What to read on World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day poster
PDF avail­able from Library Graph­ics
(click image for info)

Can you imag­ine becom­ing a refugee, need­ing to leave your house sud­den­ly with no plans, lit­tle idea of where to go, and the knowl­edge that you may nev­er return? Every day chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are being forced to flee their homes, com­mu­ni­ties, and coun­tries around the world just to stay alive. Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day, held by the Unit­ed Nations every year to com­mem­o­rate the strength, courage, and per­se­ver­ance of mil­lions of refugees. How can we talk about this real­i­ty with chil­dren? Here are a few help­ful resources:
RefugeeOne headerRefugeeOne has put togeth­er a fan­tas­tic down­load­able PDF enti­tled Lit­er­a­ture for Chil­dren and Ado­les­cents about the Refugee and Immi­grant Expe­ri­ence. It’s sort­ed by age groups, main­ly accord­ing to read­ing level.
BRYCS logoBridg­ing Refugee Youth and Chil­dren’s Ser­vices (BRYCS) has curat­ed an exten­sive list of Chil­dren’s Books about the Refugee/Immigrant Expe­ri­ence.
Brightly logoAuthor Olugbe­miso­la Rhu­day-Perkovich has com­piled a list of Books to Help Kids Under­stand What It’s Like to Be a Refugee for Brightly.
SPL logoThe Seat­tle Kids Librar­i­ans at The Seat­tle Pub­lic Library have com­piled a list called The Immi­grant and Refugee Expe­ri­ence in Chil­dren’s Books.
IHE logoThe Insti­tute for Humane Edu­ca­tion has put togeth­er this list of 16 Children’s Pic­ture Books About Refugees.
Goodreads logoAnd, last but not least, Goodreads has a HUGE list of Pop­u­lar Refugee Books.
 
We would want some­one to help us if we were in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion, so let’s do the same for them and respond to refugees with sol­i­dar­i­ty, com­pas­sion, and action. Books can be a great place to start.
Refugees Welcome sign
Image avail­able as a stick­er or down­load­able PDF (click for info)

On fear, and how writing is like a guitar

Fear is fun­ny. Not fun­ny, real­ly. Mad­den­ing, frus­trat­ing, debilitating.
Ortega acoustic electric mini bassAfter a busy month or so, I had­n’t had time to prac­tice my bass gui­tar at all. I want­ed to. I missed it. So I took it out of the case and sat it next to my chair so it would be easy to grab when­ev­er I had a few free min­utes. And from there it mocked me. I was afraid to pick it up. Afraid I’d for­got­ten every­thing. Afraid I would suck.
Writ­ing is like that, too. I think the writ­ers who advise oth­ers to “write every day” do so for this rea­son most of all. The longer we go with­out doing some­thing the more room there is for doubt and excus­es, so we go even longer with­out doing it. It’s a vicious cycle that can be dif­fi­cult to break out of.
Some­times, the miss­ing doing the thing becomes greater than the fear and over­comes it. Oth­er times, we force our­selves past the fear. We have been here before and can see it for what it is.
I final­ly picked up the gui­tar today. I can still play. In fact, I think I played bet­ter today than I have in months. It felt joy­ous, both the abil­i­ty to make music and the let­ting go of the fear.
Soon, my sched­ule will allow me to get back to writ­ing again, too. And I am not afraid. In fact, I’m look­ing for­ward to it.
What goals are you avoid­ing because of fear? Per­haps it’s time to begin.
Begin

2017 in review, and a sneak peek at 2018 goals

2017

If you’ve fol­lowed my blog for a long time (or know me at all), you prob­a­bly know I can be a lit­tle obses­sive about set­ting goals and doing annu­al per­for­mance reviews. So, as 2017 comes to a close, I thought I should reflect on what I’ve accom­plished the past year and think about what 2018 might bring.
2017
One of my main goals for 2017 was to get more com­fort­able speak­ing in pub­lic.  It’s a good thing I was able to do that, since (and prob­a­bly because) I got a lot of prac­tice! Here’s a quick summary:

  • 24 keynotes, assem­blies, pre­sen­ta­tions, or work­shops for young people,
  • 17 Skype visits,
  • 7 pre­sen­ta­tions for adults,
  • 6 book­store appearances,
  • 2 round­table cri­tique sessions,
  • 1 radio inter­view, and
  • an 8‑week improv class.

