Success follows a young boy who is working on a school assignment to discover what the meaning of success is by interviewing people he knows. What was the inspiration for your story?
The inspiration for this particular series of stories comes from my students over the years. As an elementary school teacher, I have seen countless challenges that kids face. I am inspired by them to write stories that touch on big life lessons, such as identity, perseverance, kindness, and courage. This story came to me while I was on a walk with my oldest sister one Sunday morning. She and I were chatting about my students, her own kids who are now adults, and life in general. If you have sisters, or have been around sisters, you know how we can bounce all over the place in conversations! Anyhow, as the day went on, the idea became more and more clear, and the story sort of wrote itself!
The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Helen Ayle?
I agree, the art is fantastic! Helen and I have been collaborating for about two years. We discovered one another for our very first project, a book called Good Deeds Gone Wrong that also has the same main character as Success. We have collaborated on seven projects so far. She is a wonderful artist and illustrator. Her ideas are creative, and I love how she brings different perspectives in the illustrations. My favorite from this book is while Stephen was lying awake in bed… I love the colors and mood on that page!
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The main themes that I wanted to explore through this book are identity and defining success. I think it is important for kids to consider this idea of identity — who we believe we are and how we see ourselves. I also hope kids understand that success looks different for different people. Ultimately, I hope kids think about success a little differently, just like the main character. I see children come through my classroom each year who are so uniquely talented, and often don’t feel successful based on school criteria. They maybe struggle with reading or math, but perhaps are incredibly logical thinkers. Or maybe they are amazing artists, or kind and helpful people who jump up to assist anyone who needs it. I have kids who are incredible public speakers, dancers, writers, athletes, and mathematicians. Ultimately, I hope this book helps kids feel seen and understood. I hope it helps them consider that each person is gifted in different ways, and that is what makes the world function well. We need all of the talents and perspectives!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I just released another piece about a week ago that Helen illustrated for me called A Big Family’s Big Trip. I was inspired to write a story after reading the 1978 Caldecott winner The Relatives Came. The story is about my family’s trip to Israel in December 2018- January 2019. My parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2019, and they announced that rather than having a big party, they wanted to take us all on a big trip to Israel! It was an amazing adventure, to say the least. And Helen did a fantastic job creating the thirteen characters inspired by my family! She has also finished illustrations for another book called Tough Turning Ten that will be released this summer. AND I’m also putting together a book for another series that I have with an exceptional illustrator named Pablo D. A’lio. That series has brief lessons for everyday activities that are also wise words of wisdom for life. We created three books of Grandpa’s Lessons, and now we are diving into Grandma’s Guides… We can learn a lot about life from activities like fishing, hiking, cooking, and gardening. Plus grandparents always have the best advice, right?
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Posted by Literary_Titan
What is the meaning of success? This is what one class has been assigned to figure out. Stephen thought he had it all figured out, being successful meant winning at his sports games and getting a trophy. However, with each new person he interviews he gets a different answer about what success is to them. By the end of the day, Stephen is confused and thinks his original idea of what being successful is could be wrong. He spends the night thinking and dreaming about the answers he got. In the morning he comes to a new and eye-opening conclusion about what the meaning of success is.
Success, written by Ruthie Godfrey and illustrated by Helen Ayle, is a beautifully written picture book about self-confidence, identity, and personal accomplishments. Told in a manner that kindergarten and young elementary level kids can understand, this illuminating children’s book explains what success means from a variety of different perspectives. With answers being provided from different children and adults, kids will learn how each person has a different perspective with a common theme connecting them all.
The full-page colorful artwork accompanying the story gives all the characters unique personalities to coincide with their answers to what being successful means to them. The artwork shows diversity, allowing children to find a character they can relate to. Each character shows meaningful expression and helps younger readers understand the story.
The concept of success can be hard for even adults to comprehend. This well-written book will help children and adults develop their own idea of what success is for them and in the process help them discover parts of their own identity and what is important to them.
Success is an inspiring picture book that will help children visualize the concept of success. Through entertaining art and dialogue, this extraordinary children’s book will teach children how to define success for themselves and build self-confidence.
Pages: 38 | ASIN : B09BK4RRHR
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The inspiring story of Bruce Sheridan is one of hope, optimism, having a bright future, and learning from one’s mistakes. After reading A Well Launched Life: How Young People Can Live an Intentional Fulfilling Life, you will have much to reflect on from your own life. Bruce Sheridan shows compassion and discretion in addressing some of the more sensitive issues. Bruce’s advice is the kind you want when your life turns upside down.
When reading A Well Launched Life, readers see that opening up about life, including mistakes, is not easy. However, the author is an open book. He admits his failures and highlights his successes. Bruce teaches readers to be loving, intentional and dedicated to whatever they do. I like the author’s approach in the book while talking about disappointments. He uses examples from his life to show the life lessons he learned.
Some of the important topics that Bruce Sheridan discusses revolve around addiction, discipline, hard work, choosing a partner, finances, and friendships. The chapters that I related to the most were about taking control of one’s finances and getting started. From this chapter, I learned that there is time for everything and that if you believe in God, things fall into place eventually.
