Foreword Reviews

Malachi and the Inner Light

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

With affirmations for all, Malachi and the Inner Light is a powerful picture book that imparts hope and healing to families experiencing growing pains.

In Mama Amma’s sensitive picture book Malachi and the Inner Light, a boy’s troubled relationship with his parents is transformed.

Malachi is only seven, but feels he’s well on his way to becoming a man. He can’t understand why his parents keep insisting that he clean his room, do his homework, eat his vegetables, and choose friends who don’t get into trouble. Communication between Malachi and his parents broke down once he left his cute toddler stage; they stopped praising him for every new achievement, and their threats and punishments made him feel bad. Often, he wonders where the kind, loving parents he once knew went. Now, he’s resistant to, and resentful about, his parents’ expectations. Still, he wishes that he had someone who could teach him how to be, as trying to talk to his parents only leads to arguments.

A visit from Malachi’s heavenly guide provides the comfort, understanding, and encouragement that he needs. Gentle in assuring him that the goodness of the source of all dwells within him, and that he will grow to be a great man if he follows his inner light, the guide gives him a powerful affirmation to remind him that he is never alone. The guide also tells Malachi that, in order to be treated like a young man, he has to take on a young man’s attitudes and responsibilities. Malachi knows that something within him has changed.

The book’s rhyming lines crescendo when Malachi’s parents realize that they have been too hard on their bright, sensitive son. They apologize and ask for his forgiveness. They also help him to understand the rules they have set for him, give him more leeway, and schedule regular times for family fun.

The book’s bright illustrations capture Malachi’s facial expressions and body language as his emotions change from frustration, anger, and sadness to awe, forgiveness, and love. They feature strong elements that exalt Black American roots and culture: Malachi’s room is decorated with posters of majestic African animals and pictures of Black leaders; his companion, an action figure of an African king, serves as a potent reminder of his own potential.

With affirmations for all, Malachi and the Inner Light is a powerful picture book that imparts hope and healing to families experiencing growing pains.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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