I’m thrilled to announce that Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah has been selected to receive a 2015 Eureka! Honor Book Award from the California Reading Association.
The California Reading Association has established this award to celebrate and honor nonfiction children’s books. The Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award will assist teachers, librarians, and parents in identifying outstanding nonfiction books for their students and children.
And, it means a shiny new sticker for the cover! 🙂
Emmanuel’s Dream is in some excellent company, too! Click here for the full list of winners. I guarantee you find some great nonfiction for kids (which means it’s great for adults, too!).
Thank you, too, to Sean for being such a great co-presenter and awesome human being. I’m so happy we finally got to meet!
Thank you to Akiko and my friends Mike and Jeanne Dahmus for taking photos and giving me permission to use them here, and for buying books!
And thank you to the Texas Book Festival organizers and volunteers for making it all happen. It was such an honor to be a part of it all.
As you can probably tell by my books Be a Changemaker and Emmanuel’s Dream, I love writing about heroes and changemakers. It should be no surprise, then, that I love reading about them, too. My favorite kinds of stories are those about ordinary people who acted with extraordinary strength, conviction, and courage, and the book I just finished reading is full of people doing just that. In Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson (Scholastic Press, August 2015), the author has clearly done a great deal of careful research to bring us narrative nonfiction about the WWII resistance movement in Denmark from the perspective of some of those who took part in it. It’s a gripping tale of adventure and suspense, and one that has rarely been told.
Deborah has been interviewed on this blog before, and I’m super excited to welcome her back once again as part of the Courage and Defiance blog tour. I hope you enjoy the interview!
LAT: I know I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Deborah. What kind of young reader do you think Courage & Defiance will appeal to? What other books might be read-alikes?
DH: I visit schools all over the country and love to ask students what they’re reading. While fantasy and science fiction are always popular, I’m usually surprised by the number of students – girls and boys – who tell me they like to read about history and like nonfiction. There are definitely kids who read everything they can get their hands on topics such as the Titanic and World War II, but I think readers who enjoyed Number the Stars by Lois Lowry or The Diary of Anne Frank will also enjoy Courage & Defiance.
LAT: This is a story that many of us probably haven’t heard before. Why do you think that might be?
DH: I think perhaps that here in the U.S., we’re most naturally interested in stories that take place after America entered World War II on December 7, 1941. (As it happens, my next nonfiction book about submarines in the Pacific war begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor and will be out in 2016 for the 75th anniversary.) While I did find a number of adult nonfiction books about the experience of Danes during the German occupation, which began on April 9, 1940, almost all were scholarly titles or of interest primarily to historians (including a 600-page book about the SOE in Denmark). I feel fortunate that I was able to find as much as I did in English, but I am sure there is much more available in Danish. We were able to access the photo archives of the Museum of Danish Resistance.
LAT: During the research phase of Courage & Defiance, what discoveries did you come across that made you feel like you’d struck gold? Was there anything in the research that came as a surprise?
DH: At author visits, I tell students that my favorite part of writing is the research. And since I knew little when I began several years ago, I felt like I was discovering something new and incredible at every corner. Probably the most significant discovery I made was finding a memoir in English entitled A Letter to My Descendents by Niels Skov. Niels, whom I later had the privilege to meet, came to the U.S. after the war, where he received a Ph.D. and became a college professor. His personal account was so incredibly lively and vibrant – which matched his personality, even at age ninety-four. To my surprise, he had been deported to a German labor camp at the same time as another activist whose story I tell, but they did not meet. It made me realize just how many incredible stories there are in history, and how easily they are lost.
LAT: This one may be tricky, but if you can fathom a guess… What do you think it was about the Danes that made them able to resist the Germans and support their Jewish countrymen so effectively?
DH: Well, I am not sure I am qualified to say, but what comes across in all the first-person accounts I found was that ordinary people shared an unwavering sense of human decency, a love of country, and a commitment to doing the right thing – even at great cost. It seems to me that as the war went on, the confidence and belief that people had in democratic values helped to give them the courage to take risks.
LAT: In the book, you asked Niels what his advice to young people today would be. Now that you’ve done all this research and written such a fantastic book, what is YOUR advice to young people today?
DH: While young people in America now may not be faced with life-and-death decisions as Danish citizens were in the 1940s, we all grapple with difficult personal choices. So perhaps I’d simply give the same advice I’ve often told my own two children: make good choices and do good work in the world. And, of course, I have to add: keep reading!
LAT: That’s great advice, Deborah. Thanks so much for visiting today!
For other stops on the Courage and Defiance blog tour please check deborahhopkinson.com.
A record 300 authors will be appearing at the 2015 Texas Book Festival, Oct. 17 and 18, and I’ll be one of them!
This is exciting for many reasons:
1) I get to talk about EMMANUEL’S DREAM!
2) I get to meet the illustrator of Emmanuel’s Dream, Sean Qualls, for the first time ever!