The suc­cess I feel here isn’t so much from the quan­ti­ty, but from the qual­i­ty. First, it’s got­ten MUCH eas­i­er for me. I can do these talks in stride now and don’t stress out for a whole day pri­or and then need a whole day after to decom­press. That’s a big win! Also, the improv class was odd­ly ter­ri­fy­ing to think about, but so much fun and such a great expe­ri­ence in prac­tice. So, I’m real­ly glad that I pushed myself out of my com­fort zone.
I also had some suc­cess with major writ­ing goals and projects:

  • TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE! was released in June, and I put a lot of time put into pro­mo­tion, includ­ing devel­op­ing pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als like cur­ricu­lum guides and swag, and cre­at­ing new pre­sen­ta­tions around it.
  • We’re just now putting the final touch­es on the sec­ond book in the series, TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: HISTORIES AND MYSTERIES, which we researched, draft­ed, revised, copy­edit­ed, and sourced pho­tos for all in the past year. This one is so good, I can’t wait to see it out in the world next June!
  • We have the out­line for the third TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE book just about wrapped up, too, so 2018 will see a lot of work (and fun!) on that front.
  • I wrote a brand-new pic­ture book from scratch, revised it, and it went out on sub­mis­sion! I’m hope­ful this one will find a home in 2018.
  • I revised my MG non­fic­tion project and sent it back out on sub­mis­sion. Alas, it looks like this one will need yet anoth­er fresh approach, which is also on the sched­ule for 2018. I’m mulling over a cou­ple of ideas about how to proceed.
  • I worked on revis­ing two oth­er pic­ture books, one fic­tion and one non­fic­tion, but nei­ther one is quite ready yet. More work to come on both of those in the year ahead, and hope­ful­ly they’ll be ready to send out soon.
  • I start­ed research­ing a new pic­ture book biog­ra­phy. I’m real­ly excit­ed about this one, and the research so far has only fueled my inter­est fur­ther. I hope I can com­plete a first draft in the com­ing year.
  • I had a new idea for anoth­er non­fic­tion pic­ture book and have start­ed research­ing that one as well. This one is still in the idea phase and will take some noodling to get just the right approach, so for now I’ll keep research­ing and think­ing and see what happens.

2018
As you can see from the above, I’ll have my work cut out for me in 2018 with one new book to pro­mote, one under con­tract to write, (at least) two pic­ture books to fin­ish revis­ing, the MG non­fic­tion to re-envi­sion, and the two new pic­ture books to research and draft. Phew — that’s a lot of big goals. Wish me luck! =D

Books can open doors to inclusivity

Many of us who write books for chil­dren, rec­om­mend books for chil­dren, and teach chil­dren to read books have been won­der­ing late­ly what more we can do to move the world for­ward to have more inclu­siv­i­ty, com­pas­sion, and empa­thy. We’ve been won­der­ing if our efforts real­ly make a dif­fer­ence. We may have been tempt­ed to pull back, to retreat, to avoid the dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions and inter­ac­tions. But some­times push­ing past the dis­com­fort and mak­ing an hon­est con­nec­tion can make all the dif­fer­ence in the world.
I just read a beau­ti­ful arti­cle in the Wash­ing­ton Post writ­ten by fel­low kidlit author and agency-mate Suzanne Nel­son. In the arti­cle, Suzanne writes about a birth­day par­ty that she did­n’t go to because the girl was hear­ing impaired and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her was awk­ward. She writes about how she still has­n’t been able to for­give her­self for mak­ing that cow­ard­ly deci­sion. And she writes about how we can help oth­ers avoid act­ing similarly:

Every moment we share books, music, con­ver­sa­tion, or meals with peo­ple who might not be com­plete­ly like us, is one moment more that we ben­e­fit and grow as human beings, that we rec­og­nize the beau­ty, flu­id­i­ty, and worth of our dif­fer­ences. And the more we do this as adults, the more our chil­dren rec­og­nize how to inter­act, how to have empa­thy. We all have moments when we are less than kind, less than tol­er­ant, less than the peo­ple we strive to be. With expo­sure, con­tact, and edu­ca­tion, I hope my chil­dren grow up to have few­er of them. Maybe they’ll walk through that door, and maybe they’ll go to that party. 

