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Dare to Dream . . . Change the World

The FedEx guy made my day this morning. He dropped off my contributor copies of the anthology Dare to Dream . . . Change the World, a project conceived and edited by Jill Corcoran, and illustrated by J. Beth Jepson. I am thrilled to be a part of this project, which features some of the very best children's poets writing today.

The book is swoonily gorgeous, y'all. For serious. Jill asked pairs of poets to submit poems about "people who invented something, stood for something, said something, who defied the naysayers and not only changed their own lives, but the lives of people all over the world." Each pair of poems includes one that is biographical and one that's inspirational, and each two-page pairing includes a short prose bio about the person or people discussed. Subjects include well-known historical figures such as Anne Frank and Jonas Salk as well as contemporary figures including Father Gregory Boyle, a priest who works with gang members in L.A., Ashley Bryan (beloved author/illustrator), Temple Grandin, and the three guys who invented/founded YouTube: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen & Jawed Karim. (I've put a full listing of subjects below, in a bid to be a full-service blogger.)

Those last three guys were the inspiration for the pair of poems written by Laura Purdie Salas and me. I wrote the biographical poem, "A Place to Share", about the creation of YouTube, and Laura wrote her inspirational one, "Just Like That", a terrific poem about a kid getting inspired by the videos he sees online.



The illustrations throughout the book are gorgeous. My very favorite spread is probably the one that goes along with the pair of poems about Ashley Bryan, a rather questionable-quality photo of which is above. In person, when you're looking at the BIG pages (40 of them total - measuring 9 x 12 each), the art is that much more impressive. And the poems are breathtaking. Here's the complete listing of who wrote what, and who the poems are about. (The first and last poems, by Jill Corcoran and Bruce Coville, bookend the collection and are about the importance of dreaming big and taking action.)

"Dare to Dream" by Jill Corcoran
"The Child" by J. Patrick Lewis and "The Archaeologist's Dilemma" by Alice Schertle (Sylvia Mendez)
"Nicholas Cobb" by David L. Harrison and "Under the Bridge" by Jane Yolen (Nicholas Cobb)
"G-Dog" by Joan Bransfield Graham and "By Some Stroke of Heaven" by Ellen Hopkins (Father Gregory Boyle)
"This Moment" by Georgia Heard and "Faith of a Mustard Seed" by Hope Anita Smith (Anne Frank)
"Jonas Salk Poem" by Elaine Magliaro and "My Polio Shot" by Janet S. Wong (Jonas Salk)
"Jean-Michel Basquiat's boyhood song" by Curtis L. Crisler and "word from the wise" by Denise Lewis Patrick (Jean-Michel Basquiat)
"Gold" by Joyce Lee Wong and "The Other Truth" by Jacqui Robbins (Michelle Kwan)
"The Greater Sum of Parts" by Julia Durango and "Grace" by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Ashley Bryan)
"Temple Grandin" by Lisa Wheeler and "Cussing at Cows" by Hope Vestergaard (Temple Grandin)
"Martha Graham Charts A Path" by Carol M. Tanzman and "Dance" by Stephanie Hemphill (Martha Graham)
"Painter" by Lee Bennett Hopkins and "Cloudscape" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Georgia O'Keeffe)
"Journal of 73 Seconds" by Joyce Sidman and "And Then There's Air" by Marilyn Singer (Christa McAuliffe)
"Alien" by Rose Horowitz and "Projecting Greatness" by Alan Katz (Steven Spielberg)
"Just Like That" by Laura Purdie Salas and "A Place to Share" by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim)
"Ripples" by Bruce Coville

At present, the book is available exclusively through www.usbornebooksandmore.com, but it is expected to have a general release in coming seasons. It will not, however, be available at Amazon, because Kane Miller and Usborne have decided on principle not to sell through them. (B&N has it available for pre-order, and seems to think it will be available on September 1st of this year.)

You can find more about the book, the poets involved, and (in the future) lesson plans and more at http://daretodreamchangetheworld.com//a>.

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Tags: corcoran, dare to dream, fineman, jepson, news, poetry
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