BOOK CORNER: Childhood insecurities lead to new book, ‘I Am Unique!’ 

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

Erin, the protagonist of the story, is passionate about acting and dreams of landing the lead role in her school’s play.

However, her confidence wavers when her best friend questions whether her birthmark makes her unsuitable for the part. Faced with this doubt, Erin must decide whether to let a perceived “flaw” stand in the way of her aspirations.

So goes, “I Am Unique!” by Jennifer Vassel. 

The children’s book was inspired by Vassel’s childhood insecurity of having a birthmark. 

“I used to cover it growing up, and now that I’ve grown past that, my mission is to inspire kids (and adults) to overcome their own insecurities so they can share their unique gifts with the world,” said the author.

“I Am Unique!” is intended for parents of school-aged children, adults seeking to heal their inner child and educators. Some of the themes found inside the book that will resonate with readers include goal setting, conflict management, perseverance, self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-love. 

Vassel said she would like readers of the book to gain confidence to overcome their insecurities so they can share their unique gifts with the world.

“The birthmark is a physical representation of an insecurity but I also wanted to take a metaphorical approach,” she said. “Whatever your ‘birthmark’ is … know that it’s something that sets you apart from the next person and learn to really embrace who you are at your core because there’s beauty in being truly unique.”

“I Am Unique!” is the first book in a forthcoming series that will focus on Erin and her friends as they not only navigate and overcome insecurities, but also showcase their unique gifts.

“I wish I would’ve had a book like this that could show me that it’s OK to be who you are not only physically but sharing your personality, love and gifts with the world,” Vassel said.

In addition to being an author, Vassel is a full-time writer, speaker and creative entrepreneur. She is based in Los Angeles. 

For more information about the author and her work visit Readers may also connect with Vassel on all social media platforms @JenniferDVassel and @IAmUniqueBook.

She will be exhibiting at the Black on the Block’s LA Juneteenth Festival at 1 p.m. June 16 at Los Angeles Center Studios, 500 S. Bixel St.

“I am Unique!” is available for $14.99 (paperback) and $17.99 (hardcover) via and Amazon. Signed copies are available via

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