Children's Book Review: Adunni Dares To Dream by Taiwo I. Ajao, RN

Adunni Dares To Dream
Taiwo I. Ajao, RN
Publisher: DrAjao
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Genres: Biography, Historical Fiction, Kids, Youth

Adunni Dares to Dream is the true tale of a poor African girl who just wanted to go to school. Although she was a part of a very hardworking family, Adunni just could not have the finer things in life, like school, books, & literacy. In her culture, girls were just expected to look pretty, get married and have children. But Adunni wished for something more. As Adunni dares to dream , she inspires many others to dream too, including a handsome young man who couldn't stop dreaming about her! So Adunni has choices to make. Does she give in to her society's expectations? Does she chose the status quo? What are Adunni's dreams and where do her dreams take her?

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Review of Adunni Dares To Dream

Children’s books are recognized for their knack to take readers on magnificent quests and adventures into diverse worlds, where objects and creatures talk and magic is real. As a child, I was spellbound by authors like C.S. Lewis. While my dear mother would read the chauvinistic fairytales, I would inquire endlessly about the premise of the story, the moral aptitude of the characters, the absurd emphasis on beauty, and silly happy endings. I am still fascinated by the tales, yet my reservations and a critical eye remains.

Literary critiques of children's literature are imperative as of the impact of such books. While a lover of mysteries featuring murder and mayhem, I have slipped effortlessly into the lure of children's and young adult books. I recently read Adunni Dares to Dream. The book chronicles the educational journey of a young girl. Understanding that education can take one to another level, she longed to learn how to read.

"Each morning before Adunni ventured out, she would reach into her special hiding place and remove an old [book] she’d found in Baba’s chambers. Oh, how she wished that she could read from its pages!"

This little girl from Ondo Town endured a constant war between her "reality and her dreams", yet she continued to dream.

One striking point this book made was the role of teachers in student development. Adunni's story emphasizes their power to pull up bright students and allow them to soar. Further, the book touches on another important point - using your misery as your ministry. After the death of her sibling, this young girl made it her mission to become a "Lady Doctor" who would prevent such tragedies.

For loyal readers of my blog, you know that while I share romance novels, I tend to avoid them like the plague. There was a point in the story when I cringed - a romantic entanglement appeared! Well, to my pleasant surprise, the author was trying to show a lesson that many young girls desperately need to hear -- love can wait!! Adunni focused on her goals and put romantic interests to the side. My girl!!!! As a black woman with a doctorate, I did a dorky jig every time the author reiterated this point.

"She wasn’t thinking about boys right now: she was focused on her goals and dreams."

While the book was well-written, the graphics were less than desirable. Perhaps, if they spoke to and about the story for which they were written, I would have appreciated them. That being said, I would not recommend this book for very young children, as the graphics alone do not tell a story. The pacing and content are perfect for children 8 and over.

About the authors
The Dr. Ajaos are a husband-wife, doctor-nurse team who have a joint passion for health literacy, preventative healthcare, and education for at-risk groups in the Global setting. Mrs. Taiwo I Ajao, the Author, is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health, while Dr. ‘Wale Ajao, the Illustrator, is an internationally-trained medical doctor with a Master's of Arts in Communications & Producing for Film and Video. Together, The DrAjaos intend to address health literacy via it’s most fundamental forms: using the arts of writing, entertainment, and communication to educate children and their parents. Adunni Dares to Dream is the beginning of a beautiful merger of not just a celebration of educational achievement, but also of Faith, Hope, Love and Miracles.

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