The arti­cle remind­ed me of a woman I was friends with in col­lege. I met her when I was work­ing as an assis­tant in the com­put­er lab. She often need­ed help. She was in a motor­ized wheel­chair. She was elder­ly. She had cere­bral pal­sy. She could bare­ly talk. She made the let­ters on the screen so big she could only read a few words at a time. She would type her papers one dif­fi­cult key­stroke at a time, jab­bing at the key­board with a fat pen­cil. She often missed and had to go back and try again, some­times shriek­ing in anger. It was painstak­ing to watch, and yet I admired her deter­mi­na­tion. Were any of the rest of us tak­ing our edu­ca­tion that seri­ous­ly? Would any of the rest of us have will­ing­ly put our­selves through that frus­tra­tion and embar­rass­ment every sin­gle evening and weekend?
Over time, I got to know her bet­ter. I start­ed being able to deci­pher her slurred speech and have mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions with her. Despite the com­mu­ni­ca­tion bar­ri­ers and the gen­er­a­tion gap, we became friends. Some­times when she saw me out­side of the lab she would get so excit­ed that she would smile and laugh, which often result­ed in drool and spit­ting. Peo­ple around us would recoil in dis­gust. I had too, ini­tial­ly, but what’s a lit­tle spit among friends? When I invit­ed my boyfriend, who is now my hus­band, to vis­it me at col­lege, we made plans to go out to din­ner with her. She knew how I felt about him and was joy­ous at meet­ing him, so piz­za and drool were fly­ing every­where, often spray­ing us and our plates. I was wor­ried that he’d be upset with me for putting him through this, but the entire meal he treat­ed her with respect and inter­est. He wait­ed for me to trans­late her speech so he could con­verse with her. After­ward, he said some­thing to the effect of, “What an inter­est­ing, amaz­ing woman. I can see why you like her.” I fell in love with him all over again because of that interaction.
My life has been for­ev­er enriched by know­ing her and oth­ers like her. So, I urge you to read Suzan­ne’s whole arti­cle, here. I urge you to write, rec­om­mend, and teach books that will help chil­dren choose kind­ness and inclu­siv­i­ty and to val­ue all kinds of peo­ple of all abil­i­ties, races, reli­gions, ori­en­ta­tions, iden­ti­ties, etc. And I urge you to take a risk, seek con­nec­tion over com­fort, and make sure you go to that party.
Here are some pos­si­ble books to start with:

Check out the Starbucks Upstanders series

Starbucks Upstander photo

Starbucks Upstander photo
Have you seen the new orig­i­nal series that Star­bucks is putting out, called Upstanders? It’s real­ly cool! Accord­ing to their web­page:

Upstanders is an orig­i­nal col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, films and pod­casts shar­ing the expe­ri­ences of Upstanders – ordi­nary peo­ple doing extra­or­di­nary things to cre­ate pos­i­tive change in their com­mu­ni­ties. Pro­duced by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chan­drasekaran, the Upstanders series helps inspire us to be bet­ter citizens.

Appar­ent­ly, they–like so many of us–were feel­ing a bit dis­heart­ened by our cur­rent polit­i­cal cli­mate. Their press release says,

In con­trast to the divi­sive­ness and cyn­i­cism cur­rent­ly fuel­ing our nation­al dis­course, Star­bucks today debuted “Upstanders,” its first orig­i­nal con­tent series, which aims to inspire Amer­i­cans to engage in acts of com­pas­sion, cit­i­zen­ship and civil­i­ty. “Upstanders” fea­tures ten sto­ries, each told in writ­ten, video and pod­cast form, about ordi­nary peo­ple doing extra­or­di­nary things to cre­ate pos­i­tive change in their communities.…
“We’ve asked our­selves what is the role and respon­si­bil­i­ty of a pub­lic com­pa­ny and, as cit­i­zens, how we can cat­alyze hope in a time when we need more opti­mism, empa­thy, com­pas­sion and lead­er­ship,” said Schultz.  “The upstanders fea­tured in this series are inspir­ing indi­vid­u­als whose actions are emblem­at­ic of the Amer­i­can spir­it and what is miss­ing from so much of today’s nation­al dia­logue. We have always been sto­ry­tellers at heart, and more of these sto­ries need to be heard. We are using our scale to share them as broad­ly as possible.”

