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Biographical/Autobiographical, Early/Young Readers, Picture Book, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Star of the North nominee, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

EMMANUEL’S DREAM: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson Illustrated by Sean Qualls…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

emmanuel's dreamEmmanuel’s Dream is a biographical picture book about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, introduced to the reader like this:

In Ghana, West Africa, a baby boy was born:

Two bright eyes blinked in the light,

two healthy lungs let out a powerful cry,

two tiny fists opened and closed,

but only one strong leg kicked.

The people of Emmanuel’s community believed the most Emmanuel’s mother could hope for was that her son would live and be useless, and that the worst would be that he would be a curse for their family.  Emmauel’s father agreed with most people and deserted his wife and son.  But Emmanuel’s mother loved him, believed in him and told him:

he could have anything

but he would have to get it for himself.

And Emmanuel did.  This picture book shows Emmanuel playing soccer with friends, going to school, learning to ride a bike, working in a food shop and shining shoes.  We see how Emmanuel uses his life to show people a disability is not the same as an inability.

Emmanuel biked across Ghana–400 miles in just 10 days–speaking to all kinds of people along his journey to spread his message about the ABILITIES of ALL individuals.

Sean Qualls’ collage-style illustrations are a perfect match for the clear, factual text and Emmanuel’s inspiring story.  This Star of the North nominee is a great independent or read-aloud choice really for all pre- and elementary school ages at home or in the classroom.

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