Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You: A Scientific Guide to Growing Up; Camilla Pang, illustrated by Laurène Boglio
Ever feel like the odd one out? The one who doesn’t quite fit in with the crowd? The one who sees things a bit differently? Camilla did, and often still does, but with science as her trusty sidekick she has learnt to embrace and accept who she is. Being unique, brilliant and weird is the best and only way to live your life. With the help of Dr Camilla Pang, find your feet, discover your quirks, grow-up perfectly and uncover the scientific key to being ‘perfectly weird, perfectly you’…
Life would be pretty damn boring if we were all the same. But growing up different and feeling like the odd one out can be a challenge. Diagnosed with autism aged eight, Dr Camiilla Pang (you can call her Millie) knows exactly what life is like when you feel different from the ‘norm’. Describing herself as ‘a bit weird’, she was the child who would raise her hand in class but then panic when chosen, could always be found deep in a book but would also get bored during lessons and find herself in trouble for not paying attention (preferring to stare out of the window), and accidentally upsetting others by being rude when trying to be polite.
Combining lessons in science and life, and through the sharing of personal anecdotes, Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You is a read that many children will be very thankful for and will be comforted by the messages and reassurances that it delivers. It is a unique and fascinating non-fiction read that deals with the complexities and strangeness of growing up and trying to make sense of the unwritten rules of life where one wrong comment, a mistimed smile or laugh, the pursuing of a particular hobby, the liking of a certain artist or a particular behaviour could have others thinking that you are weird or different.
Millie’s love of science has helped her use the things that made sense to her - like gravity, photosynthesis, forces, cells and animal migration - to comprehend the weird world of human behaviour - think peer pressure, emotions, stereotypes and personal passions - that at times seemed like a complete mystery (who knew that politely commenting on the coolness of a classmates shoes could make you seem weird).
Growing up is difficult and becoming the person that you truly want to become can be daunting, especially when you were born to stand out. Through various scientific concepts, Millie gives a fresh perspective and brings a new way of looking at life; photosynthesis can help us follow our passions, understanding the weather can help us handle our emotions, computers can support us with our thinking and decision making, forces can enable to us to deal with life’s pressures and the marvels of animal migration can help us deal with change. Across ten well-written, enlightening and thought-provoking chapters, Millie encourages everyone to be perfectly weird, perfectly you.
This is an essential book for discovering who you are, what you love, what matters to you in life and the person that you want to become. Millie wants readers to be at peace with themselves, to find that special happiness that can only come from within and to live their absolute best lives. Her book will empower all readers and give them the confidence to shout loudly and proudly about exactly who they are.
With huge thanks to Hachette for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 9+.