Dream Catcher by Yvonne Mason
A story of triumph, love, persistence, endurance and more
There is no such thing as a child who cannot learn. There is no reason why anyone should be shunned or considered an outcast because he or she is challenged academically or in any other way. But, for a child to succeed he or she needs the support, guidance and love of a family. In this story you will meet a remarkable and unique family who not only proved the unimaginable and the unthinkable about a special young man, but engaged the help and love of friends too. Born with a serious illness, Yvonne Mason’s brother Stan proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he was going to show the world that he is here and that he will definitely succeed.
Not able to speak, not able to walk, and not able to do the things that other kids could do at first, he taught himself how to maneuver and crawl when faced with a challenge before the age of one. Born with 2 clubfeet and faced with wearing heavy plaster casts on his feet, Stan, Yvonne’s brother learned to overcome this and managed to move around. But, that is not all, with the help of his brother Barry, sister Yvonne and lots of friends and cousins he managed to learn to walk, take care of his own physical needs, attend school, graduate, help play practical jokes with his sister and cousins, take a bus to his Work Training Program and much more. But, what he had to learn after all of this is not much different from what we had to learn: Lessons of Life and Lessons of bigotry and prejudice not only toward people of different color or races but toward people who are different. Stan learned that not everyone is who he or she appears to be. Stan soon learns people can be cruel and underhanded. People take advantage of you when they think you are less knowledgeable than them. This holds for everyone, not just Stan.
His love of bowling, the first time he went to an Atlanta Braves game and his courage to forge ahead against all adversity makes you wonder why young people today give up so fast and try and take the easy way out.
Stan is truly a person to be admired. Nominated for the Toby Nobis award, which recognizes business, and employees who are challenged helped to give him a sense of pride but to his family too. Although he did not win this did not deter him. This was a man who was not supposed to be able “to do the simple things in life. How amazing the brain works,” as the author puts aptly puts it. Where others would whine and complain when Stan was faced with a problem he would handle it head on.
Flying by himself, dealing with a broken television set and adversity at work, he is truly an inspiration for all those who take defeat so easily and readily. Imagine trying to explain to someone the difference between 9-pin bowling and the regular method. As a bowler I do know the difference and when Yvonne describes the incident where Stan was trying to explain why he and his knew friend Lisa changed to a different bowling alley I remembered my brother trying to teach me to bowl without toppling over and throwing my arm cross alley. This story brought back some great memories. But, some lessons are difficult to learn and this time when Lisa proved herself to be a user and conniver his mother stepped in and thwarted Lisa’s scam. Others do not only learn by those who are challenged but these lessons of life too. You can never be too careful when it comes to lending money to a friend, especially when it appears that money is a primary reason for the friendship.
With their Abbot and Costello routines and their many funny high jinks Yvonne, Stan her mother and her family learned that you could do anything if you want to and don’t ever give up.
Everyone looks up to their parents and wants to emulate or follow in their footsteps. Stan loved his father and spending quality time with him and imitating some of his mannerisms and daily routines cemented their bond even more.
You need to read the last chapter written by Yvonne’s mother and presented at West Georgia for everyone to hear. Yvonne’s mother is truly amazing and someone who did what most mother’s should do but might not have the wherewithal or the stamina to do: SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT FAILURE AS AN OPTION!
Stan is an example of what people must do in order to be happy. He accepted who he is and what his limitations and capabilities are. He would not blame the world for his problems and accepts people for who they are not bigoted or prejudice or hurtful to anyone.
Stan: I have a nephew that was born deaf. No one knew this until he was about a year old. The doctors told his mother and father he would never stand, sit up, walk, and drive a car or more. Then, he entered Lexington School for the Deaf and his mother and father would not let this diagnosis hamper him. He is now the father of a beautiful little girl and a web designer for a major hotel chain and more. Never give up on who you are. Never think that just because a doctor says it that it is written in stone.
Your influence on others will remain in their hearts and mind just by reading your story now and forever. Educators need to follow the example of those who cared enough about Stan and her caring enough to help him learn to read, speak and more. For those educators who teach Special Education you need to remember that kids learn at their own pace and as with Stan they will often surprise you and overcome insurmountable odds. Never give up and never say never.
You need to read this book and give it to every educator, doctor and parent to know that knowledge if powerful and love and family can help you through anything. Stan’s life is message to all of us that everyone can succeed no matter what if they want to.