The chapter on getting started was also interesting. Bruce Sheridan drew a table that illustrates the different stages of his life, his traits, and the percentage of life he has lived. I applaud him for coming up with this table as it gives the reader a clear view of the different stages of life. This table alone was enough to get me into strategizing some things in life.
Bruce Sheridan’s narrating style is conversational and straightforward, with some humor mixed to bring home his points. As a result, readers will feel motivated and get the strength to keep pushing through hard times to reach their goals. You do not need to get to your prime years to be the best version of yourself.
A Well Launched Life: How Young People Can Live an Intentional Fulfilling Life is a self-help book for teens and young adults with information on spirituality, career, fighting personal battles, being financially conscious, and knowing God.
Pages: 194 | ASIN : B09SN2TBBN
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The Maestro Monologue is a loud optimistic call to your true self to awaken and remove the layers and layers of “myths, superstitions, misconceptions, and negative opinions” that hold you back from realizing your true potential. This inspiring book is divided into four parts, each part successively building on to the next, ultimately evicting this intruder in your life that pretends to be you and making space for your true, authentic self.
This introspective book takes a very conversational and optimistic tone, and it feels as if the author, Rob White, is talking to you directly. However, that doesn’t mean that the book doesn’t motivate you to change. It does. It challenges your complacency to this intruder. The first part deals with self-awareness. “There is no better way to mark the end of an era and initiate a new beginning than by studying how you understand yourself to be.”
This intellectually invigorating book is interspersed with a few prompts and probes and is not just meant to be read but to be followed along. And with the findings of these moments of self-introspection, the book moves on to the next part. It is a perfect mix of inspiring quotes, stories that resonate, words that incite change and challenge inertia and complacency, tips that guide, and prompts that reveal. Although nothing can replace talking to another person who helps you through, White indeed has managed to come as close as possible with this powerful book.
The Maestro Monologue: Discover Your Genius. Defeat Your Intruder. Design Your Destiny is recommended for anyone who feels stuck in life and needs a little guidance. More than a self-help book, rather a guide and a helping hand that helps readers navigate through life towards mastery. It’s perfectly acceptable, in fact, expected even, to reread the book several times and keep on coming back to it in times of need.
Pages: 271 | ASIN : B098J78GD2
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With a collection of singular point of view narratives the author, Mayne Leitzer, offers his first complete book of poetry; 103 Simple Poems From One Simple Person. The book is sectioned into chapters outlining the types of poems that follow, what those writings mean to the author, and how they came to be. The title is indicative of the style of writing, not the writer, as the poetry is fairly simple; using straight forward thoughts and uncomplicated prose to reflect on life’s complications. The story arc is more of a summation of personal perspective and reflection than a journey forward or illustration of action.
In penning “103 Simple Poems” Mayne Leitzer offers up self reflection, self deprecation, a heavy dollop of fundamentalist religious dogma, and more than a little bit of sadness and remorse, with a glimmer of joy and hope.
Many of his poems are jargon one could find on a motivational poster or greeting card, but that is not at all bad. Life can get messy and sometimes people need soft, plushy words to find comfort and solace. The reader will find many situations that they can relate to; lost love, death, pursuing success, loneliness, finding your destiny, conflict of conviction, etc.
However, there are many poems that can be divisive. Sex before marriage, gun control, abortion, prayer in school, Heaven and Hell, those types of things. The thoughts Leitzer lays out are organic in nature and not derived of a need to be quoted for inspirational prose or to start a deep conversation, but rather, just as he states; a need to express his soul at different stages in life.
Some poems showcase the more complex layers of his humanity that struggle to shine under the dominance of a narrow vision. The Promised Land poem is thoughtful and embraceable. Not a Bad Day and One Moonlit Night lets out his optimistic side which he admits is not in his nature. Leitzer is honest about his mistakes and his struggle with alcoholism. His love poems are truly good; especially Seasons, A Smile and Rock A-bye.
There are a few grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors, which are distracting as is his zealous religious fervor, but his writings let the reader feel his authenticity and the last few poems wrap up nicely to summarize his goal and wishes for success.
This book uses simple and fluid style to expand peoples emotional depths but seemed content to keep its voice generalized. The individual writings have value no matter your religious leanings. At the end the reader will come away with some reflections of their own and maybe, quote a few lines for their own stages of life.
Pages: 124 | ISBN: 1425979149
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Be Unstoppable uses your experience and wisdom to help others achieve success through adversity. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Have been encouraged by so many people and my story was featured in business and leadership magazine as well circumstances that I was placed you read in my book cornered me on writing of this book.
You have been the founder and CEO of numerous companies. How has your experience helped you write this book?
Growing up on street from age 8 and looking over my shoulder to navigate about life in general has helped me a lot on the writing of the book. Indeed, the many ventures that I explored has helped me greatly to provide wisdom’s that business people needs as the book written from real life experience than business books that we find in shelves written by famous succession business people that used lift instead of stairs that doesn’t relate to most readers.
