Wrap-Up Wednesday: Making a Difference

Can one person make the world a better place?  Read one of these books to see the answer is a resounding yes!

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls.  Published by Random House.

Growing up in Ghana with only one leg that worked, Emmanuel refused to believe he couldn’t do what all the other kids could do.  He learned to walk to school, play soccer, and ride a bike.  Eventually he rode that bike from one end of Ghana to the other to raise awareness about disabled people.  His work led to the passage of the Ghanaian Persons With Disabilities Act in 2006.

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Simone Shin.  Published by Kids Can Press.

Even a simple act like donating your old bicycle can help people thousands of miles away.  Follow the story of this bike, donated by an American boy, as it travels to Burkina Faso for multiple reincarnations.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery.  Published by Dial Books.

The youngest person on the Selma march, Lynda Blackmon Lowery wanted to show Governor George Wallace her injuries from the beating she received at the Bloody Sunday protest on March 7, 1965.  “You have a voice, too,” she tells readers.  “And with determination, you can be a history maker, just like me.”

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon.  Published by Millbrook Press.

When Isatou Ceesay first encountered a plastic grocery bag in her Gambian village, she thought it was a light, strong alternative to the baskets she usually carried.  Years later, the bags were choking the goats who ate them and attracting mosquitoes as they festered in the trash.  Isatou got the idea to crochet the plastic into purses she and other women could sell to make money for improvements in their village.

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