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Dare to Dream! 25 Extraordinary Lives

Sandra McLeod Humphrey

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Prometheus Books

Published : 2005

Copyright : Sandra McLeod Humphrey 2005

ISBN-10 : PB 1-59102-280-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-59102-280-0

Publisher's Write-Up

Magical heroes like Harry Potter, Spiderman, or Catwoman provide plenty of entertainment for kids, but in real life heroes are made of sterner stuff than celluloid fantasies. In this inspiring collection of biographies - covering historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Helen Keller as well as contemporary figures such as Toni Morrison and Michael Jordan - critically acclaimed writer and psychologist Sandra McLeod Humphrey teaches young people that heroes were once ordinary people whose strength of character helped them to achieve extraordinary things. Starting with only their dreams, they worked hard and overcame obstacles to make their dreams come true. Some overcame physical handicaps, others psychological barriers like extreme shyness or feelings of inferiority; some faced racial discrimination or educational disadvantage, others financial burdens. In spite of these frustrations and discouragements, all of these people discovered in themselves the patience, perseverance, and determination to pursue their dreams beyond every obstacle.

The message is clear: No matter who you are or where you come from, you too can accomplish extraordinary things, as long as you dare to dream and never, never, never give up!

About the Author:
Sandra McLeod Humphrey, a retired clinical psychologist, is a writer and consultant for the Heroes & Dreams Foundation, which provides character education materials to grades K-8 throughout North America. She is the author of the highly praised If You Had to Choose, What Would You Do? and many other books focused on moral education for children.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (070605) Rating (8/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 8/10
The narrative presented on the pages of Dare to Dream! is not a story book per se, rather Dare to Dream! profiles twenty five men and women from our past and present on the 113 pages of retired clinical psychologist writer Humphrey’s upper middle grade/YA inspirational work. Each personal sketch is divided into separate sections devoted to the childhood, as well as adult life and accomplishments. A black and white photo of the person profiled is included.

The heroes gracing writer Humphrey’s work run the gamut of inventors, sports figures, men, women, famous and not so well known, diverse religious and racial backgrounds, writers, poets, singers and philosophers are included. Little known as well as more commonly realized facts concerning each hero writer Humphrey characterizes are presented in clear, direct manner certain to fascinate young readers. Youngsters will learn that as a boy inventor Thomas Edison nearly perished when he fell into a grain elevator because he wants to see how the elevator worked. Helen Keller became a suffragette working toward equal rights for women and better pay for working class workers. Norman Vincent Peale, religious leader/public speaker was terribly shy as a child and single mother Maya Angelou, writer/poet singer struggled for years to care for her child and build a career. During his last year of high school Ben Carson, who became a noted surgeon, had only a single ten dollar bill when each college application required a ten dollar deposit. He was able to apply to only one school, luckily Yale accepted him and then he went on to gain an academic scholarship ensuring the costs of his education would be fulfilled.

Baseball players on steroids, millionaire basketball players and hip hop stars who espouse violence, denigration of women or a complacent attitude, money or power driven CEOs, too often today children lack bona fide heroes. ... Writer Humphrey's inspired work Dare to Dream! offers a potential option by setting down the lives both present-day and past of superlative individuals, whose lives and life lessons we all do good to appreciate and follow.

Through the four page vignettes showcasing the lives of dignitaries such as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Jim Thorpe, Heather Whitestone, and Eleanor Roosevelt Humphrey enlighten young readers toward understanding that those we call heroes were/are everyday people whose strength of character allowed them to accomplish exceptional acts. Beginning with dedication to their dreams, each persevered to master impediments standing between them and the fulfilment of those dreams. Racial discrimination, shyness or feelings of inferiority, physical handicap, educational disadvantage were impediments to overcome but not impediments to prevent these heroes from achieving their goal.

Dare to Dream! has a place on the classroom shelf, in the home library and therapist’s collection. Upper middle grade youngsters will find the fast paced, easily read vignettes engaging, interesting and absorbing for pleasure reading and as part of unit work concerning particular heroes in our society. Vocabulary used by writer Humphrey is well within the scope of upper middle grade youngsters. Dare to Dream! is a ‘read to’ book for youngsters in grades 2 –3- 4 and read alone for grades 5 – 12.

Dare to Dream! is a book I would read aloud, with some modification in my own Kindergarten/First Grade classroom.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (7th Jume 2005)

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