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Monica and her daughter, Abigail

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New Canaan Author Launches New Children's Book

Monica Berg is a bestselling author

Monica Berg is an international speaker, bestselling author (Fear Is Not an Option, Rethink Love), and co-host of the Spiritually Hungry podcast. This multi-hyphenate is a globally sought-after speaker, spiritual thought leader and researcher of human habits that hold us back.

DL: Can you tell us a little bit about The Gift of Being Different?
MB: When our daughter Abigail was little, she struggled with reading. Not the usual preschool alphabet-mix-up kind of struggle; I mean, she really struggled. We didn't learn until much later that this struggle had to do with a learning difference. Finally, two years ago, when she was diagnosed with dyslexia, she asked me if this meant she was stupid. I wanted to reframe this diagnosis for her, and Abigail didn't want to feel ashamed anymore, nor did she want other kids like her to feel ashamed. Instead, we wanted to convey the idea that often, our greatest gifts are hiding within our struggles. In other words, our differences can be our superpowers!

DL: Why did you (Monica) and your daughter decide to write this book? What is the reason behind it? 
MB: One of the most powerful messages in The Gift of Being Different is that the very things that make you different can also be your greatest strengths. It can be your superpower. Abigail did not read with proficiency until the third grade. But she did have a voice. And she believed in herself and her story. So, we set out to write a children’s book that will invite readers to embrace the parts of them that feel different.

DL: What do you hope comes out of this story for children reading it or parents reading it to their kids? 
MB: We hope it inspires readers to think about the things that they feel limit them and then rethink those limits because so many of them are self-imposed and not real at all!
We hope that our book will shine a light on the many tremendous superpowers we are each born with but do not recognize. I want readers who feel different, out of step, or like they just don’t quite fit in to know that they are not alone, and there are other children working through similar challenges which can be overcome. And most importantly, they are not wrong, or broken, but uniquely, and perfectly, different.
Consider the challenges that you (or your child, or someone else close to you) may face due to an aspect of yourself that runs contrary to the mainstream. All too often, we equate "different" with "lesser," when in truth, the opposite is often the case! Whether it's a learning difference, a physical difference, or another way that you do or see things differently, your uniqueness is part of your wonder. The world doesn't need more cookie-cutter ways of being—the world needs originality! And there's no one who can do what you can do in exactly the same way.

DL: What was it like writing a book with your then 8-year-old daughter? So impressive! 
MB: Inspiring. I am frequently and continuously inspired by all four of my children. I love seeing their process of self-discovery, acceptance, and self-love and seeing the world through their eyes. I feel privileged to help them navigate their lives, especially the parts that are challenging. It took me decades to arrive at a place of feeling very comfortable in my own skin and to understand that the parts of myself that I tried to hide were the ones that shined the brightest.
I am proud. 


The Gift of Being Different is the first of the ON BEING book series that follows Abigail as she makes her way through her young
life with the beautiful messiness of it all. This is a series of ten picture books written for children ages 5-10. The series also explores global issues like homelessness, shame, fear, and empathy. Set in present-day New York, the stories are told with humor, authenticity, and a powerful message to celebrate and embrace our differences.

  • Monica and her daughter, Abigail
  • Monica Berg