experience. Along with the storyline, the detailed and vibrant illustrations create another layer of understanding. It is necessary to support all children socially and emotionally. Paloma's Secret is one way to help school communities and families create space to talk about feelings and support our youth.
NYC Public School Teacher and Heinemann Fellow
Paloma's Secret brings to the forefront a much needed, much too closeted topic in our schools: anxiety and depression. As educators, we constantly extol the benefits of having books in our libraries that are windows and mirrors for students: books where they can see themselves and books that introduce them to the lives and cultures of others. Can it be that we have no children or families that share this experience? Absolutely not; there are many. Paloma's Secret creates an oasis in the middle of a desert. Paloma's Secret artfully depicts difficult feelings in a visual format of a vine crawling up the protagonist's body and breaks down the walls of secrecy, so often shrouded with this experience. An imperative book to bring to our schools.
Instructor, Bank Street College
Reading Specialist, PS 234 NYC
I wish this book were available when I was growing up. It would have made talking about feelings with my parents and friends easier. So many young people have struggles with anxiety. After reading this book, it will help me find a way into a dialogue with the parents and young people I work with about sadness and anxiety.
This book will be in my waiting room!
Dr. Carly Alexander, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician at Larchmont Pediatrics
Los Angeles, California
Paloma’s Secret is an incredible tool to open up a dialogue about feelings between children and their friends, and with the grownups in their lives. Through its beautiful images and carefully crafted story, the book reinforces the powerful idea that we can all identify with feelings of sadness and anxiety no matter our circumstances. From children to elders, everyone who reads this book will walk away with a thoughtful reminder that it’s OK to feel our feelings.
Leadership Trainer and Adversity Coach