A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

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The fourth installment in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series promises to be even more popular than its predecessors. The perfect gift for friends, family and business associates is now available in A 4th Course.

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1997 Trade paperback Illustrated. New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 376 p. Contains: Illustrations. Chicken Soup for the Soul (Paperback Health ... Communications). Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The fourth installment in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series promises to be even more popular than its predecessors. The perfect gift for friends, family and business associates is now available in A 4th Course.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558744592
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Hanoch McCarty is the president of Hanoch McCarty & Associates and an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. He and his wife Meladee are coauthors of Acts of Kindness and The Daily Journal of Kindness.

Meladee McCarty is a program specialist for the Sacramento County Office of Education. She and her husband Hanoch McCarthy are coauthors of Acts of Kindness and The Daily Journal of Kindness.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


A Family for Freddie

I remember the first time I saw Freddie. He was standing in his playpen at the adoption agency where I work. He gave me a toothy grin. What a beautiful baby, I thought.

His boarding mother gathered him into her arms. 'Will you be able to find a family for Freddie?'

Then I saw it. Freddie had been born without arms.

'He's so smart. He's only 10 months old, and already he walks and talks.' She kissed him. 'Say 'book' for Mrs. Blair.'

Freddie grinned at me and hid his head on his boarding mother's shoulder. 'Now, Freddie, don't act that way,' she said. 'He's really very friendly,' she added. 'Such a good, good boy.'

Freddie reminded me of my own son when he was that age, the same thick dark curls, the same brown eyes.

'You won't forget him, Mrs. Blair? You will try?'

'I won't forget.'

I went upstairs and got out my latest copy of the Hard-to-Place list.

Freddie is a 10-month-old white Protestant boy of English and French background. He has brown eyes, dark-brown hair and fair skin. Freddie was born without arms, but is otherwise in good health. His boarding mother feels he is of superior mentality, and he is already walking and saying a few words. Freddie is a warm, affectionate child who has been surrendered by his natural mother and is ready for adoption.

He's ready, I thought. But who is ready for him?

It was 10 o'clock on a lovely late-summer morning, and the agency was full of couples&#151couples having interviews, couples meeting babies, families being born. These couples nearly always have the same dream: They want a child as much like themselves as possible, as young as possible, and most important&#151a child with no problems.

'If he develops a problem after we get him,' they say, 'that is a risk we'll take just like any other parents. But to pick a baby who already has a problem, that's too much.'

And who can blame them?

I wasn't alone in looking for parents for Freddie. Any of the caseworkers meeting a new couple started with a hope: maybe they were for Freddie. But summer slipped into fall, and Freddie was with us for his first birthday.
'Freddie is so-o-o big,' said Freddie, laughing. 'So-o-o big.'

And then I found them.

It started out as it always does&#151an impersonal record in my box, a new case, a new Home Study, two people who wanted a child. They were Frances and Edwin Pearson. She was 41. He was 45. She was a housewife. He was a truck driver.
I went to see them. They lived in a tiny white frame house, in a big yard full of sun and old trees. They greeted me together at the door, eager and scared to death.

Mrs. Pearson produced steaming coffee and oven-warm cookies. They sat before me on the sofa, close together, holding hands. After a moment, Mrs. Pearson began.
'Today is our wedding anniversary. Eighteen years.'

'Good years.' Mr. Pearson looked at his wife. 'Except—'

'Yes,' she said. 'Except. Always the 'except.'' She looked around the room.

'It's too neat,' she said. 'You know?'

I thought of my own living room with my three children.

Teenagers now. 'Yes,' I said. 'I know.'

'Perhaps we're too old?'

I smiled. 'You don't think so,' I said. 'We don't either.'

'You always think it will be this month, and then next month,' Mr. Pearson said. 'Examinations. Tests. All kinds of things. Over and over. But nothing ever happened. You just go on hoping and hoping, and time keeps slipping by.'

'We've tried to adopt before this,' Mr. Pearson said. 'One agency told us our apartment was too small, so we got this house. Then another agency said I didn't make enough money. We had decided that was it, but this friend told us about you, and we decided to make one last try.'

'I'm glad,' I said.

