Keep this book around for those days you feel like individuals can’t really make a difference in the world. Kennedy Odede grew up of the streets of the largest slum in Africa. As a teenager, resolving to improve his and his community’s circumstances, he used a soccer ball to bring people together and started a movement called Shining Hope for Communities. Today, in partnership with his wife his wife Jessica Posner, who came to Africa as an American college student, Shining Hope provides services that benefit over 76,000 people. Add a love story in the shadow of political oppression and PW calls the result “a riveting memoir.”
Fans include Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Michelle Obama and Nicholas Kristoff who is writing the forward and includes them in his book and documentary, A Path Appears. They’ve already done lots of national media and we expect much more at on sale.
You can see Kennedy and Jessica talk about their story here:
“Odede, a community organizer in his early 20s, grew up in Kibera, and tells of his childhood of poverty, abuse, and struggle; Posner, a privileged, 20-year-old Wesleyan University student on a semester abroad project, arrived in 2007…and she begins to fall under the spell of the charismatic, courageous young man who founded the nonprofit community organization Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)….Self-taught on the writings and work of Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, Odede is determined to rise above violence and poverty and help his neighbors in the process; in Posner he finds the perfect partner for his quest. Suspenseful and absorbing, this true story of a man and a woman from two different worlds reveals how dramatically circumstances can change.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A well-wrought, inspiring tale of ‘change and justice’ in a part of the world where they are often sorely lacking.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“It’s hard to imagine any couple more full of dreams and doing, of imagination and determination, than Kennedy and Jess. They embody a humble audaciousness, recognizing they don’t know all the answers but fiercely believing that there are answers to hunger, violence, poverty and hopelessness….They’ve written an extraordinary book, courageously honest about their challenges, their victories, their losses and their achingly beautiful love. Arguably most remarkable? It’s clear their story is only beginning.”
— Chelsea Clinton
Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum (9780062292858) by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner. $27.99 hardcover. 10/13/15 on sale.