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Eagle Eyes
     

Eagle Eyes

by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Michael S. Lewis (Photographer)
 

In this charming story, Kofi, an 11-year-old boy from Ghana, lives for one thing only: soccer. He dreams of winning the Under-17 trophy for his country, so he begins to neglect school work, ignore his chores at home, and disregard other responsibilities except to his team. His only goal is to be a professional player and earn a lot of money, but he never

Overview

In this charming story, Kofi, an 11-year-old boy from Ghana, lives for one thing only: soccer. He dreams of winning the Under-17 trophy for his country, so he begins to neglect school work, ignore his chores at home, and disregard other responsibilities except to his team. His only goal is to be a professional player and earn a lot of money, but he never acknowledges he might need an education. One day Kofi goes with his mother to visit his grandfather, who has been blind for a long time. Kofi’s uncle, an ophthalmologist, along with an American co-worker, performs cataract surgery on his grandfather. The operation is a starting point—the grandfather can now see his grandson for the first time and Kofi realizes that his uncle’s talent, which requires an education, just might be more important than soccer.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cindy Schofield
In the acknowledgments preceding this story it is noted that the doctors of the Himalayan Cataract Project have returned sight to more than 200,000 people worldwide. In Ghana, the organization provides free cataract surgery to people in remote areas who have little or no access to routine health care. While chapter one opens with an action-packed account of a championship national youth soccer game that will grab any youngster's attention, the book continues by weaving the thrill of sports competition into the wonder of modern medical techniques and the miracle of restored eyesight. The main character, an eleven year old named Kofi, is known among peers for his athletic skills. He imagines a future as a great competitor and admires the national sports stars. His low exam scores and poor school habits bring punishments and disappointment from his parents, but Kofi has only disdainful thoughts for the studious brother and misguided parents, all of whom seem to obsess over the importance of education. A turning point begins as Kofi accompanies his mother to the village of his blind grandfather where he helps to conduct eye exams. He watches with wary interest as his uncle and a friend (both doctors volunteering their services), prepare his grandfather and others for cataract surgery which will restore their sight. The transforming experience of observing the hero status that health care workers receive is the basis for the story. The authors skillfully blend a classic boy's impatient desire for worldly adoration through sport with the real life story of heroic health care efforts. The book is filled with examples of African cultural nuances such as reference to "daughters" and "sons" aschildren of a family, not just by parents. The comparisons of city and village life, descriptions of relationships that are maintained among people of different worlds and expressions of faith are by-products of the main story. Graphics include both line drawings and photographs of doctors and patients from the Millennium Project. The book is an appropriate chapter book for early elementary readers, or a read-aloud continuation story that will inspire discussions on themes of responsibility, global health, the value of sport vs. academic success, role models, etc. Reviewer: Cindy Schofield
VOYA - Kristin Anderson
Kofi is an eleven-year-old Ghanaian boy who loves to play soccer. He spends too much time playing outside and not enough time on his studies. He does not believe that his education is of value because he expects to be a professional athlete one day. Kofi's ideas about the value of his education are slowly changed after he gets the opportunity to see what happens when his uncle and other doctors volunteering their time perform cataract surgery on a group of villagers, including Kofi's grandfather. The simple story is accompanied by McMullin's line drawings and Lewis's color photographs. Some additional information about the Himalayan Cataract Project is provided in the acknowledgements. This book is clearly intended to provide information about the Himalayan Cataract Project more than to tell a story. With this objective in mind, the story occasionally feels awkward because the author is really writing about Kofi's character change more than she is about the specifics of preventable blindness. The photographs conflict with the story because they are more about Ghana and preventable blindness, and less about Kofi's character growth. Fiction titles for this age group are not typically published in this trim size nor do they typically contain photographs. While this observation is not necessarily a criticism, the book itself might get lost on the fiction shelf. It is most likely to be appealing to those who already have an affinity for the subject matter. Reviewer: Kristin Anderson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979007224
Publisher:
Mahvl Publishing
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the author of the number one New York Times bestselling novel, The Deep End of the Ocean—chosen as the first book for Oprah Winfrey's Book Club and named by USA Today in 2007, as one of the most influential books of the past 25 years, second only to the Harry Potter series.  She has subsequently written seven more bestselling novels.  Her newest, No Time to Wave Goodbye, the sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean, will be published in September 2009 (Random House).

 

Additionally, she has written four young adult novels and four children's books -- two picture books and two young children's novels.  Eagle Eyes is the third young children's novel.

 

Although Jacquelyn Mitchard has never been to Ghana, she was able to accurately capture the essence and rhythms of life there, as several Ghanaians, who read the manuscript, concurred.  As the mother of seven children, she does have invaluable experience in how an eleven-year-old child behaves and the remarkable talent to portray it. She lives outside Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and children.  More information can be found at www.JacquelynMitchard.com .

 

Michael S. Lewis, M.D., started taking photographs more than 30 years ago when he was stationed in the United Kingdom as an orthopedic surgeon in the United States Air Force. Since then his passion for photography and travel have only expanded, as reflected in his first book, One World: A View of 50 Countries (Mahvl Publishing; 2006).

 

His images have been published in a number of books and magazines, including the Nature Photographer and Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin. His photographs have been shown in several galleries and exhibitions, including Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts; the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California; the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois; and Children's Hospital of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

A sports enthusiast, he has been an orthopedic consultant to the Chicago White Sox baseball team, the Chicago Wolves hockey team, and the Chicago Bulls basketball team, with whom he earned two championship rings, and he has treated numerous world-class athletes from several continents. An avid tennis player, he has won a Greater Chicagoland singles tournament. As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lewis practices at Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. Michael and his wife, Valerie, live in Bannockburn, Illinois, and have two daughters, Melanie and Hadley. More information can be found at www.michaelslewismd.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Madison, Wisconsin
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
Education:
B.A. in English, Rockford College, 1973
Website:
http://www.jacquelynmitchard.com

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