Tag Archives: parenting

A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball by Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade, the eight-time All-Star for the Miami Heat, has miraculously defied the odds throughout his career and his life. In 2006, in just his third season in the NBA, Dwyane was named the Finals’ MVP, after leading the Miami Heat to the Championship title, basketball’s ultimate prize. Two years later, after possible career-ending injuries, he again rose from the ashes of doubt to help win a gold medal for the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As co-captain, he helped lead the Heat to triumph in the 2012 NBA Championship. Little wonder that legendary coach Pat Riley has called Dwyane “B.I.W.” — ”Best In the World.”

As incredible as those achievements have been, it’s off the court where Dwyane has sought his most cherished goal: being a good dad to his sons, Zaire and Zion, by playing a meaningful role in their lives. Recounting his fatherhood journey, Dwyane begins his story in March 2011 with the news that after a long, bitter custody battle, he has been awarded sole custody of his sons in a virtually unprecedented court decision. A Father First chronicles the lessons Dwyane has learned as a single dad from the moment of the judge’s ruling that instantly changed his life and the lives of his boys, and then back to the events in the past that shaped his dreams, prayers, and promises.

As the son of divorced parents determined to get along so that he and his sister Tragil could have loving relationships with both of them, Dwyane’s early years were spent on Chicago’s South Side. With poverty, violence, and drugs consuming the streets and their mom descending into addiction, Tragil made the heroic decision to take her younger brother to live with their father. After moving his household to suburban Robbins, Illinois, Dwyane Wade Sr. became Dwyane’s first basketball coach. While this period laid the groundwork for Dwyane’s later mission for fathers to take greater responsibility for their kids, he was also inspired by his mother’s miraculous victory over addiction and her gift for healing others. Both his mother and his father showed him that the unconditional love between parents and children is a powerful guiding force.

In A Father First, we meet the coaches, mentors, and teammates who played pivotal roles in Dwyane’s stunning basketball career — from his early days shooting hoops on the neighborhood courts in Chicago, to his rising stardom at Marquette University in Milwaukee, to his emergence as an unheralded draft pick by the Miami Heat. This book is a revealing, personal story of one of America’s top athletes, but it is also a call to action — from a man who had to fight to be in his children’s lives — that will show mothers and fathers how to step up and be parents themselves.

A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball
Dwyane Wade
William Morrow
Available September 4, 2012 in Hardcover

Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Penguin Press HC
Available April 29, 2010 in Hardcover

A pitch-perfect account of how hip-hop culture drew in the author and how his father drew him out again-with love, perseverance, and fifteen thousand books.

Into Williams’s childhood home-a one-story ranch house-his father crammed more books than the local library could hold. “Pappy” used some of these volumes to run an academic prep service; the rest he used in his unending pursuit of wisdom. His son’s pursuits were quite different-”money, hoes, and clothes.” The teenage Williams wore Medusa- faced Versace sunglasses and a hefty gold medallion, dumbed down and thugged up his speech, and did whatever else he could to fit into the intoxicating hip-hop culture that surrounded him. Like all his friends, he knew exactly where he was the day Biggie Smalls died, he could recite the lyrics to any Nas or Tupac song, and he kept his woman in line, with force if necessary.

But Pappy, who grew up in the segregated South and hid in closets so he could read Aesop and Plato, had a different destiny in mind for his son. For years, Williams managed to juggle two disparate lifestyles- “keeping it real” in his friends’ eyes and studying for the SATs under his father’s strict tutelage. As college approached and the stakes of the thug lifestyle escalated, the revolving door between Williams’s street life and home life threatened to spin out of control. Ultimately, Williams would have to decide between hip-hop and his future. Would he choose “street dreams” or a radically different dream- the one Martin Luther King spoke of or the one Pappy held out to him now?

Williams is the first of his generation to measure the seductive power of hip-hop against its restrictive worldview, which ultimately leaves those who live it powerless. Losing My Cool portrays the allure and the danger of hip-hop culture like no book has before. Even more remarkably, Williams evokes the subtle salvation that literature offers and recounts with breathtaking clarity a burgeoning bond between father and son.

Dream So Big by Christopher B. Pearman

Dream So Big: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Believe and Achieve
by Christopher B. Pearman (Author), Ian Blake Newhem (Author), Raven-Symone (Foreword)

Adams Media
Available May 18, 2010 in Hardcover

While so many talented and ambitious kids have become tabloid fodder, Raven-Symon, beloved star of That’s So Raven, has remained grounded and happy as she’s created a massive franchise for Disney, won multiple Kids’ Choice Awards, and made history as the first African-American woman with her own sitcom. The difference? Her parents’ positive-approach plan–which you can now use with your own children.

As her father and manager, Christopher B. Pearman worked tirelessly to nurture Raven’s dream, while teaching her to believe in herself and, most importantly, never losing sight of their family’s core values. Inside, Pearman breaks down his plan into eight “Dream Catchers”–spiritual and practical principles that filter out negativity, and allow only affirming thoughts into your child’s consciousness. Make no mistake: This is not a guide to stage parenting, but a doctrine for raising your kids to reach their full potential in any endeavor, simple or grand.

As a parent, you know there’s nothing more important than making sure your children become all they want to be. Dream So Big shows how commitment, responsibility, and dedication to your children’s innermost wishes can catapult them to great success–and happiness.

