A physical therapist for over 20 years, Hillary Sussman has worked with a multitude of clients with physical and cognitive challenges. When her dog Roxy underwent her fourth surgery, Sussman was inspired by her love of dogs to write a story to help young children overcome their fears and insecurities surrounding differences; and gain more confidence. After working with so many clients, and feeling worried about her own dog, the idea for a book about Roxy just made sense. “I wanted to create lovablecharacters using dogs with unique features, who would speak to ALL children and spread the important message of inclusion”, said Sussman. “I want to empower children with the confidence to be themselves and not let any perceived differences dictate their self-worth.” While writing the book, Sussman discovered the Amputee Coalition and was so impressed with their incredible organization, that she decided to help their cause. “ I want to help foster support, advocacy, and empowerment among the limb loss community”, she says.
In her first book in the series, Roxy and Maliboo: It’s Okay to Be Different, Sussman introduces young children to a lovable dog named Roxy. Roxy has recently lost her leg and is learning to adjust. On her first visit back to her beloved dog park post amputation, Roxy meets another dog, Maliboo. Maliboo is missing an ear, and the pair bonds over their conversation about having visible differences. Roxy convinces Maliboo to gain the confidence to join the other dogs to play. When Maliboo agrees, they are both welcomed into the group and discover together that it is okay to be different.
Roxy and Maliboo is available for purchase online at Amazon.com. A portion of every sale of the book will be donated to the Amputee Coalition. To learn more about the Amputee Coalition, please visit https://www.amputee-coalition.org/
Hillary Sussman is a physical therapist who continues to work with clients to help improve their functional mobility and quality of life. She lives in Ambler, Pennsylvania with her husband, three children and dog, Roxy. To learn more about the author , her future projects, and to download fun, and educational activities that reinforce inclusion and kindness; please visit her website, www.adventuresofroxy.com or follow her on social media on Instagram @adventuresofroxyroo, on Twitter @roxyadventures, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/adventuresofroxyroo.
Hillary feels honored to follow in her mother, Ellen Rosenberg’s footsteps by publishing this first book with hopes of changing lives, one by one.
“Roxy and Maliboo It’s Ok to Be Different is poetically written by Hillary Sussman. Author Hillary Sussman shows her knowledge and work experience as a Physical Therapist through a touching story about two dogs who are a little different. The main character Roxy must go to the vet, and he returns home differently. The reader can feel his worry and wonderment about his new life. When he receives word that he can go back to enjoying outdoor activities, he encounters another dog who is also a little different. Roxy gives strength and encouragement to this new dog, and they become inseparable friends. The strength in their friendship brings them confidence. Other dogs around them notice their assurance, and they begin to play with them. Soon they form more friendships. A great story to read with your children! The perfect book to initiate conversations about the differences in people. This book will also help bring confidence back to those who doubt themselves. I highly recommend this book to families, schools, counselors, and physical therapists. Great book!”-School Psychologist
“The heartfelt story Roxy and Maliboo, It’s, ok to be different, it is beautiful because it empowers people who are a little different. This story is about a cute dog named Roxy, she goes into the vet with four legs, and comes out with three. She is confused and wondering, “What happened?” Roxy feels different and sad, until Mom says the words she longs to hear. She and Mom drive to the park, and Roxy meets Maliboo. Maliboo is a little different too, but Roxy and Maliboo become friends. I love the illustrations and the story line.” -Child age 10