Emmanuel Ofosue Yeboah

Imagine being born with a disability and because of it, your own father abandons your family. However, the power of a mother’s love is unmatched; it’s one that cannot be replaced. But your mother’s name is Comfort, and she lives up to her name, and she treats you no differently from her other children. In fact, due to her belief and faith in God, she names you Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

This is the true story of Emmanuel Ofosue Yeboah. Read about how he did not let his disability define him. Instead, he defined his disability. Read about how he became the man of the house to take care of his family when they needed him, despite having a disability. Read about how he had no friends at school. But that quickly changed; not only did he gain many friends but also he was well-respected.

I absolutely love this picture book. It teaches children that although they may be different from their peers, this does not mean that they should be looked down upon, ostracized, talked about, laughed at, and be considered useless and/or a curse. 

I also love how this book demonstrates that despite a physical challenge, children can live a full, complete, and normal life and be respected for who they are and not for what they look like. It also teaches children to define themselves and not to let something or somebody define them.

The illustrations are realistic, creative, and colorful. I am always amazed at an illustrator’s talent, and this is no different. Quall’s work is bold and detailed. The readers do not have to guess what or who something or someone is; the pictures say it all. There is a phrase which says, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the case of this book, yes, it is!

Always Forever Reading’s Rating = 💕💕💕💕💕

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The Underground Railroad

Purchased at Alkebu-Lan Images Bookstore

Always Forever Reading’s Rating =

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Consisting of ten chapters and 108 pages, this book teaches young readers all about the Underground Railroad. It focuses on the great and many risks that slaves took to gain their freedom. For example, the opening chapter tells readers about Henry Brown’s harrowing escape to freedom in a box. McDonough also explains to readers that the Underground Railroad was not a physical train but an invisible system that helped African American slaves escape the cruel treatment of slavery.

The illustrations in the book reflect the time period in which slaves lived. Instead of using illustrations with color, they are sketches, like what a person would create on a drawing pad. The sketches seem extremely real, and they are clear and easy to view. There are also maps that display the journeys of the Underground Railroad system, free and slave states, territories, and the Middle Passage. Moreover, young readers will learn about the chief crops of slavery.

I also like the inclusion of the photographs, which are great primary documents for the readers to view and/or read to learn more about the Underground Railroad. These pictures consist of slaves, railroad routes through Indiana and Michigan, abolitionists, receipts for purchased slaves, railroad conductors and operators, newspapers, novels, and even wanted signs advertising rewards for captured slaves. These details help readers to understand what life was like for slaves.

Should these young readers ever need to conduct research, write an essay for school, or want to read more about this timeframe, the timeline helps them to keep track of the year(s) that particular events occurred. The bibliography at the end of the book lists more resources that students can read about the Underground Railroad.

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Naomi M. Moyer

Black Women Who Dared

Always Forever Reading = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Coloured Women’s Club. Jackie Shane. Sylvia Estes Stark. The Hour-A-Day Study Club. Rosa Pryor. Sherona Hall. The Black Cross Nurses. Mary Miles Bibb. Chloe Cooley. BLOCKORAMA. This book focuses on the lives of ten black women and women’s groups that embodied strength, determination, and character.  They challenged injustices and through their actions, these women changed their communities for the better. These trailblazing, Black women and women’s groups are leaders to which ALL women can relate and continue to carry the torch. If you have never heard of these women, please read Black Women Who Dared because learning never stops. Thank you Ms. Moyer for publishing this inspiring book!! Personally, I am enlightened by the determination and strength of these women, and I know that, even when the road is bleak, my fight for education must continue.