Mrs. Pearson glanced at her husband proudly. 'Can we choose at all?' she asked.
'A boy for my husband?'

'We'll try for a boy,' I said. 'What kind of boy?'

Mrs. Pearson laughed. 'How many kinds are there? Just a boy. My husband is very athletic. He played football in high school; basketball, too, and track. He would be good for a boy.'

Mr. Pearson looked at me. 'I know you can't tell exactly,' he said, 'but can you give us any idea how soon? We've waited so long.'

I hesitated. There is always this question.

'Next summer maybe,' said Mrs. Pearson. 'We could take him to the beach.'

'That long?' Mr. Pearson said. 'Don't you have anyone at all. There must be a little boy somewhere.' After a pause he went on, 'Of course, we can't give him as much as other people. We haven't a lot of money saved up.'

'We've got a lot of love,' his wife said. 'We've saved up a lot of that.'

'Well,' I said cautiously, 'there is a little boy. He is 13 months old.'

'Oh,' Mrs. Pearson said, 'just a beautiful age.'

'I have a picture of him,' I said, reaching for my purse. I handed them Freddie's picture. 'He is a wonderful little boy,' I said. 'But he was born without arms.'

They studied the picture in silence. He looked at her.

'What do you think, Fran?'

'Kickball,' Mrs. Pearson said. 'You could teach him kickball.'

'Athletics are not so important,' Mr. Pearson said. 'He can learn to use his head. Arms he can do without. A head, never. He can go to college. We'll save for it.'

'A boy is a boy,' Mrs. Pearson insisted. 'He needs to play. You can teach him.'

'I'll teach him. Arms aren't everything. Maybe we can get him some.'

They had forgotten me. But maybe Mr. Pearson was right, I thought. Maybe sometime Freddie could be fitted with artificial arms. He did have nubs where arms should be.

'Then you might like to see him?'

They looked up. 'When could we have him?'

'You think you might want him?'

Mrs. Pearson looked at me. 'Might?' she said. 'Might?'

'We want him,' her husband said.

Mrs. Pearson went back to the picture. 'You've been waiting for us,' she said. 'Haven't you?'

'His name is Freddie,' I said, 'but you can change it.'

'No,' said Mr. Pearson. 'Frederick Pearson&#151it's good together.'

And that was it.

There were formalities, of course; and by the time we set the day, Christmas lights were strung across city streets and wreaths were hung everywhere.
I met the Pearsons in the waiting room. There was a little snow on them both.
'Your son's here already,' I told them. 'Let's go upstairs and I'll bring him to you.'

'I've got butterflies,' Mrs. Pearson announced. 'Suppose he doesn't like us?''

I put my hand on her arm. 'I'll get him,' I said.

Freddie's boarding mother had dressed him in a new white suit, with a sprig of green holly and red berries embroidered on the collar. His hair shone, a mop of dark curls.

'Going home,' Freddie said to me, smiling, as his boarding mother put him in my arms.

'I told him that,' she said. 'I told him he was going to his new home.'

She kissed him, and her eyes were wet.

'Good-bye, dear. Be a good boy.'

'Good boy,' said Freddie cheerfully. 'Going home.'

I carried him upstairs to the little room where the Pearsons were waiting. When I got there, I put him on his feet and opened the door.

'Merry Christmas,' I said.

Freddie stood uncertainly, rocking a little, gazing intently at the two people before him. They drank him in.

Mr. Pearson knelt on one knee. 'Freddie, come here. Come to Daddy.'

Freddie looked back at me for a moment. Then, turning, he walked slowly toward them, and they reached out their arms and gathered him in.

Abbie Blair

©1997. All rights reserved. Reprinted from A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul® by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Hanoch McCarty and Meladee McCarty. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2006

    It's the one I've most enjoyed so far

    My friend Marcia got me started on this series by lending me her copy of Chicken Soup for the Working Woman's Soul which I think is really a great book. Then I began to buy one now and again, when the idea would hit me, usually in a bookstore. But then my husband gave me this one and I really feel that this has the best mix of stories. Some will make you teary-eyed [in a good way] but there are a lot with big laughs, too. Lots of inspiration here -- including stories I've used in my church classes!

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