I’m thrilled to announce today that another debut author has found a wonderful home: Laurie Thompson, non-fiction author extraordinaire, has just sold her first picture book to Anne Schwartz at Schwartz & Wade!

Let me say upfront that we are going to have to still keep a good many threads of mystery surrounding this deal: The Publishers Marketplace announcement is awaiting some very exciting input regarding a top-secret Amazing Illustrator who is in the final stages of the project. The title also is in a state of flux. The story itself, however, more than speaks for itself—an amazing triumph of the human spirit in an amazing person. Here’s a brief rundown:

When Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born, his right leg was short and twisted—completely useless. It was 1977, and people with disabilities in Ghana, West Africa, were considered cursed, and left their homes only to beg for food or money. Emmanuel challenged the norm from his youngest days. Then, in 2001, he decided to prove that people with physical challenges could do amazing things, so he bicycled across Ghana—almost 400 miles—with one leg. His ten-day ride helped make him a virtual celebrity, but also a national hero. As a direct result of Emmanuel’s efforts, Ghana eventually enacted progressive disability laws.

Laurie first became interested in this story after seeing Yeboah on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, where he was promoting his documentary film Emmanuel’s Gift, which Winfrey narrated. (Oprah said of the documentary, “I think every parent should go take their children to see this movie because it will change the way your children think about what they can do and can be.”) I, for one, can’t wait to see the experiences of this amazing man brought to life on the page. All you readers out there have a treat in store for you, for sure!

Congratulations, Laurie!

—Joan

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