I love see­ing these kinds of exam­ples of how every­one can choose to Be a Change­mak­er, so the Upstanders pod­cast is now added to my sub­scrip­tion list! Here’s a trail­er to give you an idea what it’s all about:


 
Cat­alyz­ing hope in a time when we need more opti­mism, empa­thy, com­pas­sion and lead­er­ship? Now that’s some­thing I can stand up for. Thanks, Starbucks!
Upstanders image

Goals: looking back and pushing forward

Done!

I recent­ly wrapped up what I think will be my last in-per­son school vis­its of the 2015–2016 school year, and pro­mo­tion activ­i­ties for the three books that are out is start­ing to die down. This seems like a good time to pause and reflect on my goals and progress, espe­cial­ly since I was too busy at the begin­ning of the year to do my usu­al review and plan­ning exercises.
Since this time last year, I’ve done:

  • Done!1 high school presentation,
  • 13 mid­dle school presentations,
  • 4 ele­men­tary school presentations,
  • 6 Skype vis­its (includ­ing one to Hawaii, one to Brazil, and one more to go!),
  • 3 radio interviews,
  • 2 preschool storytimes,
  • 2 teen library events,
  • 1 adult library event,
  • 2 Girl Scout workshops,
  • 3 book­store sign­ing events,
  • 1 book launch party,
  • 1 blog tour,
  • 1 book trailer,
  • 1 sto­ry­time activ­i­ty kit,
  • the Texas Book Fes­ti­val in Austin,
  • the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of School Librar­i­ans (AASL) con­fer­ence in Columbus,
  • the Pacif­ic North­west Library Asso­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence (PNLA) in Portland,
  • the Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­a­cy Asso­ci­a­tion’s (ILA) con­fer­ence in St. Louis,
  • one research trip to St. Louis,
  • Indies First! on Small Busi­ness Sat­ur­day at Secret Gar­den Books,
  • 1 guest lec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington,
  • 2 appear­ances at a chil­dren’s museum,
  • 2 sum­mer camp visits,
  • 2 Twit­ter chats (includ­ing one for WWE moms!),
  • 2 record­ings for TeachingBooks.net,
  • 1 SCBWI Crys­tal Kite Award pre­sen­ta­tion at SCBWI-WWA’s Inside Sto­ry event,
  • 1 mid­dle-grade book writ­ten and submitted,
  • 3 pic­ture books revised (but not yet finished),
  • 1 YA project edit­ed and revised (still in progress),
  • pre­lim­i­nary research for 2 new book projects,
  • at least 2 major web­site over­hauls (one here and one for Online Author Vis­its),
  • vol­un­teer­ing for We Need Diverse Books,
  • vol­un­teer­ing for SCBWI West­ern Wash­ing­ton, and
  • 19 blog posts.

Not too shab­by! It’s so easy in this busi­ness to feel like I nev­er get any­thing done. I have a stack of in-progress man­u­scripts that I des­per­ate­ly want to per­fect so they can go out and try to find their pub­lish­ing homes, and every day that they don’t quite get there (or worse, don’t make any progress at all!) feels like a big fat fail­ure. List­ing out all of the things that I have done makes me feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter. I haven’t just been spin­ning my wheels, after all! I did­n’t get to fin­ish every­thing I had hoped to by now, but I did check off some big goals and also did a bunch of things I had­n’t expect­ed or planned on. And, many of the things list­ed were firsts for me and/or major high­lights, so there’s a lot of per­son­al growth hid­den in that list as well as some major accom­plish­ments to be proud of. So, all in all, not bad!
Still, there’s so much more I want to do! My goals for the rest of the year include:

  • TKfin­ish­ing up revi­sions for the first book in the Two Truths and a Lie series: It’s Alive!,
  • com­plet­ing the pho­to research for It’s Alive!,
  • attend­ing the ALA Annu­al Con­fer­ence in Orlan­do to accept the Schnei­der Fam­i­ly Award,
  • revis­ing my non­fic­tion pic­ture book until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing one of my fic­tion pic­ture books until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing the mid­dle-grade non­fic­tion pro­pos­al until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing the YA project until it’s ready for submission,
  • final­iz­ing the out­line for Two Truths and a Lie, Book #2, and begin­ning the writing,
  • and writ­ing more blog posts.

