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My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Zulay and her three best friends are all in the same first grade class and study the same things, even though Zulay is blind. When their teacher asks her students what activity they want to do on Field Day, Zulay surprises everyone when she says she wants to run a race. With the help of a special aide and the support of her friends, Zulay does just that.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  311 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Yesterday Liz took Poppy to the library while the other girls were at school. Poppy saw this book while she was there and HAD to get it for El.

And since Gwen just got to write a review on her own, El was hoping to write one on her own today. So, my feed will be full of children's books for a while. But, I love children's books. So, it's all good.

Eleanor: It was a very good book... very interesting. And it had some similarities to my days at school.

Dad: Is that why you think Poppy picked it out f
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a children’s picture book about a young girl named Zulay who is visually impaired. It primarily focuses on her time at school and her accomplishments, especially regarding the challenges she faces using her cane.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes kids books about "differences" come off as too preachy or sacrifices good characters/storyline to make the point, but I felt like this one did a great job balancing. The goal of this book was to show that while Zulay was blind, she has friends, is well liked in her school, can do some things even better than some of the other kids, like math, AND is able to accomplish her goal of running at Field Day by the end of the book. It also touched on some of the fears and discomfort she feels ...more
Stephanie Fujii
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This wasn't really age appropriate for Amaya, but she chose it anyway. It was a good story, and I guess you are never really too young to read about people who are different. I like how it voiced Zulay's feelings about being isolated and singled out, and how her friends "helped each other and […] helped ourselves."
Jasmine Woods
This book is a realistic fiction that tells the story of a blind black girl named Zulay. Zulay has three best friends who she spends a lot of time with in school and who all help each other whenever one is struggling with something. Zulay speaks of her struggles she has had with being blind through the story. At school, Zulay feels insecure whenever she has to leave her class to go work with a Ms. Turner on learning how to walk with her cane. Though, Zulay gets better at walking with her cane an ...more
Kayleigh Goodman
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay is a realistic fiction book about Zulay and her three best friends. They are all spunky little girls, and the only difference between them is that Zulay is blind. She does not let her blindness stop her and is determined to run in the schools upcoming field day race. With the help of her therapist, Zulay learns to run with her cane and her therapist by her side. This book shows children that you do not have to let a disability define you. It also shows childre ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I super liked this book featuring a girl with a disabilty in a mainstream classroom. It was well written and illustrated. We had a great discussion after reading this book about disabilities. We talked about the things we learned from the book. We talked about her skills and adaptations. We thought some of the things she could do sounded really neat and some of the things she did seemed really hard. We talked about how she would be a good friend because she was kind, friendly, and helpful. We al ...more
Jasmine Na
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay is about Zulay, a girl who is blind and her life at school. At first glance, the illustrations does not show that Zulay is blind, but in the classroom the desks have the student's names written and in braille. The story is about Zulay's struggle of learning to use a cane to walk and she does not like using it because it is hard for her to learn. The only issue I had with this story is for the teacher to single out Zulay and share that she was going to go with ...more
Carley Eiken
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked how this book was really positive and up-lifting. At first I did not know that the main character was blind until she was using a brail type-writer in class and a walking stick. The main character Zulay is an ambitious girl who may be blind, but that does not stop her from wanting to run in a race on field day. I was not a fan of how the teacher called out Zulay's name and secluded her out of the group. No one likes to be singles out, but I did like how the teacher worked one-on-one with ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zulay and her three best friends are all in the same first grade class. Even though Zulay is blind she is able to hang out with her friends and dance and participate in most of the same activities. She is not happy that she must learn how to walk with her cane, even though her aide tells her how easier her life will be when she can use one. It is announced one day that the class will take part in the school’s field day activities and Zulay surprises her classmates when she decides to run in the ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Zulay and her friends, how they are the same and different in this school where they wear uniforms and are the same in many ways but Zulay must do things differently. This is a nice treatment of a multi-cultural classroom with many different children and Zulay who is blind and must learn to use a cane to move around. Zulay types on her Brailler and all the name tags in the room have the students name in Braille dots. Gives children a new perspective on children with a disability showing how the ...more
This special picture book tells the inspiring story of Zulay, a blind girl who is determined to run in a foot race at her school's field day. Zulay has lots of friends in first grade. But she still feels self conscious about using her cane. Her teacher works with her to overcome her reluctance to learn how to use it and participate in the race. This would be a great book to have on the shelf to learn more about inclusivity and children with special needs.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I feel like this book should be called:
"My Two Best Friends, this other girl we don't like, and Me, Zulay."

