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A Gift of Days: The Greatest Words to Live By
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A Gift of Days: The Greatest Words to Live By

by Stephen Alcorn
 

The society in which we live has been, and continues to be, inspired by visionaries and heroes from all walks of life: activists and artists, athletes and writers, inventors and explorers, healers and politicians, musicians and moguls. Our world's visionaries and heroes challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and inspire the ordinary to become extraordinary,

Overview

The society in which we live has been, and continues to be, inspired by visionaries and heroes from all walks of life: activists and artists, athletes and writers, inventors and explorers, healers and politicians, musicians and moguls. Our world's visionaries and heroes challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and inspire the ordinary to become extraordinary, thereby shaping our world each and every day.

Starting with January 1 and arranged by birth date, A Gift of Days highlights the words and ideas of 366 noteworthy figures — including Shakespeare and Steve Jobs, Jackie Robinson and Billie Jean King, Beethoven and Buzz Aldrin, Abraham Lincoln and Maya Angelou, Blessed Mother Teresa and Oprah, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi — to motivate and inspire readers of all ages to become heroes and mentors themselves, the kind of people who nurture and shape the very best of our culture and society.

With resounding words of wisdom, a stunning selection of portraits, short informative biographies of the visionaries, and an illustrator's note, A Gift of Days celebrates the society of which we're all a part and reminds us that we each have the potential to change the world every day of the year.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Powerful quotations from 366 revered artists, writers, political figures and other visionaries mark every day of the calendar year along with striking block-print portraits (Elvis is shown with a burning sacred heart) in this elegantly packaged book. While the order of the quotations seems arbitrary—quotations from Allen Ginsberg, Socrates and Bill Moyers rub shoulders, while Julia Child is slotted next to Madonna—the result is an inspiring collage-like tribute to human potential. Brief biographies are listed in the back. Ages 8–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Quotations from 366 well-known people are arranged according to their birthdates. Each double-page spread has seven entries, dividing the book into weeks. A picture of one of the subjects faces the page of quotes. The framed portraitures relate to the character traits of the individuals. Each week has a theme highlighted in the featured quotation and related (sometimes rather loosely) to the others. People from all walks of life and from all historical eras, including the present, are included. The arrangement by birthdates places people in interesting combinations. The week of May 6th to 12th with a theme of "gifts" includes Sigmund Freud, Johannes Brahms, Harry S. Truman, Howard Carter, Bono, Martha Graham, and Florence Nightingale. A "dream" theme for August 19th to 25th features William Jefferson Clinton, Robert Plant, William "Count" Basie, Claude Debussy, Edgar Lee Masters, Jorge Luis Borges, and Althea Gibson. A one-sentence biography of each person, also arranged by birthdates, appears in the back. An alphabetical index of the subjects' names is included, but there are no aids for finding specific quotations nor those on related topics. A beautiful book for browsing. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—For each day of the year, Alcorn presents a quotation from a person born on that date. Each weekly compilation devotes one side of the spread to the selected words. The facing page features a stylized portrait of a person born that week. The flat, static block prints with muted colors incorporate elements for which the person is noted. For example, Vincent Van Gogh's face is centered in a sunflower. Rosa Parks cradles a bus in her arms. Athletes, artists, musicians, politicians, scientists, authors, actors, and other celebrities range from Kurt Cobain, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, and Derek Jeter to Clara Barton, Nelson Mandela, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Amelia Earhart. A sentence or two about each figure appears at the book's end. Because the only index is by name, it is impossible to find quotations on a particular topic. The striking page design and intriguing portraits might appeal to graphic arts students, although the primary audience for this volume will probably be teachers, librarians, and other adults.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
Beautifully designed and imaginatively conceptualized, this volume presents 366 days and 366 quotations from famous people, tagged to the days they were born. Alcorn lays this out on each double-page spread with a stunning polychrome-relief block-print bordered with pattern on one leaf and, facing, a week of birthdays and quotes. These images are often brilliantly inventive: Billie Holiday's camellia has a death's head in its center; John Lennon is figured as the King of Hearts with a Mozart overlay; Leonardo da Vinci is posed like the Mona Lisa. Some are less inspired, offering only pleasing busts with little iconic imagery. Librarians, educators and historically minded kids will take much pleasure from looking up birthdays to see the associated wisdom from women and men across the ages: LL Cool J (Jan. 14), Mercator (March 5), Mia Hamm (March 17), Golda Meir (May 3), Barack Obama (Aug. 4), Cellini (Nov. 3), Emily Dickinson (Dec. 10). While there is an index and a brief biographical listing for each, there are no citations for the quotations, which is a lamentable omission. (Reference. 8-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416967767
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Born in the United States, Stephen Alcorn spent his formative, teenage years in Florence, Italy, where he attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte, an experience that infused his work with an appreciation for history and a passion for experimentation in a multitude of mediums. Since then he has embraced an equally broad spectrum of themes and subjects, including the interpretation of literary classics, interpretation of poetry, nineteenth-century American history, and notably, the African-American experience — resulting in a stream of award-winning projects for adult, young adult, and young readers alike. America at War is Alcorn's fifth collaboration with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Mr. Alcorn lives with his wife, Sabina, and four cats in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in the heart of Cambridge, New York, surrounded by the pastoral farmland of Washington County. An overview of his work may be viewed at www.alcorngallery.com.

Born in the United States, Stephen Alcorn spent his formative, teenage years in Florence, Italy, where he attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte, an experience that infused his work with an appreciation for history and a passion for experimentation in a multitude of mediums. Since then he has embraced an equally broad spectrum of themes and subjects, including the interpretation of literary classics, interpretation of poetry, nineteenth-century American history, and notably, the African-American experience — resulting in a stream of award-winning projects for adult, young adult, and young readers alike. America at War is Alcorn's fifth collaboration with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Mr. Alcorn lives with his wife, Sabina, and four cats in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in the heart of Cambridge, New York, surrounded by the pastoral farmland of Washington County. An overview of his work may be viewed at www.alcorngallery.com.

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