Seven-year-old boy publishes book with his dad

A Brighton father and son have joined forces to write a book to empower children from BAME backgrounds.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 2:16 pm

Yousuf Shah, a researcher of mental health and well-being of young people and founder of Brighton Families, teamed up with his son, Nasir, to write The Boy with Four Super Powers.

The book is separated into four sections, each one is based on a real-life superpower. The first section helps children analyse situations and question their perceived notions. The second section encourages independence, and offers guidance to parents on how to achieve this. The third section is about feelings and emotions. The fourth section is about being kind, fair and free from negativity.

Yousuf said: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nasir found it difficult to not wake up, as usual, get ready for school, and see his friends and teachers. As a very kind and emotionally sensitive person, Nasir was also affected by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the USA.

The book's cover

"Once we came up with the idea for the book, we worked really hard as a family to make it happen. Everybody pitched in and we sent it to a publisher who really loved the idea. We self-published and it is available on our website."

As a result, he asked his dad if they could create a book to help these people and make the world a better place to live for everyone.

He added: "We have started a creative writing programme in Brighton and Hove for children from BAME and low socio-economic backgrounds. We teach children the basics of storytelling, we design and publish their work in a book.

"This will boost their self-belief, confidence and self- worth. It will empower and represent children from BAME backgrounds. Our first book “Let's explore Africa” is published now."

As a father of four young children Yousuf has struggled to find books which are not fiction or fantasy, have BAME characters, and have human qualities like kindness, independence, routine and open communication between family members.

"Childhood forms and affects a person’s life and we all realise our children will grow up in a warzone of social media, negative comments, bullying, trolling and judgment of appearance where children starve themselves to avoid bullying at schools and society. My hope is this book will teach parents and children how to be themselves," he said.