Can a story change the world?
Stories can definitely change the world. Some stories are what master storytellers call a Grand Narrative. If it's the right story shared in the right way at the right time, it can change the way we understand ourselves and our world. In the words of poet Ezra Pound, "a book [can] be a ball of light in one's hand."
When young children look at the illustration above from the award-winning book Dream, do you know what they say they see? A family. They're absolutely right – it's the human family. In support of the global YOU 177 initiative, a community read program called Generations Dream uses the power of a seemingly simple book to connect us across communities, cultures, and generations and work toward a new 7-Generation Grand Narrative.
We can start a big-picture dialogue that inspires us all to dream bigger. What are your dreams for your own life, for your community, and for our world? Each of our dreams may be different, but they can grow from a common experience and our connected humanity.
Stories inspire us, getting to the head through the heart. They enable us to discover and share what really matters. They're extremely powerful for reaching and teaching all ages.
The award-winning book for all ages Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes by author, educator, and social researcher Susan V. Bosak is illustrated by 15 top artists from around the world. At first glance, Dream may look like a simple picture book. But it's a transformational tool developed over five years by an international team that included educators, librarians, and social researchers. It reflects the visual age in which we live, and is accessible to all ages and abilities. It's a small package with a big message.
Hope is a universal human need. You're never too young or too old to dream! Dream is a story about hope – hopes and dreams across a lifetime, through history, and into the future. Today's dream, whether fulfilled or unfulfilled, becomes tomorrow's legacy. In the big circle of time, they become one in the same.
The story in Dream is simple enough for the youngest child who can understand making a wish on a star, but with sophisticated layers of meaning that also challenge adults. The story is told by an old star, an elder figure.
Says The Bloomsbury Review, "This elegant book depicts the journey of life – from infancy to older adulthood – highlighting all the hopes and dreams found along the way... Inspirational quotes from people such as Martin Luther King Jr, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Emily Dickinson are set alongside gorgeous illustrations by internationally acclaimed artists. Richly crafted and thoughtfully written, Dream is a dazzling project that challenges you to find a dream and follow it."
Dream culminates in the green pages, "the color of go and the color of grow." The green pages symbolize the ultimate goal of YOU 177 – inspired lives in smart and caring communities on a tiny blue dot.
Springboarding from the star imagery in Dream, a local public library can become a Dream Star Headquarters as children, youth, adults, and elders create Dream Stars to fill the library with a kind of visual survey that inspires the community. People of all ages are challenged to envision their dream for their life and their community. They write their dream on a star and decorate it to reflect their personality. In this way, a new dialogue begins and people of all generations literally see each other in new ways, often surprised at the commonalities in their dreams.
What's your dream? You can purchase Dream in a high-quality, full-color, hardcover print format. A digital downloadable version will be available soon. Get ideas for an intergenerational reading and intergenerational activities to complement and extend the reading experience. The Dream Exhibit is also travelling to selected communities as part of YOU 177.
So, be a part of Generations Dream, connecting young and old everywhere. From the smallest personal beginnings to the largest human triumphs, why are we here if not to dream?
Check out this interview with the author of Dream, Susan V. Bosak.