There are sev­er­al oth­er man­u­scripts I hope to fin­ish revis­ing, as well as a hand­ful of new ideas I’m real­ly excit­ed about research­ing fur­ther and begin­ning to write, but those will all just have to wait until I com­plete the above. Revi­sion is one of those things that’s dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how long it will take, so I’m not sure if this list is even any­where close to doable. I’ll check back in Jan­u­ary to let you know how I’ve done! 🙂
 

An ALA Schneider Family Award for Emmanuel’s Dream

Schneider Award
This is old news at this point, but I’ve been so busy that I’m just now FINALLY get­ting around to post­ing it here. So, just in case you’ve been too busy to keep up with the news in the chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture indus­try, Emmanuel’s Dream has won the Schnei­der Fam­i­ly Book Award from the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion! The pur­pose of this spe­cial award is to “hon­or an author or illus­tra­tor for the artis­tic expres­sion of the dis­abil­i­ty expe­ri­ence for child and ado­les­cent audi­ences,” so I’m extreme­ly hon­ored that the com­mit­tee select­ed Emmanuel’s Dream.
Emmanuels Dream cover with stickerThis and oth­er Youth Media Awards were announced on Jan­u­ary 11, 2016, dur­ing the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion (ALA) Mid­win­ter Meet­ing & Exhibits in Boston and via live stream. Here in the Pacif­ic North­west, we have to get up at 5am to catch them, but it was def­i­nite­ly worth it! The award itself will be pre­sent­ed in Orlan­do dur­ing the ALA Annu­al Con­fer­ence & Exhi­bi­tion in June, and both Sean and I are both expect­ing to be able to attend.
Recip­i­ents are select­ed in three cat­e­gories: birth through grade school (age 0–8), mid­dle grade (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Emmanuel’s Dream won the award for young chil­dren, which was the very first award to be announced in the entire pro­gram. Next up was Fish in a Tree, which won a mid­dle-grade award. This only added to my excite­ment, as it was writ­ten by my friend and agency sis­ter Lyn­da Mul­laly Hunt!
Schneider Award flowersThank you to all of the mem­bers of the 2016 Schnei­der Fam­i­ly Book Award com­mit­tee, includ­ing Alyson Beech­er (com­mit­tee chair), Nan­cy L. Bau­mann, Bet­sy Fras­er, Beth McGuire, Elsworth Rock­e­feller, Joan­na Tam­plin, Car­o­line Ward, and Jill Gar­cia! I’m espe­cial­ly grate­ful to Kather­ine Schnei­der and the Schnei­der fam­i­ly for spon­sor­ing this impor­tant award. It is such a huge hon­or to receive it, and I hope it will help the book find its way into the hands of more kids who need to hear its mes­sage. Thank you also to my fan­tas­tic agent, Ammi-Joan Paque­tte, for believ­ing in this sto­ry; to Sean Qualls, for illus­trat­ing it so beau­ti­ful­ly; and to every­one at Schwartz & Wade/Random House for all of their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, which made it into the book it is today. And look, they even sent me some gor­geous flow­ers to celebrate!
Notables SealOn the heels of the Schnei­der Fam­i­ly Award, it was also announced that Emmanuel’s Dream was includ­ed on the ALA ALSC’s Notable Chil­dren’s Books list. Each year a com­mit­tee of the Asso­ci­a­tion for Library Ser­vice to Chil­dren (ALSC) iden­ti­fies the best of the best in chil­dren’s books. Accord­ing to the Nota­bles Cri­te­ria, “notable” is defined as: Wor­thy of note or notice, impor­tant, dis­tin­guished, out­stand­ing. As applied to chil­dren’s books, notable should be thought to include books of espe­cial­ly com­mend­able qual­i­ty, books that exhib­it ven­ture­some cre­ativ­i­ty, and books of fic­tion, infor­ma­tion, poet­ry and pic­tures for all age lev­els (birth through age 14) that reflect and encour­age chil­dren’s inter­ests in exem­plary ways. It’s an incred­i­ble hon­or to see Emmanuel’s Dream on that list of amaz­ing books! Thank you, ALSC!
 

