Written by Laurie Ann Thompson
Reviewed by Sebastian E. (age 9), Jack P. (age 8), Ryan A. (age 9), Hudson B. (age 9)
This book is about a disabled boy named Emmanuel, who lives in Ghana, who changed the world. He proved people wrong - that disabled people couldn’t do what able-bodied people could do. When he was born he only had one working leg. It’s really difficult to be disabled in Ghana because people don’t let you go to school and they judge you on your looks and if you have a disabled body part they think it is a curse. It was different for Emmanuel because his mom wanted him to go to school and do things that other people can do. He had to hop 2 miles to school, he got a job, he climbed coconut trees with one leg and he got a job shining shoes. He wanted to play soccer but his friends wouldn’t let him so he bought a soccer ball, with his own money, that barely anyone in his class had. He only let them play with his ball if he could play with them. Then he played and got really good and the kids respected him.
Emmanuel wanted to show people that disabled people could do anything they want. He wrote a letter to to the Athlete’s Foundation in San Diego, California and asked for a bike because he wanted to ride around the whole country to show people that disabled people could do anything. So they sent him a bike, gloves, a shirt, shorts, socks and a helmet. He did it! He rode around the whole country and lots of cities, and people saw him in a different way. He proved that disabled people could do the same things that other people could do.
This book is like Wonder because when the kid in Wonder, Augie, was born he had 27 plastic surgeries and he had a physical problem like Emmanuel. The thing we loved about this book is that it shows that anyone can do anything even if they have a disabled body part. One of our favorite parts is when Emmanuel shared his soccer ball and he made friends because we like when people make friends. We really liked this book because it shows you how this boy went though his life as a kid and it’s non-fiction.
We recommend this book to people who like narrative non-fiction.
P.S. There is a documentary about Emmanuel called Emmanuel’s Gift that you can watch.