Stand up and Stand out: A Review of You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone
Alphabet Rockers
Illustrated by Ashley Evans
Sourcebooks eXplore
January 11, 2022
Ages 4-8

When you see a friend or a peer struggling, tell them “You are not alone.” That is the message of this timeless picture book. It follows the stories, thoughts, and feelings of kids and how they deal with feeling different. The unnamed characters express how certain situations make them feel—from teachers and classmates not being able to pronounce their name, to wondering how people view their skin color. This leaves the characters feeling unsafe and with no sense of belonging. But with support from friends, they feel confident, and able to face the world. Through solidarity, the kids of the story come to be proud of their uniqueness and believe in helping others feel the same way.

You Are Not Alone is a book of encouragement and empowerment. The Alphabet Rockers encourage the expression of emotion through their poetic writing style. Each character’s story reads as if the character is talking directly to the reader. The cathartic outpouring of raw thoughts sends the message that it’s ok to express these feelings. The title page promotes active participation. After reading each character’s story, readers should say aloud “you are not alone” in a show of camaraderie. Although unnamed, Evans full bleed illustrations bring the characters to life. From skin color to the blue prosthetic arm, its dark, rich hues emphasize the beautiful differences between the kids of the story. Based on the Alphabet Rockers’ 2019 song “Not Alone”, this positive and vibrant picture book shows that when we have others by our side, we can conquer anything.