All week you’ve been hearing about Laurie Ann Thompson’s gorgeous and inspiring debut Emmanuel’s Dream. Laurie has captured a true story that will resonate with young readers through its message of hope and determination in the face of adversity. Today, we’re bringing you some other inspiring thoughts – books and quotes that nurture our souls and our writing in much the same way as Emmanuel’s Dream is sure to nurture readers.
Read on, and then, go become a Dreamer!
Susan Vaught says this quote has been on her wall for a year and inspires her every day, and is true for Emmanuel: “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
Mylisa Larsen says, “I really love Jordan Sonnenblick’s After Ever After. It’s about an eighth grade boy who had leukemia when he was younger and still has residual effects and disabilities caused by the chemotherapy…it’s inspiring…and it’s hilarious…When a book works for both a 47-year-old mom and an 11-year-old boy, that’s a keeper.”
Donna Janell Bowman responded with her favorite: “Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy, by Bill Wise, illustrated by Adam Gustavson. A childhood illness left Hoy (1862-1961,) deaf, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the pioneers of Major League Baseball. He is credited with creating the hand signals that are still used today in baseball. I had done some research on William Hoy before this book came out, and found his story so remarkable. Imagine playing early baseball, when all calls were verbal, yet finding a way to fit in, invent a solution, and grow into a record-setting ball player. Wow!”
Maria Gianferrari says, “When I think of Laurie Thompson’s Emmanuel’s Dream, the first book that comes to mind is A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, by Jen Bryant, with illustrations by Melissa Sweet, an inspiring tale about artist Horace Pippin. Horace is a young boy who loves to draw, but after his father leaves, he must work to help support his family, just as Emmanuel helps to support his family…Horace enlists as a soldier in WWI, and his right arm is irrevocably injured…[yet] he finds a way to paint by supporting his injured arm with his good one…Both Horace and Emmanuel have indomitable spirits, and resourceful natures…being disabled does not mean being un-able.”
Penny Parker Klosterman added this: “One of the books that really inspired me this year is Grandfather Gandhi (Arun Ghandi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk). This is a story of how Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun, wondered how he could be a Gandhi when he felt anger instead of peace. I love this line that proved a turning point for Arun. ‘Arun, we can all work to use our anger, instead of letting it use us.’ “
And I’ll end with one of my own favorite inspirations, Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Despite being bullied for his disabilities and his outsider status as Native American in an all-white school, Junior “attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself.” Junior dreams big, just like Emmanuel.
Don’t forget to comment here to be included in our giveaway of a copy of Emmanuel’s Dream!