Dare to Dream!
Sandra McLeod Humphrey
(Reviewer - Rebecca Brown)
2005 Prometheus Books
25 Extraordinary Lives of people from all walks of life made their dreams come true.
So many of our young people today are lacking real heroes, real goals, & a sense of direction to their lives. The intent of Dare to Dream! is to restore real dreams & real heroes to our young people -- not the magical ones who have no problems & no family life -- these are real heroes who had dreams, committed themselves, & then worked hard & overcome obstacles to attain them.
As you read the biographical sketches of these men & women who left their mark on our global lives, either from inventing light bulbs or painting pictures that mesmerize us; excelled in sports, science, politics & comedy; broke the color bar & gender barrier; wrote poetry & books; were the first of their kind in their field; put their life on the line for a principle. Whether what they accomplished is “important” or “entertaining”, all of them we remember, because not only were their contributions to us all profound, they were also very real people who were very good at being human.
You will also notice that there are certain similarities which occur consistently & repeatedly throughout these people's biographies: They all had courage. Some physical, some moral, & some spiritual -- they all were willing to take risks, & stand by their convictions even when sometimes, it meant standing alone.
They all made a personal commitment to a dream, & then had the patience, perseverance, & determination to pursue that dream in spite of frustrations & discouragement. They were marathon runners rather than sprinters, & they hung in there for the entire race.
They all had obstacles to overcome: some physical, such as a handicap, a lack of athletic ability or physical beauty; some had psychological obstacles like extreme shyness or feelings of inferiority; some had financial obstacles, either great wealth (& that may surprise you!) or extreme poverty, & some were social obstacles, racial discrimination or educational deprivation. Some rose above these obstacles by working hard & believing in themselves, & others turned their apparent disadvantage to advantage by changing their own attitude.
& lastly, all had a larger perspective than their own self. Their fulfillment came not from personal recognition or material success, rather from their dedication to improving the lives of those around them.
I was surprised to learn of the history of some of Sandra McLeod Humphrey's choices, namely: Nellie Bly, Chien-Shiung Wu; Marian Wright Edelman, Ellen Ochoa, Heather Whitestone & Ben Carson. Made me go out on a web search to learn more about them. Then on the Science Channel, there was Ben Carson talking about the brain surgery he performs.
Two I'd met: Martin Luther King, Jr. & Arthur Ashe. Others' works I'd admired for years: Eleanor Roosevelt, Bill Cosby, Georgia O'Keeffe, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, & Gloria Estefan.
Then there are the ones who have become so much a part of our history we don't even remember that, once upon a time, they'd been young & had to struggle: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Jim Thorpe, Norman Vincent Peale, Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, Sammy Sosa, Michael Jordan, & Sandra Day O'Connor; & finally, Helen Keller, whose very survival inspires.
Ages 9-12. Do visit her website: www.kidscandoit.com. Dare to Dream! has received outstanding endorsements from nationally recognized educators including: Philip Bigler, Director, the Madison Center, James Madison University, & 1998 National Teacher of the Year; Gene Bedley, PTA National Educator of the Year; Donald Draayer, 1990 National Superintendent of the Year; & Terry Hitchcock, Executive Director, The Heroes & Dreams.
Sandra McLeod Humphrey, a retired Clinical Psychologist, is the Recipient of the National Character Education Center's Award for “Exemplary Leadership in Ethics Education” & the Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature.
More from Sandra McLeod Humphrey:
It's Up to You ...What Do You Do?
If You Had to Choose, What Would You Do?
Keepin' It Real: A Young Teen Talks With God.
Books make great gifts: no calories, carbs or cholesterol! |