In this book you touch on many themes including sacrifice, hope and courage. What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?
The many themes are very important ingredients that one needs to overcome challenge and be unstoppable but delegation is a key as it gives you the time to explore other options unless you will be stuck in one issues/business that might consume your entire time/life.
Be Unstoppable examines failure as well as success and how to keep going through both. What was one failure in your life that you learned a lot from?
I failed many times but learnt hard way that I’m the one and only myself will pull off from failure.
We don’t usually know what we are born to do. We certainly also don’t know what kinds of obstacles we will face, or what forms they will take. When we understand how the world has been connected through history—through the movement of people, goods, languages, music, movies, and many other things—we see our world more clearly as a shared planet and a home for everyone.
There is very little in life more important than acting quickly and with great decisiveness. Many people all over the world have dreams—big dreams or small dreams. To get there, we have to take risks. People who have studied business or been in the business world, like me, know that in business, one often discusses risk versus reward.
Be Unstoppable is a golden nugget of wisdom, through the stories into which my life’s energy has flowed and emerged greater each time, that will bring you gold, in real money and in what is important in your life.
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Follow George after he makes the decision to become his own boss running a small boat. Follow him through the tumultuous journey that leads him to eventually hand over reigns of a successful fleet of liners. We get to see the change in his mindset from worker to supervisor and finally, owner. It took strength, wisdom, knowledge and lots of other things. This is the story of a small business growing into a conglomerate, from a toddler to a fully legal human being.
According to research, only about half of the business started will still stand strong in five years time. This is quite sad for a world where entrepreneurship is highly encouraged. This book is meant to decrease this percentage. One will learn to grow their business from a period of feast and famine to a period where the business comfortably stands on its own, where the welfare and life of the business are not threatened by regular/normal business occurrences. Like a windfall of clients for example.
According to Ray Moore, one should not wait until the growth occurs. They should anticipate it. To successfully go through these growth moments, one requires a vision. They must also keep the business in balance. That is time, team, delivery and money. They must all be applied in appropriate proportions. One must set out the stall for growth. Managing the mindset is the final condition.
This is a short book, that means that the information is presented in a compact package. The whole book is presented as a metaphor. This makes the book highly appealing. It is useful even for those who do not like or have the time to read. It is sober advice from an experienced person. It is advice that actually makes a lot of sense. The steps and tips are easy to follow and understand. One thing that readers will definitely appreciate is that the author does not use complicated business words. He shows the reader how to manage a business without confusing them with difficult economic jargon.
The author outlines the common mistakes entrepreneurs make. He shows what happens to the business after the mistakes are made. He then turns around and outlines the proper way to handle such turning points so that fatal mistakes are not made.
This is a fantastic business guide that provides an easy to understand road-map for getting from a small flailing venture to a successful business. Regardless of the goal, it can be achieved by following these simple directions. Five stars out of five for this crash course in entrepreneurship.
Pages: 52 | ISBN: 1721213287
Posted in Book Reviews
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Life is not meant to be a straight and smooth road. It is always inspiring to meet someone who has survived the obstacles from travelling a long and bumpy road. Tariku Bogale is one such person. He is not shy about letting the reader into his world, about letting the reader see the great, the bad, and the downright dirt. He is honest and transparent. His narration of his life is colored with moments that should be embarrassing but in retrospect are quite significant to the man he is today.
Unstoppable: Challenge Accepted chronicles the life of Tariku Bogale. He talks about his life as an abandoned child all the way to the glamorous city of New York. He talks about his journey from a self-reliant 8 year old with barely enough to get by to a global business mogul renting high end New York residences. He talks about his roots. They are quite weak to begin with but they become stronger as he grows up. His resolve is seen from an early age when he brings his mother to live with him regardless of his father’s wishes. He faces and survives heartbreak before the age of fifteen. It does set him back a little bit. A fact he is not afraid to disclose but he gets up and dusts himself off anyway. As he says, there were angels at every point of his life. The kindness of strangers has helped him a great deal. It is admirable that he has chosen to credit them where necessary.
This story is wonderfully told. The author is looking to show the struggles he has been through on his journey to the man he is today. It is well written. It is thrilling and interesting. Often, we look at successful people as super humans but this story confirms that they are mere mortals just like us. They make mistakes and bow to urges just like us. It renews the reader’s courage and motivation.
The author has a proper grasp of the English language. He understands the nuance of storytelling and applies it quite effectively in this book. This story is captivating and vivid. However, there seems to be large chunks of the story missing, chunks that would have contributed to the value of the story. The book could use a brush over from an editor. However, that does not quite take away from the inspiring quality of the story. It is still a great story.
Tariku Bogale is an inspiring man. He tells this book in a semi-casual way. One will probably be able to take more out of it than if it was told in a formal demeanor. The author’s life story would make a good movie. Very dramatic. But then, what is to be expected considering the meaning of his name.
Pages: 234 | ASIN: B074HGR6LD
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