Kid’s chapter books: Courage

When I write kid’s chapter books, the characters often display courage in their lives. In Charlie the Horse, Charlie has to be brave enough to continue with his training after he has a bad day. In Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, Hattie the Chicken displays courage when she stands up against Bentley the bully. Some reviewers have said my autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, is a story of ” strength, passion and courage,” but that is always for readers to decide. Sometimes there is a story that stands above the others. Let’s consider that of little eight year-old Alissa Sizemore. She’s dreamed of becoming a dancer since she was a tiny four year-old. But something happened that could have derailed those dreams. One day last year Alissa was playing outside with her older sister, Cylee and their friends. She ran past some trash cans, just as a UPS  truck was rolling to a stop. The tire ran over her foot, immediately severing it. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors worked feverishly to save her foot. But, it turned out that Alissa lost not only her foot, but also the lower part of her leg. Here are her Mom’s thoughts after the surgery:

“She didn’t understand why they couldn’t just give her back her foot,” Heather tells PEOPLE. “And then, to have half of her leg gone too, how do you explain that? It was very difficult. I still cry whenever I think of that conversation.”

Alissa’s dad, Phillip, even built a dance studio for her and her siblings at home.  Here’s what he wanted her to know:

“He knew his youngest child faced a “rough road” to recovery.

“But I also knew that she was very determined and never gives up,” he says. “She’s always been like that. I told her, ‘Whatever it takes, you’ll get through this. With or without your leg, you’re still the same person.’ ”

For some time after the accident, Alissa needed crutches to get from place to place. But once she received her artificial leg, she began secretly practicing dancing. Imagine how stunned her family was last summer during auditions for the dance team placements. No one expected Alissa to participate. Nobody was surprised when she wanted to be a candidate for the recital. Here’s what one of her dance teachers said:

“Alissa never gave up and never even skipped a beat,” says Taunia Wheeler, one of three teachers who helped Alissa develop a routine.

“She’s shown an incredible amount of courage, determination and motivation to be the same little girl she has always been.”

With Alissa’s remarkable courage and wonderful attitude, I predict all of her dreams will come true.

If you like kid’s chapter books that highlight good attitudes and/or courage, you may enjoy my award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, or my fictional kid’s  chapter books, Charlie the Horse, or Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. All five of my kid’s chapter books have important lessons to share with your children.

copyright Deanie Humphrys-Dunne 2015



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Comments & Responses

8 Responses so far.

  1. Sherry Ellis says:

    I’m glad she continued dancing. But what a horrible thing to go through!

  2. Hi Deannie,
    This girl is going to make it. She has the stubborness and determination to endure whatever gets in her way. I loved this article!

  3. Lonnie Cundiff says:

    I love this story, but I am biased… I am Alissas grandfather! She is a very inspirational little girl, she is also caring and sweet. A small note to the writer: she was struck by a UPS truck not a garbage truck, but the story remains the same. Thank you for bringing her story out!!

    • Mr. Condiff, it’s an honor to hear from you. Thank you for telling me about the error. I will correct it. Please give my best regards(and love) to Alissa. Be sure to tell her I’m proud of all she’s done.

  4. Heather Sizemore says:

    I’m absolutely amazed at how far my little Alissa’s story has traveled and the lives it had touched. I’m grateful for her strength and the engagement she has been able to give to people with her journey. Thank you 🙂

    A small correction, she was ran over by a ups truck

    • Mrs. Sizemore, thank you so much for reading the story and commenting. Please be sure that Alissa knows I’m proud of her and I think she’ll accomplish great things. The error in the text has been corrected. Best wishes to you and your family.

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