Today I was fighting a cold and feeling sorry for myself. That is, until I pulled out this nominee for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category. Reading a good children’s book can be a wonderful way to get perspective on your life.
In Laurie Ann Thompson’s first picture book, Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah illustrated by Sean Qualls, she tells the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah who cycled 400 miles across Ghana in 2001. This in itself is a feat, but he did it with only one leg!
When Emmanuel was born in Ghana, West Africa with one full leg, it could have meant a lifetime of limits. After all, in his country people with disabilities were thought to be only fit to beg for food. With his mother’s help, Emmanuel was able to chose a different path, one that is still helping other people with disabilities today.
Laurie Thompson tells the story with the precision expected of an experienced author. The simple mixed media illustrations by Sean Qualls evoke folk art, setting just the right tone for a story set in West Africa.
There are many reasons to celebrate this book. It is a Junior Library Guild selection. It is a wonderful choice to promote diversity. It brings attention to Emmanuel’s Dream Charity at EmmanuelsDream.org, which Random House donated to when the book was published. Emmanuel’s Dream deserves a place on the shelf for many reasons!
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (January 6, 2015)
Disclosures: This book was from my local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.