Summer 2015 roundup

The days are (final­ly) get­ting cool­er and damper here in the Pacif­ic North­west and most of the kids are back in school, so it seems like a good time to reflect on the summer.
I typ­i­cal­ly don’t get to do much writ­ing-relat­ed work over the sum­mer, since the kids are home from school and the sun is shin­ing, but this sum­mer was filled with fun and excit­ing author events!

2015-07-11 Andersons Bookshop kids books extravaganza 2First, I got to par­tic­i­pate in a huge author pan­el at Ander­son­’s Book­shop in Naperville, IL. The kids’ books extrav­a­gan­za on July 11th includ­ed some of my best friends in the indus­try, includ­ing Chris­tine Hayes, Ruth Bar­shaw, Lyn­da Hunt, Keyan Atte­ber­ry, Jen­nifer Cham­b­liss Bert­man, Tara Dair­man, Janet Fox, and Amy Finnegan. It was even more won­der­ful because I got to meet the very spe­cial some­one who wrote one of my all-time favorite reviews Emmanuel’s Dream, Kee­gan Knott, and it was her birth­day, too! I got a hug. It’s a day I won’t soon for­get, let me tell you. Thank you Ander­son­’s and Kee­gan for the won­der­ful mem­o­ries! =D

EMLA costume partyNext I head­ed to the Erin Mur­phy Lit­er­ary Agency client retreat at The Abbey Resort at Lake Gene­va. I can’t even begin to explain what a pow­er­ful, amaz­ing this annu­al event is for me, and this year was no dif­fer­ent. We do lots of fun, sil­ly things like the cos­tume par­ty, but we also do a lot of learn­ing, net­work­ing, shar­ing, con­nect­ing, grow­ing, and more. I feel so blessed to be a part of this community!
2015-07-12 Mustard Museum2015-07-12 St LouisIMG_2675From there I con­tin­ued on down to St. Louis to sign books at ILA and con­duct a research trip. Our first stop was the Nation­al Mus­tard Muse­um.

What am I research­ing there, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see! St. Louis was beau­ti­ful, ILA was a lot of fun, and I even got to go to
Cyn­thia Levin­son’s book launch par­ty for Watch Out for Fly­ing Kids while I was there. Plus, the research trip was a huge suc­cess. I can’t wait to get back to work on that manuscript!

I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to appear at sev­er­al sum­mer camps, includ­ing one on being a change­mak­er and anoth­er on ear­ly lit­er­a­cy, which I loved, and I did inter­views on two dif­fer­ent live radio programs.

IMG_2956Last but cer­tain­ly not least, I also spoke at the Pacif­ic North­west Library Asso­ci­a­tion (PNLA) annu­al con­fer­ence in Port­land with two of my favorite non­fic­tion authors, Mary Cronk Far­rell and Eliz­a­beth Rusch, and I did my first sto­ry­time for My Dog Is the Best at Uni­ver­si­ty Book­store in Bellevue.
It was a busy, ful­fill­ing sum­mer, and now I’m look­ing for­ward to some qui­et writ­ing time!
 

Radio Interview: Brooke Taylor’s A Special Connection

I recent­ly had the hon­or of being inter­viewed by Brooke Tay­lor on her inspir­ing radio show, A Spe­cial Con­nec­tion on WHKW AM1220 in Cleve­land, Ohio. Brooke just hap­pened to have stum­bled across one of my books at her local pub­lic library and was moved by it, so she reached out to me to talk about it.
The whole show is fan­tas­tic, but if you’re in a rush, we start dis­cussing Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Sto­ry of Emmanuel Ofo­su Yeboah at about the 31:58 mark, and Be a Change­mak­er: How to Start Some­thing that Mat­ters at about 45:37.
I hope you’ll enjoy listening!
https://soundcloud.com/living-the-word/a‑special-connection-with-brooke-taylor-july-25th-2015
What fun! Huge thanks to both Brooke and her pro­duc­er, Brett Crowe, for mak­ing it such a pleasure.
I’ve got a cou­ple more radio inter­views in the works as well, so please stay tuned for more audio in the com­ing weeks!

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