Emmanuel's Dream

By Laurie Ann Thompson, Sean Qualls (illustrator),

Book cover of Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Book description

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah's inspiring true story—which was turned into a film, Emmanuel's Gift, narrated by Oprah Winfrey—is nothing short of remarkable.

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Emmanuel's Dream as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’ve had an easy life in so many ways, so I appreciate learning from people whose childhood adversities shaped them to make positive changes in the world. When Emmanuel was born in Ghana with a deformed leg, his future looked bleak. Some considered him “cursed.” His mother encouraged him to dream big and become independent. He refused to be defined by his disability and ended up showing “that being disabled does not mean being unable.” To bring attention to the difficulties disabled people face Emmanuel organized and completed a 400-mile bike ride across Ghana. 

I love this book because Emmanuel’s…

I chose this book in part because Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboa was a young person who helped create the Persons with Disabilities Act in his country, Ghana, like Jennifer Keenan in the United States. Again, I think it’s important for kids to see that they can make a difference when it comes to big things like laws. I also chose this book because it features a Black subject, while most of the picture books about people with disabilities focus on white subjects (including my own), and more books about and by BIPOC are sorely needed.

From Meeg's list on real people with disabilities.

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