Author Mera Malik has released her first children’s book titled Om The Enchanted: Big World, Little Om.
When Om’s mother calls him in from playing in the yard one day he has no idea how his life is about to change! The eleven-year-old boy uses his vivid imagination to cope with, instead of running from, life’s challenges and he needs every ounce of imagination that he can muster to make the best of what comes up. A new friend and new family members help Om through in unexpected ways while he sees the reality of life for a school bully and finds courage and strength in himself that he didn’t even know was there. Om’s life goes from enchanted to exploded and back to enchanted in this profound book that thoughtfully explores diversity, compassion and love.
There remains a lack of positive representation for LGBTQ families and children. The team behind Om the Enchanted: Big World, Little Om wants to change that by showing children what it is like to live in an LGBTQ family or to be different than other children you go to school with.
“I was in a same sex relationship for nine beautiful years,” states Malik. “Our relationship ended not for any lack of love, but because she could no longer handle the discrimination she faced in her community or the disapproval of her family. Our child lost one of his moms and no doubt was confused by the whole situation. All he knew was the two of us and the love that was our family. I don’t want that to happen to any other family or child.”
Malik says that the world she wants to live in and raise children in doesn’t discriminate when it comes to love or family; a world where everyone’s story has power and importance, where hearts and character are more important than skin color and gender. She believes that begins through representation and community building. Om the Enchanted: Big World, Litte Om shows how wonderful –but sometimes challenging—the lives are for unique families. “It can be a child who has a disability, a refugee family,” she says, “I’m not excluding anyone. I want these kids to see themselves on media in a positive, uplifting way.”