Once Upon a Story
January 19, 2015

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls

Published by: Schwartz & Wade

Release date: January 2015

Ages: 4-8

Pages: 40

From the publisher:

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled. 


About the Author:05_lauriethompson_PhotoByMaryBalmaceda (2)

Laurie Ann Thompson is the author of Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters, a how-to guide for teens who want to change the world. An advocate for social justice, Laurie is dedicated to inspiring and empowering young readers. Emmanuel’s Dream is her picture-book debut. Visit her at lauriethompson.com.
A CCSS-aligned curriculum guide for Emmanuel’s Dream is available here

My Thoughts:
Happy Monday, all!
For those of us in the U.S., it’s also Martin Luther King Day. For many, it’s a day off of work, but it’s also an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as a nation, and a man who believed that facing adversity did not mean ‘impossibility.’
Which also makes it the perfect day to share with you this story of not only diversity, but also plain ol’ hard work and strong spirit.
Emmanuel’s Dream is the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. Today, Emmanuel is recognized as an athlete, an activist, and a philanthropist. His life (thus far, he’s only 37) has been made into a documentary (also entitled Emmanuel’s Gift), and he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
But before all that he was a kid in Ghana. A kid who wanted to do what the other kids did, and a kid whose mother believed he should do what all the other kids did. While this book contains moments that will make young readers gasp in surprise, or make round ‘o’s of awe, what also comes through is how normal of a kid Emmanuel was. Don’t most kids like to play soccer at recess, or ride bikes with friends?
I had the chance to ask author Laurie Ann Thompson what she would like her readers to take away from Emmanuel’s story. Here’s what she said:
What would you like to see children learn from Emmanuel?
I want children to learn that they, too, can be brave, creative, and determined enough to go after their dreams, no matter what challenges they may face in their lives or what other people might tell them along the way.
But we all know that picture books aren’t just for the young.  What would you like to see adults take away from Emmanuel’s Dream?
I hope adults take away that same message of empowerment for themselves, of course, but that they also understand the broader message of everyone having the potential to change the world. I think keeping that in mind would make us all a little more tolerant, a little more accepting, and little more supportive of one another. And that would be a very good thing.
I love her responses. Have faith, keep working, and be supportive of one another.
It does, indeed, seem like that would be a very good thing.


Thanks to Schwartz and Wade, ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive a copy of EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls. (U.S. addresses only). Enter below by 11:59pm on Monday, February 2nd.

 Good luck!

Follow Emmanuel on the rest of his tour:

Mon, Jan 12
Great Kid Books
Tues, Jan 13
5 Minutes for Books
Wed, Jan 14
Unleashing Readers
Thurs, Jan 15
Fri, Jan 16
Cracking the Cover
Sat, Jan 17
Booking Mama
Mon, Jan 19 (MLK Jr bday)
Once Upon a Story
Tues, Jan 20
Wed, Jan 21
Geo Librarian
Thurs, Jan 22
Nonfiction Detectives
Fri, Jan 23
The Fourth Musketeer AND  Kirby’s Lane
Mon, Jan 26
NC Teacher Stuff
Tues, Jan 27
Teach Mentor Texts


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