by Laurie Ann Thompson
This is the true story of Emmanuel Yeboah. Born in Ghana in 1977 with a deformed leg, he became the personification of courage, strength—mental and physical—and determination even as a child. His life, challenges and accomplishments are well-known in Ghana.
Discussion questions from SOMN
- What is Emmanuel’s message? How is he spreading his message? What do you think of Emmanuel’s method for spreading his message?
- How did Emmanuel overcome the prejudice and unfair treatment that he faced? How did he help other people with disabilities around the world? What do you think it would be like to ride a bike 400 miles? Do you think you could do it?
- Have people ever judged you or been mean to you just because you’re different than they are? How did that make you feel? How did you react? With a partner, brainstorm things you could have said or done to help them realize they were treating you unfairly. Have you ever been mean to someone different than you? Why do you think you acted that way? If you met that person again today, what would you do differently? Discuss with a partner.
Classroom activities from SOMN
- Emmanuel wanted to show people that being disabled does not mean “unable.” Create a poster featuring Emmanuel’s message.
- Locate Ghana on a map or globe. What do students know about Ghana or West Africa? What can they tell about the climate or people based on the pictures in the book? Make a chart on the board showing what students already know or assume about Ghana. After reading, add a section to the chart showing what students learned about Ghana from the book.
- Emmanuel wears a special shirt while riding to raise awareness for his cause. Are any issues or causes important to you? On a sheet of paper, design a T-shirt that shares a message about something important to you. If you have a plain T-shirt and fabric markers, copy your design onto a shirt and wear it to spread the word about your cause!