Cover Image: When I Go to Church, I Belong

When I Go to Church, I Belong

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I LOVED this book about how children who are differently abled can be accepted and included in the local church. I hope lots of church workers read this book and find ideas for how to do this, because sadly right now this book is the hope not the reality in most churches.

Was this review helpful?

As a Church goer and a woman with a disability, I am always advocating that my Church organization become more accessible for people with disabilities and that people with disabilities have a place in the Church Body. I was delighted when I found a book on NetGalley called When I Go to Church, I Belong written by Elrena Evans and illustrated Rebecca Evans. When I Go to Church, I Belong teaches kids of all ages about people with disabilities, how they are a part of our Church Family and Community, that they belong and how to help them belong. Readers of When I Go to Church, I Belong are introduced to different Church Family Members with disabilities and how to help them belong. There is also a note in the back of the book that complements the book.

When I Go to Church, I Belong is a much needed book for today and one that I have been wanting to see. Elrena Evans writes from experience and I love how different disabilities are profiled in the book and shows ways that you can help the Church be accessible for those with disabilities. It is also helps introduce kids in a friendly way on how be friends with all and help them be compassionate towards others. I highly recommend When I Go to Church, I Belong because it’s a topic that needs to be discussed more and it introduces kids of all ages of ways they can show the love of Jesus by making sure their Church building and it’s properties can be accessible to all. Elrena Evans’ When I Go to Church, I Belong is a book that every Church needs and I hope you get it!

Have you read When I Go to Church, I Belong? What did you think of the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. My review is also on Goodreads, Facebook, and my blog Leslie's Library Escape.

Was this review helpful?

"When I Go to Church, I Belong" is a heartwarming and important book that sheds light on the experiences and feelings of children with disabilities in the context of attending church. It beautifully emphasizes the inclusive nature of church communities, where everyone is welcome and can find their place.

Elrena Evans and Rebecca Evans have created a touching narrative that not only resonates with children but also provides valuable insights for adults. The book not only highlights the differences among individuals but also emphasizes the shared experiences and common ground we all have, irrespective of our unique backgrounds.

The inclusion of a note from the author adds depth to the book, encouraging further conversation about the content. This book's message of belonging and acceptance is both heartening and crucial, especially in promoting diversity and inclusion in faith-based settings.

Overall, "When I Go to Church, I Belong" is a four-star book that promotes important values and encourages conversations about inclusivity, making it a valuable addition to any child's library and an excellent resource for parents and educators to discuss diversity, acceptance, and belonging with children.

Was this review helpful?

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I wish every church was like the one in the book. I, quiet room for those who need it, would be amazing.
It's a great book about the community and family church can bring. It adapts to accept all the members of its flock

Very inclusive and colorful

Was this review helpful?

Church is the one place we should all belong. As an adult with disabilities, I appreciate a book focused on how children with disabilities can belong and fit in. I love the message in this book - through the words and illustrations. It's a beautiful book that is a starting point for discussions about disabilities with families, children and churches on how we can do better to help people with disabilities feel loved, comfortable and welcome.

The author wrote at the end "Relationships grow not from the absence of difference but from the presence of what is shared. And it's okay to start small. Maybe just begin with just a smile - a smile that says When you come ti church, you belong." I believe she accomplished this in her story.

I read this book with my son who also enjoyed the message. It's beautiful and inspiring. I would recommend this book to all churches and children's ministries.

My thanks to the author, IVP Kids and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

"When I Go to Church, I Belong" is a lovely book that shows how everyone, including kids with disabilities, can feel welcome at church. It tells the stories of six special children, helping us understand their feelings and experiences. The beautiful pictures and heartfelt words remind us that even though we're all different, we all belong together. It's a touching read for both kids and grown-ups, sparking important conversations about understanding and accepting one another at church.

Was this review helpful?

This a good inclusive book for young kids to learn about kids who are different and how to include them and make them feel welcome. The illustrations are inviting and age appropriate. This book would be appropriate for ages 3-5.

Was this review helpful?

Introduced with a verse from Matthew Chapter 19 this book serves as a reminder to all readers that all our welcome in a church. With children of different backgrounds, with allergies, disabilities, sensory processing differences and many more, there is a child in the book for every reader to see themselves in. The simple accessible wording recognises that sometimes being in church might not be easy, but that all are welcome. The pictures are bright and colourful and the message is clear,

Was this review helpful?

This book is so needed for our children today. I have five children and each one of them loved this book. From the illustrations to the writing, it drew them in and created beautiful conversations in our family. Thank you so much for writing such a special book. I can’t wait to donate a copy to our children’s ministry.

