Ghana 2017 Kids' Books
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboh
Laurie Ann Thompson, illus. Sean Qualls, 2015, AGES 5–8
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Format: Hardcover: 40 pages
Summary: The true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young man born with a severe disability in rural Ghana who bicycles across the entire country to raise awareness for disabled people throughout Africa and around the world.
Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah 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.
Thompson's lyrical prose and Qualls's bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity.
School Library Journal This powerful and winning picture book tells the story of a young man overcoming the odds. Born in Ghana with a deformed left leg, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah experienced stigma as a result of his disability: his father abandoned the family, and many assumed that the boy would be little more than a burden. However, with the encouragement of his mother, Yeboah refused to give up, hopping to school (instead of walking) and even learning to play soccer and cycle, despite receiving no extra help or accommodations. Thompson's lucidly written text explains how Yeboah cycled 400 miles in 2001 to raise awareness, forever changing how Ghanaians perceived those with disabilities. The narrative is simply and clearly written, and the illustrations are skillfully rendered in charmingly emotive ink and watercolor collages. A brief author's note explains how Yeboah inspired legislation upholding equal rights for the disabled and how he continues to make strides, working with organizations that provide wheelchairs to those who need them and setting up a scholarship fund for children with disabilities. VERDICT This uplifting account will resonate with readers and supplement global and cultural studies. A triumph.—Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME
• Winner of the ALA Youth Media Awards Schneider Family Children's Book Award
• An Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Notable Children's Book for 2016
• Listed in CCBC Choices 2016 by the Cooperative Children's Book Center
• Recipient of a 2015 Eureka Honor Award from the California Reading Association
• Finalist for the 2015 Cybils Award for Elementary/Middle Grade Non-Fiction
• Finalist for the 2016-2017 Georgia Children's Picturebook (Gr. K-4) Award
• A Junior Library Guild selection
• A FirstBook #StoriesForAll featured title
• Included on the Winter 2014-2015 Kids' Indie Next List
• An Amazon Editors' Best Books of the Month Pick for January