Biography & Autobiography

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Carey Price

Carey Price

How a First Nations kid became a superstar goaltender
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Looks Like Daylight

Looks Like Daylight

Voices Of Indigenous Kids
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
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When Elephants Fight

When Elephants Fight

by Eric Walters
other primary creator Adrian Bradbury
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
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There has never been a war fought that was started by children—or one that failed to harm them. Children are the grass beneath the feet of the men, the tribes, the armies and the nations engaged in armed conflict. Regardless of the winner—and there is a strong case to be made that war produces no winners—the children always suffer.

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Captain Fitz

Captain Fitz

FitzGibbon, Green Tiger of the War of 1812
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook eBook
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Simon Says Gold

Simon Says Gold

Simon Whitfield's Pursuit of Athletic Excellence
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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I caught Vuckovic, and not a moment too soon. There were only about a hundred meters remaining. I flew past him, and he could not respond to my push. I was running away from him. Running toward my destiny. Running toward Olympic glory and gold. Running toward a finish line banner that every Olympian dreams of crossing first.

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Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why

How Young People Can Change the World
compiled by Eric Walters
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Sometimes you know where a book begins and sometimes you don’t. I know where this one came from.

As a children’s writer, teacher, social worker, and parent I have a great deal of contact with children and young adults. I have watched as they grow older and become aware of the larger world around them. Part of this awareness is learning about events that are often tragic – events that confuse and disturb them.

As an author, I travel across the country speaking to hundreds of thousands of young people. Many of my books have dealt with difficult subjects including genocide (Shattered ), terrorism (We All Fall Down), street kids (Sketches), and children affected by war (When Elephants Fight). After these presentations, kids would often ask me questions about these situations, about human nature, about why people treat each other so badly, asking about good and evil, and what if anything they could possibly do to make an impact. I always tried my best to answer them. Sometimes, though, it felt more like I was just giving excuses than answers. These young people genuinely wanted to know the answers. And, quite frankly, so did I.

One night I woke up around three in the morning. I was thinking about some project or idea. I don’t even remember what it was, but what I do remember that was in the middle of the night I had doubts. After sitting and thinking and worrying and wondering I sat down at my computer and wrote an e-mail to my friend Chandra – I feel so honoured to even say that – my friend, Chandra. I needed to talk to somebody. I needed advice. I needed his wisdom.

I told him about what I was working on, what I was doing, my worries and concerns about whether I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Satisfied, feeling a little better just putting down my thoughts, I sent the e-mail and got ready to go back to bed. Three minutes later I got a reply – it wasn’t three in the morning in India where he lives and where he runs his orphanage.

His answer was simple. He told me that he had faith in the plan, and more importantly, in me and my ability to complete it. He told me he had no doubts and that neither should I. And because he said it, I knew it was right.

This is where this project started. I was blessed to have somebody like him to turn to – a person not only of compassion and dedication, but wisdom. I just wished that other people – especially children – had somebody like him to write to.

I started to wonder about how people would respond to a letter – a letter asking the questions kids were asking me. I worked with a group of seventy Grade 7 and 8 students at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Public School in Oshawa. They helped me to craft a letter that reflected the questions young people needed to ask. And while I made up Jo, the questions that Jo is asking are genuine and real.

I approached a diverse and eclectic group of individuals from the world of politics, entertainment, science, sports, and the arts. From astronaut, to opera singer, to cartoonist, to tight rope walker, to basketball player, to politician, this is a group that spans the range of human activities.

While they come from very different worlds they all share the same common trait. These are people who not only care, but have actively worked to make a difference. They are all genuine heroes.

Still trying to seek answers, I sought out the wisdom of some of my other heroes. I went back through time to find the words of wisdom of the greatest minds, the greatest humanitarians in history. Contained in this book are quotes from Socrates, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Buddha, Mohammad, Jesus, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa – quotes that speak directly to the questions posed by Jo.

The final part is not looking back in time, but toward the future. One of Jo’s questions is, “What, if anything, do you think one kid can do to make a difference?” Profiled are five young people who are not only talking about making the world a better place, but are making the world the better place. These young people are the ultimate role models. I hope in their deeds other young people will be inspired not only to think, but do, that they will understand that greatest is contained within each of us – that to quote from the letter of one of the respondents, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, “It is important to remember that within each Mother Teresa, within each Mahatma Gandhi, within the heroes among us who have given of themselves to make a difference in the world, there is a small boy or girl who began by asking these same very valuable questions.”

Peace,
Eric Walters

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