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

Emmanue's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Laurie Ann Thompson, illus. by Sean Qualls. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-449-81744-5

Thompson (Be a Changemaker) presents a warm, matter-of-fact overview of the life of Emmanuel Ofofu Yeboah, born in Ghana in 1977: “Two bright eyes blinked in the light,/ two healthy lungs let out a powerful cry,/ two tiny fists opened and closed,/ but only one strong leg kicked.” Even before Thompson arrives at Yeboah’s efforts to change attitudes about physical disabilities through a cross-Ghana bicycle ride (the subject of a 2005 documentary, Emmanuel’s Gift), his determination to be seen for who he is—and not just for his disability—is made crystal clear. As a child, he “hopped to school and back,/ two miles each way,” and at age 13 he traveled to Accra on his own to support his family after his mother fell ill. Working in a palette of creamy oranges, teals, and gray-blues, Qualls (The Case for Loving) provides solid visual and emotional scaffolding for the setbacks and triumphs Yeboah faced while demonstrating “that being disabled does not mean/ being unable.” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)