Not My Boy! by Rodney Peete

Not My Boy!: A Father, A Son, and One Family’s Journey with Autism
by Rodney Peete, Danelle Morton

Hyperion
Available March 16, 2010 in Hardcover

In Not My Boy!, Rodney Peete offers not only a heartrending, candid look inside his personal journey with his son’s autism but a first-of-its-kind, inspirational road map that will help families facing similar challenges to move forward. Effectively woven throughout Peete’s moving account of his life with his son R.J. are the powerful voices, insights, and dreams of other fathers, high-profile figures as well as unsung heroes, who’ve traveled this difficult path.

Autism affects four times as many boys as it does girls. For their fathers, expectations and hopes are drastically changed–as NFL star Rodney Peete‘s were when his son R.J. was diagnosed at the age of three. After a period of anger and denial, an all-too-common reaction among fathers, Rodney joined his wife, Holly, in her efforts to help their son. With determination, love, and understanding, the family worked with R.J. to help him once again engage with the world.

Eight challenging years later, R.J. has gone from the son one doctor warned would never say “I love you” to a thriving, vibrant boy who scored his first soccer goal while his dad cheered from the sidelines.

By the Time You Read This by Lola Jaye

Avon A
Available 09/01/09 in Paperback

When he discovered that he had only six months to live, thirty-year-old Kevin Bates picked up his pen and wrote The Manual — advice for his five-year-old daughter, Lois, to live by, laugh at, and follow from twelve until thirty. Seven years later, when Lois is given The Manual, she can barely bring herself to read her father’s words, the pain of his loss is still so raw. Yet soon Kevin’s advice is guiding her through every stage of life from teen angst to career arcs, to knowing when she’s at long last met “the one.” While The Manual can never be a substitute for having Kevin back, the words left behind become Lois’s steady support through all of life’s ups and downs, and prove invaluable to unlocking the key to happiness.

The Ministry of Motherhood by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

The Ministry of Motherhood
by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Peace In The Storm Publishing
Available 05/01/09

In The Ministry of Motherhood, author Cheryl Lacey Donovan tackles the issue of single parenting with raw emotion, insightful lessons, biblical references and relevant life changing inspiration for mothers of all ages. It will minister to women who are living the life that Cheryl has overcome. The empowering refreshing messages will challenge mothers to look inside themselves for change. It will help them to identify the strongholds in their lives; public assistance, lack of education, abusive relationships, and tear them down with the help of the creator so that they can in turn take the steps necessary to build a better life for themselves and their children. Cheryl’s transparency in The Ministry of Motherhood tears down all of the excuses for why single mothers can’t succeed. It breaks away at all of the lies that are told about why single mother’s are in their current situations; and it defies the statistics that say the children of single mother’s will never amount to anything.

The Ministry of Motherhood is Cheryl’s journey from being a teenage parent to being a successful mother, author, talk show host, and inspirational speaker. It tells of Cheryl’s transition from the devastation of an abusive marriage which left her with two sons at an early age to her testimony of deliverance and release. It gives an insightful look into what it means to be a “mother”; the hard choices, the sacrifices, the dreams deferred. The Ministry of Motherhood is more than just a mere book. It is a testimony of God’s ability to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask.

Father and Son

Father and Son
by Denize Lauture (Author), Jonathan Green (Illustrator)

Available 03/19/09

Father and son
Hand in hand
Up on the road
In the sun

This profound poem, chronicling the special bond between a father and son, is perfectly complimented by the lush, exquisite illustrations of world-renowned Gullah painter Jonathan Green. With beautiful simplicity, Father and Son is just right for its new board book format — a perfect gift for any father or son.

Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith

Mother Poems
by Hope Anita Smith

Available 03/31/09

A young girl thinks of her mom as a superhero, a doctor, her North Star. She feels loved in her mother’s arms and capable of conquering the world. But when her beloved role model unexpectedly dies, she cannot even cry; sadness is too overwhelming. As she struggles with grief, she must learn how to carry on while keeping the memory of her mother very much alive inside her heart. In moving poems, Hope Anita Smith explores a personal yet emotionally universal subject: the death of a parent. Through the eyes of a child and then a young woman, these poignant poems, together with stunning folk-art images, powerfully capture the complicated feelings of someone who shows great hope, strength, and will to overcome.

Something Like Beautiful by Asha Bandele

Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother’s Story
by Asha Bandele

Available 02/01/09

From the author of The Prisoner’s Wife, a poetic, passionate, and powerful memoir about the hard realities of single motherhood

When Asha Bandele, a young poet, fell in love with a prisoner serving a twenty-to-life sentence and became pregnant with his daughter, she had reason to hope they would live together as a family. Rashid was a model prisoner, and expected to be paroled soon. But soon after Nisa was born, Asha’s dreams were shattered. Rashid was denied parole, and told he’d be deported to his native Guyana once released. Asha became a statistic: a single, black mother in New York City.

On the outside, Asha kept it together. She had a great job at a high-profile magazine and a beautiful daughter whom she adored. But inside, she was falling apart. She began drinking and smoking and eventually stumbled into another relationship, one that opened new wounds. This lyrical, astonishingly honest memoir tells of her descent into depression when her life should have been filled with love and joy. Something Like Beautiful is not only Asha’s story, but the story of thousands of women who struggle daily with little help and much against them, and who believe they have no right to acknowledge their pain. Ultimately, drawing inspiration from her daughter, Asha takes account of her life and envisions for herself what she believes is possible for all mothers who thought there was no way out–and then discovered there was.