first off, For being 'title characters' Zulay's friends are given very little to do and have no personality, except the one they don't treat very well for no real reason? idk i appreciate the story of Zulay persisting and achieving her goal, i just feel some pieces were missing to make this a better story overall
Marie Arie
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
Awesome book of a little girl named Zulay. Zulay loves school and loves her 3 best friends. Zulay is blind and is learning how to become more independent by learning braille and using her cane to walk. She is able to run in race with the help of her teacher. Great book for children with disabilities to keep trying, even though learning to work through challenges can difficult its all worth it at the end.
Cara Byrne
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A story about Zulay, a first grader who is blind, learning to navigate her school and activities with help from her friends, teachers, and support staff. While the title indicates the bond between girls, at the heart of the story is actually a wonderful relationship between Zulay and her aide, Ms. Turner, making it a stand out book. Sweet illustrations, weak plot.
Lindsay Walsh
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eh. My 8yr old daughter uses a cane for spacial issues and her very first comment was that zulay had the canes strap around her wrist and she's right, you do NOT use the strap around the wrist. I didn't really like the story and found the sentences weird and not well put together.
Michele Knott
Here's why I love this book. Kids who already know they are different do not want one more thing that makes them look even more different. I know this because my daughter deals with this every single day. And this book gets that part right.
Emily Olson
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Loved the story but the writing was super hard to follow. I know reading it out loud to children would be awkward and challenging.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, wndb
This was cleverly done. I appreciated how the story unfolded and the writing is almost poetic at times in its beauty. The art style is fun and lends itself well to the subject.
Lynn  Davidson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely story about a young blind child who has three best friends who are sighted. They learn and play together. When field day is coming up she decides she wants to participate, too.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Blind kid runs in school race after overcoming difficulties.
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't see this for group story time.
Lulu Hawkes
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Children start noticing differences among themselves at a very early age, and so I greatly appreciated reading this book. The books that I've read about diversity or varying abilities have often othered their subjects in a not so helpful way. Cari Best has produced a very useful and fun teaching tool with this book. Zulay is not only a racial minority, but she is also a blind student in a class of seeing students. This makes her an incredibly marginalized character. This is important to understa ...more
Tibby (she/her)
This would make an excellent book for the classroom or library to be read aloud. The title is a bit misleading since the story doesn’t really focus around her friends or their frienship. It’s really a story about practice makes perfect. Zulay really wants to run in the foot race on Field Day, but she’s blind and not familiar with the track. She’s been working with Miss XX on how to move around on her own using a cane, but running in a foot race poses a new challenge. With the help of her aide an ...more
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

This book is about a true friendship story of four young girls, who always encourage each other. Zulay, Maya, Nancy and Chyng became best friends, although they are from different countries and ethnicities. We can conclude that by looking at the book cover. Moreover, in this book, the main character is a blind girl who wants to succeed and challenge the barriers of her disability. So, the diversity in this book is not just based on the ethnicities, i
Penny McGill
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aptly named, is Cari Best. Alice and I just love her. I thought this one would be splendid from the title alone and brought it home to read together. I love when kids talk like this and felt like the title just welcomed you in - just like a kid would do, a little girl would describe her friends like this to anyone as 'my three best friends and me, Zulay'.

The story opens with Zulay talking about school and you can't help but get drawn into her enthusiasm but there is a moment - a quick, subtle on
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Zulay is in first grade along with her three best friends. She starts the day by linking arms with them and singing in the hallways and then waiting in line to hug their teacher hello. When she finds her desk, she feels with her legs to make sure she is sitting right and then readers see her cane, which she pushes to the back of her desk. It is at this point that it becomes clear that Zulay is blind. She still studies what everyone else does, but she also has extra classes to learn to use her ca ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Really nice story, yay diversity, yay empowered children!
Jennifer Strong
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2016
Zulay is blind, but that doesn't stop her from enjoying school! She has three best friends: Maya, Nancy, and Chyng, and a special teacher, Ms. Turner, to help her learn how to use her new cane. As best friends the girls help each other in many areas. Maya helps Zulay with shapes and in turn Zulay helps Maya with math. She also helps Chyng type her name on the Braille typewriter. Zulay doesn't like being the only one in class who doesn't go to gym. She doesn't like going with Ms. Turner to practi ...more
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Cari Best has written many award-winning picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and My Three Best Friends and Me, described by the New York Times as “refreshing” and “exciting.” Her most recent picture book is If I Could Drive, Mama, was described by Publishers Weekly as “a wonderful tribute to an imagination in perpetual motion.” In ...more