This book deserves more than just five stars. Fran Lewis: reviewer
When Fates Collide
The title not only fits the story but the way it begins too. There have been many pairs of outlaws that have teamed up. Batman and Robin. But, none of these pairs can compare to the zany and seriously wacky who teams up with a receptionist working in corporate America to hunt and bring back and track down a jumper who has eluded the law and will stop at nothing to get their man., Thelma and Louise and of course
Meet Hope: Sitting innocently having a drink in her usual hangout the Crypt feeling sorry for herself and saying that she has no life and nothing ever happens to her of any consequence. Maybe she should have been thankful for that. All too often when we complain and wish for more or some changes in our lives we might get our wish but not exactly in the way we might have liked. Hope lives in Tampa and thought that she would be there for the rest of her live doing her everyday and mundane job and just going through the motions. But, then she meets Alex. No, she does not just come up to her and say, “Hi, you wanna be friends or BFF’s.” That would be boring and not make this great story what it is funny, comical and extremely creative for first time paired authors Yvonne Mason and.
Alex is a bounty hunter who is looking for someone named Hope Harrington, who you would assume is a woman or a young girl. But, you know what happens when you assume. I don’t have to explain that to you. Well, she goes into this bar the Crypt thinking that she now has her man and will earn the bounty or the money for bringing him in. Walking into the bar with the guys jacket or rap sheet she sees what she thinks is her jumper and proceeds to execute the arrest and telling the suspect not to even think about trying to get away. Of course I am using different words for this review. Spinning her around she slammed her onto the floor and what came out of Hope’s mouth cannot be written but you can just imagine what you would say if it were you getting slammed dunked. After realizing that she had found Hope Harrington but not the one she was looking for the two decided to get to know each other and team up to find the real suspect.
The guy that they were really looking could change his appearance at the drop of a hat and was out to make Alex look bad to her boss and to herself too. But, Alex is a force to be reckoned with and timid and not so forceful Hope is about to learn the ropes and learn a whole new meaning of not so boring life or job.
After losing the suspect twice they decide they try to figure out his next move. Alex feels that he might try and steal a boat and head for the Florida Keys. How she manages to lose the suspect you will have to read for yourself. With the help of a friend named Tyrell, Alex and Hope take off for the Keys and what happens is hysterical and yet creative that you would think this was an episode of America’s creative and funniest videos or the new and improved Unsolved Crimes solved in a very unique and different way.
With all of the boats at the dock and many there for Gay Pride week it was easy to lose the suspect in such a big crowd. But they would not give up and Alex would not lose the bounty and her time was short and she needed to find this guy and fast. There was a festival in St. Duvall and Alex thought that since this guy was a master of disguise he might be hiding in plain sight and of course looking anything but like himself. Splitting up and searching for this guy Tyrell gets a lead and relates the suspects true appearance to Alex. How they finally get him will make you double over and yet show pure admiration for our girl Hope and her clever mentor Alex. How far would you go as a law enforcement officer to get your man? Would you have yourself body painted as a nun in order to hide your true identity? Would you have yourself body painted as a zombie to create a diversion and not allow yourself to be noticed? Would you come up with a clever way to make these disguises work for you and against the suspect who is not only full of himself and loves attention but has his body painted too. I won’t tell you as what because that might give too much away.
Hope is quite smart and she comes up with a way to not only help Alex foil this guy but help others too. There is a contest for the best costume being held on. She convinces the people in charge of the contest to add a new twist to it: They were going to sell off the contestants to the highest bidder. Yes: there own contest and whomever gets the most bids during the contest, as in who wants to own that person the most, as the authors state, will go out on a date with the lucky winner. The proceeds will go to a children’s charity fund.
What happens during the contest and how they finally get him will not only give up pause for thought about how dangerous the job of a bounty hunter really is, but also how creative and cunning you have to be. Just when Alex apprehends the suspect as he comes on stage another twist and turn occurs and she needs the help of her Uncle Max a higher up in law enforcement to help complete the takedown of this man. The rest and the outcome you will have to read for yourself. The friendship between these two gets as tight as the handcuffs on a criminal and they decide they make a good team. Will Hope chuck her job in corporate America for a life of danger, the unknown, sleepless nights, travel and not many amenities, or will she decide to go back and complain about having no life and being bored? Will Alex entice her to take a step on the wild side and be her partner? You will have to wait and see. I can feel a sequel coming on and I know that you the reader will want to see what trouble these two will get into next.
Five stars would not be the right things for this book: Five Bounty Hunters and Five Gift Cards for Body Painting by Mr. Van Goth.
Fran Lewis: reviewer