3) Many of my favorite authors and author friends will be there.
4) I love Austin.
5) I love readers.
I can’t wait!
Many thanks to the folks at Blue Slip Media and Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House for making it happen. 🙂
I had the great good fortune to be on another radio show a couple of weeks ago, this time with Sister Jenna on America Meditating.
I come on at about 15:28, talking about my writing journey, Be a Changemaker, and Emmanuel’s Dream.
I hope you enjoy listening!
Thank you to Sister Jenna and her assistant, Antonia, for the interview and also for their wonderful, positive energy throughout. It was a pleasure to participate!
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!
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!
FirstBook.org is an organization that helps kids in need get access to new books of their very own. I’m a huge fan of what they do and have personally supported their mission for a long time, so it’s an incredible honor to have one of my books selected for their marketplace. It’s an even bigger honor to have one of my books selected for their new diversity campaign, called Stories for All. According to their webpage,
With Support from Top Business Leaders, Nonprofit Launches 60,000 New-to-Paperback Books, as Part of its Market-Driven Solution to Make Diverse Stories Affordable and Relevant for Those Serving Children in Need.
What that means is that teachers and other professionals who work with underprivileged children can now request a special edition of Emmanuel’s Dream for just $3.30, which means more children will get a chance to read about Emmanuel’s story and hopefully be inspired to follow their own dreams!
Shortly after the announcement, FirstBook hosted a Twitter chat about diversity in children’s books with fellow #StoriesForAll author Jessixa Bagley and I. You can read the transcript here.
Please help me cheer on FirstBook, along with their sponsors and partners, for recognizing the need for diverse books for kids and their ongoing commitment to getting books into the hands of the children who need them most. And, if you wish to make a financial contribution, you can do so here. Thanks!
This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time now, but just never got around to doing. Better late than never, right? Here’s a roundup of all the fabulous blogs that featured Emmanuel’s Dream a few months (gulp) ago for the blog tour. If you want to read reviews of the book, guest posts from me, or interviews with me about the book, look no further! Here they are gathered all in one place to make things easy for you.
|Mon, Jan 12||Great Kid Books||Review and interview|
|Tues, Jan 13||5 Minutes for Books||Review|
|Wed, Jan 14||Unleashing Readers||Review, teachers’ tools, and interview|
|Thurs, Jan 15||Sharpread||Interview|
|Fri, Jan 16||Cracking the Cover||Interview|
|Sat, Jan 17||Booking Mama||Review|
|Mon, Jan 19||Once Upon a Story||Review and interview|
|Tues, Jan 20||Proseandkahn||Review|
|Wed, Jan 21||Geo Librarian||Review and interview|
|Thurs, Jan 22||Nonfiction Detectives||Review|
|Fri, Jan 23||The Fourth Musketeer||Review|
|Fri, Jan 23||Kirby’s Lane||Guest post, Friend Friday|
|Mon, Jan 26||NC Teacher Stuff||Review|
|Tues, Jan 27||Teach Mentor Texts||Review and writing prompt|
Many thanks to these fantastic bloggers for their dedication to promoting great books for kids! I hope you’ll check them out for their other reviews and posts, too.
A couple of weeks ago I announced giveaways here and on Goodreads for both Be a Changemaker and Emmanuel’s Dream. We have winners!
From my list of newsletter subscribers, chosen by Random.org, the winners are…
Jim McGinley wins a signed copy of Be a Changemaker! I swear it was completely random, but this is just so perfect. Jim was one of the very first people to help and encourage me on my quest to write this book, and his early support meant a lot to me. He’s even mentioned in the acknowledgements. Sometimes fate is hard to deny, you know?
The winner of a signed copy of Emmanuel’s Dream is Lindsay Fouts! This seems like a great fit, too, since Lindsay is both a picture book writer and the mother of a young son. I hope they enjoy the book.
And on Goodreads, the winners were far flung: Adage from Romania won Be a Changemaker, and Jessy from India won Emmanuel’s Dream. Yes, it’ll cost me a little extra in postage, but it’s exciting to know that my books will be traveling around the world!
Finally, in case anyone is curious, some giveaway stats from Goodreads…
- 1004 people requested Emmanuel’s Dream and 464 added it to their To-Read shelf, and
- 1441 people requested Be a Changemaker and 610 added it to their To-Read shelf.
I’m so happy about the recent accolades my books have received that I’ve decided to host not just one giveaway–but FOUR!
To celebrate the fact that BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was a finalist for the Cybils awards, I’ll be giving away a signed copy of the paperback edition on Goodreads, here:
To celebrate the starred review from School Library Journal for EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, I’ll be giving away a signed copy on Goodreads, here:
AND, I’ll give away a signed copy of either one (winners get to choose!) to two random subscribers to my mailing list. If you’re not a subscriber yet, just sign up below. (I only send a short newsletter once/month.)