Brad Meltzer’s ‘I Am Oprah Winfrey’ Teaches Children to Love Themselves [REVIEW]

Oprah Winfrey as a cartoon
Oprah gets the cartoon treatment in Brad Meltzer’s book I Am Oprah Winfrey. (Illustration by Chris Eliopoulos)

While Oprah Winfrey may be a household name to those of us who grew up watching her talk show every afternoon, children may not identify her as readily. But all that is about to change, because now she is the 25th hero featured in bestselling author Brad Meltzer’s “Ordinary People Change the World” series of biographies for kids, illustrated by cartoonist Christopher Eliopoulos.

Dial Books

If you know Oprah’s backstory at all, you realize that she had to overcome lots of challenges on her way to fame and fortune. Since these books are targeted at children, Meltzer doesn’t delve into the darker aspects of her childhood too deeply, but simply says that people didn’t always take care of Oprah properly, which may be the understatement of the year but is really all kids need to know in a picture book.

Still, this slim volume courageously teaches children that they can conquer seemingly insurmountable odds (such as poverty, prejudice, and even a negative body image) if they learn to focus on their gifts rather than their limitations. Like Oprah always says, “when you know better, you do better.” And Meltzer does a stellar job incorporating that thought process throughout this insightful book.

The biography showcases the traits that have not only made Oprah a household name, but a woman to be both respected and admired. From an early age, she was an intelligent girl who found solace in books and derived power through education. She allowed her heart to lead her and found strength in her generosity and compassion. As a result, she not only became a world-famous talk show host, but the queen of all media.

If you want to empower your child to find his or her own voice and to embrace who they are even when others fail to recognize their talents, you need a copy of I Am Oprah Winfrey in your family’s personal library. By teaching children not to let anyone else define them or tell them who they ought to be, Meltzer, Eliopoulos, and cartoon Oprah remind all of us that living our best life happens when we learn to love ourselves, imperfections and all.

About the author banner

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My SonHeroes for My DaughterThe Lincoln Conspiracy, and a number of suspense novels like The Lightning Rod.

He also helped find the missing 9/11 flag with his History Channel television show Brad Meltzer’s Lost History.

He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.

For more information, visit, like him on Facebook, subscribe to him on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Brad Meltzer
Brad Meltzer
Christopher Eliopoulos
Christopher Eliopoulos
(© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons)

Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Cosmic Commandos and Monster Mayhem.

He is the author/illustrator of the picture books The Yawns Are Coming! and The Giggles Are Coming! 

He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons (when the boys are home from college).

For more information, visit him at, or follow him at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

By Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos
40 pp. Dial Books. $15.99

Purchase I Am Oprah Winfrey direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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