Was this review helpful?

*Thank you Elrena Evans for a free copy of this book! This is my honest opinion about this book.

This book is about welcoming all children to church, no matter their limitations. Not only is this a great book for children and families, but it's also a good reminder for churches of ways they can help accommodate children with special needs. The overall message of this book is that all children matter, just as we all matter to God!

Was this review helpful?

Amazing Read

I received an advance review copy for free from Netgalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Thank you, Elrena Evans, for the opportunity to read your book. This was an incredible read. I got this book so I can read it to my Sunday school kids at church. The book provides children with the knowledge that when they come to church, they belong and loved by God. And it is true, they do belong and loved by God because God created each one of us for a specific purpose. In this book, the authors show how to children with disabilities should be welcomed into the church because they can meet people, make friends, and experience life through church. It does not matter if the child has a disability or not, everyone should be welcomed and invited to know of God’s love. I am glad that I can use this book as a resource for my Sunday school kids in the future. I loved the pictures and the writing. I cannot wait to read more books by Elrena Evans. Overall, an amazing read.

Was this review helpful?

Wow !
I felt this book on a deep level.
My daughter has Down syndrome so I typically gravitate towards inclusive books or illustrations.
This book shared all the best parts of how a church can include people or children with disabilities… and the illustrations were beautiful with so much diversity !
The authors note also really made me feel heard. You need a family, a village and it’s amazing when you have a church community that will help guide your child and are willing to build a relationship with them and lead them to the Lord.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book with a warm feel. I think that all children would benefit from it. Great to have in a Sunday School classroom, parochial school or home library. The illustrations are outstanding!

Was this review helpful?

This was not at all what I was expecting in this book. However, it gives a comprehensive coverage of all the ways in which prejudice or discrimination can be overcome (should be overcome) in a church setting.
A good book for teaching small children and also being inclusive. However, I would also say that in my experience in church settings, children by and large accept one another and any prejudice or discrimination shown is usually learned behaviour they they have brought in from another location or copied from adults. Any prejudice or discrimination found in church is usually rooted within adult attitudes and behaviours - perhaps Elrena you might consider making this book into a book aimed at adults?
The drawings are amazing.
I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to read this book. Thanks to the author, Elrena Evans, and to Rebecca Evans for the drawings, thanks to the publisher and to net-galley.

Was this review helpful?

This book is great for younger children with and without disabilities. It touches on a lot of subjects gearing towards making kids feel comfortable and welcome in a church setting. Wheater the child has never been to church or is a regular attender it acknowledges the child's feelings about their church and the feeling that the child may experience in different situations that are unique to their own selves. I think this book is a helpful tool for parents and churches to assist in helping children feel secure in their surroundings. My 4 year old loved it. we talked about our church and how it's similar to the one in the book.

Was this review helpful?

Love this book! A great reminder to all, not just children, that we all belong in God's house. Beautifully written and loved that several different disabilities were mentioned in the book. This book will be a perfect addition to our church's library.

Was this review helpful?

I love the illustrations of happy children. I also love the positive message that going to church can be a good experience whether you have a handicap or not.
Thank you #netgalley and #elrenaevans, author,for an advanced copy of this wonderful picture book.

Was this review helpful?

This book has an important message about everyone belonging in the house of God. Children who don't quite fit in other places, should be welcomed in church. The writing was not particularly great and I wish it would have extended the message of inclusivity even farther, but I will probably still buy it for my library because I havn't seen any other books that relay this message.

Was this review helpful?

There should be clarity within the description of this book that it is a Christian book. As a non-Christian who goes to a non-Christian church (Unitarian Universalist) and supports with our religious education, i reviewed this book as an opportunity to see if we should add it to our library, and it would be a bad fit for us.

Also only straight families are represented--which for some kinds of Christians makes sense, but could feel alienating in other groups since one way that people sometimes don't feel they belong in Christian spaces is due to homophobia.

Rated three stars because it is fine for what it is, but it needs to be clearer in advance on the content and scope.

Was this review helpful?

Simple, well written story about the experience of children with disabilities at church. This book could be used both with children that have disabilities, while also helping children who do not get a glimpse into the experience of people who have different needs at church.

I really appreciated the different types of needs that were mentioned, things like companions, ramps, and quiet spaces.

Overall an excellent choice for a church library, for parents wishing to talk to their children about differences, and children's leaders wishing to encourage positive experiences for all children.

Was this review helpful?