I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been productively busy. One of the things I have been doing is reading the book “The Last Akaway: A Spirit Animal Adventure” by Gary Karton (the first in a trilogy). Check out his website: Brody Boondoggle & Facebook page.
As a nature lover, psychology enthusiast, and adventurer- I connected with this book on so many levels. The story is about an 11 year-old boy, Brody Boondoggle, who is bitten by a unique but magical creature called an Akaway. Getting bitten by one of these rare creatures allows you to connect with your spirit animal. I so want to get bitten by an Akaway-- don’t you? Well, Brody must experience his own Hero’s Journey and Gary Karton does a great job taking us along with him via his well-written words. The target audience for the book is ages 8-12 but I recommend this book to anyone no matter what age because we could all live vicariously through Brody; learning and relearning important life lessons.
(Love this quote from the book)
Gary is on his own Hero’s Journey. Like many of you, my Dragonfly Friends, Gary has a learning disability – Dyslexia. School was tough for Gary and he struggle with reading. Even in college, Gary found it difficult to study and read. Because of these challenges, Gary discovered he had superpowers of his own. One of his superpowers is his ability to interview people and then put their words into stories, papers, and projects. This special ability was what helped him get a job working as a sports reporter at The Washington Post and then later channel the voice of Brody into this book. Okay, I know that Brody is not a real person so he couldn’t be interviewed, but Brody is a real inside of Gary. Gary just had to interview Brody, along with the other characters, inside his head so he could effectively tell their stories.
Like many of us who never quite felt we fit in and/or had to hide by pretending to be someone else, Gary connected with Superhero stories. He hoped he would be bitten by a spider so he could have special powers like Spider-Man. What Gary had to learn the hard way was we don’t choose our superpowers. If that were the case, I’d be changing the weather right now because I’ve always wanted to be Storm from X-men. When you read Gary’s book you too will discover that our superpowers are inside of us, unique to us, and need to be awaken by mindful enlightenment (maybe…bitten by an Akaway). Not everyone is able to see their superpowers but I assure you that we all have them.
Gary’s stories (his life story & the ones he writes about in his books) are lessons we need to be teaching our children. It is my hope that schools around the country have Gary come in to speak to the students on an Author’s Visit- (click here to contact Gary). He's great with kids by the way!
Remember that 1 in 5 is a student with Dyslexia and there are many other children in schools that feel they don’t fit in and/or have to hide by pretending to be someone else because they learn or look different. They need learn about Gary and be exposed to his books (the first one is published but there will be more on the way). One of the best ways we influence the students is by allow them to learn lessons vicariously through the experiences of others (real & characters in books, movies, TV…).
When we unite together and share our stories we are helping others find their own inner superpowers.
For those of you who like taking those 'quizzes' on the internet here's one for you that will tell you Your Spirit Animal! Enjoy!
**This book is available for those who like to eye-read as well as in audio format for those of us who prefer to ear-read!