by Dr. K. Renee

The Odd Squad

This book features four friends Maliyah, Jacob, Sarah, and Samson who struggle to finish their final fifth-grade year at St. Mary’s Primary School without being the main focus of teasing and bullying. The mean kids at school refer to them as “the odd squad.” Since first grade, this group of friends have had the task of trying to learn to be comfortable in their own skin because, in many ways, they were different from their schoolmates.

From Maliyah’s struggle for acceptance of herself and from others as a biracial child with difficult-to-manage hair to Jacob’s struggle with desiring to be accepted for who he was, a very skinny boy with braces, thick-lensed glasses, and who played musical instruments that other kids felt should be played by only girls–their unique differences drew them closer together through the years. By learning the value and meaning of true friendship and learning to trust in a power that was much greater than their own, together they found strength, confidence, and encouragement in realizing that being different holds more power than they could have ever possibly imagined.

Top review from the United States


This was such a great book for our children to read tonight. An important lesson to be teaching our kids especially in todays world. My 2 & 4 year old loved it and I’m glad I came across this!

~ Carly Kennedy 

Sample Pages

Book Review By Kidliomag

A Beautiful Book

Different us! is a beautiful book that gives children a message of self-acceptance and teaches them to love their unique features.

This book celebrates uniqueness, kindness, and diversity and encourages children to accept each other’s differences and be proud of their uniqueness.

This story follows a group of four friends, Maliyah, Jacob, Sarah, and Samson, who come from diverse backgrounds and have their own unique features, and their differences don’t matter. From Maliyah’s struggle for acceptance of herself and others as a biracial child to her redheaded friend, Sarah as she is the tallest one in the class, Samson who is black and overweight to Jacob’s struggle to be accepted as a skinny boy with braces and glasses.

They accept each other just as they are, but some mean kids at school mention them as The Odd Squad and tease them about being different.

Join Maliyah and her friends on their adventurous journey to accept themselves and others’ differences and learn that their differences make each of us unique and that being different is great, so we all have to love and appreciate each other.

The illustrations are beautiful in this book and feature four friends from mixed cultures and backgrounds, so kids can easily relate and see themselves as confident and strong kids. I recommend this book to every child, and I’m sure after reading this book, they will fall in love with themselves and start admiring their friends.

Perfect for 5+

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