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Age recommendation: Teens and above.
-Was kidnapped by soldiers at age 6
-Left to die in a hut with dozens of other boys
-Was rescued by a miraculous escape and literally “ran for his life”
-Ended up becoming a flag carrier and runner in the Olympics
Lopez’s astonishing journey to America and his gratitude for small things we take for granted every single day will make you pause-for a long time. The amazing symmetry of meeting his Olympic hero–one he saw for the first time on a rented tv screen in Kenya–as he participates in his own Olympic games, makes Lopez’s story of survival, grit and gratitude come full circle.
This is a story of reaching dreams, of miracles, of hard work and thanksgiving. You won’t forget it, and it will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
(If you are looking for a great character series for children, I recommend this one. It’s audio, so it’s a wonderful series for letting them listen to as they go to sleep!)
-Locate Sudan and Kenya on a map. Learn more about the political situation of the time.
-Walk/run 18 kilometers.
-Examine what is in your kitchen garbage can. Would Lopez have found a meal? How do we treat and use the resources we are blessed with?
-Make a list of common, every day things you are grateful for.
-Why did Lopez not know the meaning of the word “impossible”?
-Lopez really struggled in school, but his mom never gave up believing in him. Is there something you struggle with? How do your loved ones help you?
-What dream do you have?
-Why did Lopez say that getting his college degree was a bigger victory than running in the Olympics? pg 220-221