Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
Written by Laurie Ann Thompson, Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Publisher’s Summary:
Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people–but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Primary Source Pairing:
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah is an inspiration to us all. His determination and perseverance set an example that you can do anything if you set your mind to it and believe in yourself. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an image of Emmanuel with this bicycle. Additionally, use a short video created by the company Pro-Form that highlights Emmanuel’s training and preparation for an upcoming bike ride to support his charity.

Additionally, use a map to show students where Ghana is in Africa. I keep a map next to the storytime corner and reference it frequently. You could also have laminated world maps for students to study.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see and hear.
  • What do you notice first?
  • Describe any words you see on the screen.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you notice that you can’t explain?
  • Describe how the video makes you feel.
  • Describe your feelings after watching the video.
  • What additional information do you want to learn after watching the video and reading the book Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Photograph of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah: Pro-Form
Do What Moves You Video: YouTube
Africa Map with Ghana Highlighted: Wikipedia