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Nonku Adumetey with her two books, “I Celebrate My Voice” and “I Celebrate My Skin.”

Cloaked in playful imagery and colorful illustrations, Nonku Adumetey’s new book, “I Celebrate My Voice,” pushes children to fearlessly pursue their passions, express their thoughts and assert their opinions.

Hobbies, ideas, passions, opinions and actions are all part of a person’s voice, Adumetey said. “It’s how we express ourselves and show up in this world.”

Adumetey, a Chicago-based writer born in Eswatini (the former Swaziland) introduces children to a series of metaphors that show children ways they can use their voice. By swimming fast “like a black marlin,” singing “like a songbird” and embracing differences “like a sparklemuffin spider,” children celebrate their voice.

Like the leaves on a tree, voices grow and change “with every season,” Adumetey writes. Even adults struggle to find their voice at times, and Adumetey is still finding her voice as a writer, a mom, a wife and a professional health care provider, she said. 

The book launched on Feb. 15 and is a sequel to her book “I Celebrate My Skin,” which highlights the beauty of diversity and self-love. Both books are written in a poetic style and illustrated by Mary K. Biswas. 

“As a child, I lost my voice,” Adumetey said. “I didn’t embrace who I am, and I felt who I was, and who I am, was not enough.” Ultimately, her books teach children that they are enough, she said.

“I Celebrate My Voice” is available in several Chicago bookstores, at Barnes and Noble, on Amazon, and on Adumetey’s website

Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...

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