Small Miracles by Yitta Halberstam Mandelbaum (1997)
With its moving, heartwarming, and inspirational stories of serendipity and coincidence, this book leaves you with the feeling that just maybe someone is looking over our lives and “making things happen.” There is a second edition, which I also enjoyed: Small Miracles II.
Read an excerpt from another title in the “Small Miracles” series (Small Miracles of Love and Friendship). Discover more about the author in a New York Times article.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (2008)
Inspirational in a common sense, real life kind of a way. Though battling terminal cancer, Pausch doesn’t write about dying – he writes about living in a way that stresses the small things we can do to make our lives joyful. Tigger vs. Eeyore. 61 little chapters in 206 little pages – no preaching, no grand “what is the meaning of life” ramblings. I was reluctant to pick this book up and have already recommended it to several people, including my niece who is about to embark on her career as a teacher. Great life lessons for teachers in this book, for parents, for anyone.
Visit The Last Lecture website to find out more about Randy Pausch (who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008) and more about the book. You can also watch the lecture that inspired the book, listen to Pausch read an excerpt, and discover online extras.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (2003)
At first I thought this book would be a bit depressing. However, I found it to be a quick, easy read that also gave me a “feel good” feeling! I truly enjoyed this book.
Visit Mitch Albom’s website for everything you need to know about him or his books. You can read a synopsis or an excerpt, find a reading group guide or a teacher’s guide, and learn more about the background of the author and the book.
The Game of My Life: a true story of challenge, triumph, and growing up autistic by Jason “J-Mac” McElwain with Daniel Paisner
His friends call him J-Mac. His mom prefers Jason. Sounds like your typical teenager, right? Not quite.
Jason “J-Mac” McElwain is considered a high functioning autistic. And in February 2006, J-Mac accomplished something that any “normal” person would have difficulty accomplishing: he scored 20 points – including six 3s – in the last FOUR minutes of a high school basketball game.
Read this inspirational story of a boy who didn’t talk till he was five. Read about how he became practically obsessed with basketball and how he was the team manager for three years. Read about how the coach let him dress for Senior Night – and how his unimaginable feat made him an instant celebrity across the country.