NURTURING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Reviewed By: Avraham Azrieli
Avraham Azrieli's most recent novel is "Deborah Calling" (HarperColllins 2017), the story of the first woman to lead a nation in history. www.azrielibooks.com
NURTURING THE AMERICAN DREAM by FRANK P.N. ADJEI-MENSAH (Author) and DANIEL O. ADJEI-MENSAH (Illustrator) is a unique story of two childhood friends and their paths to achieving the “American Dream.”
Nigel is a boy blessed with a creative mind and supportive parents. He designs toys while excelling in school. He eventually achieves his dream of becoming a teacher while his line of toy designs generates rich royalties from worldwide sales. His best friend Cody, a science-minded boy, aspires to become a pharmacist. The book tells their story from childhood, through college, marriage, and raising a family. But most fascinating, it tells their stories of success, with Nigel the one leading the way.
One of the most poignant sections of the book happens when the two friends, as adults, discuss the key issue: “Nigel went on to explain that the “American Dream” is about being able to live your life and raise your family the way you’d like, without a bunch of financial problems and issues.” Cody, on the other hand, complains: “My paycheck is never enough any longer, and I have bills and lots of student loans to pay. Taxes, alone, take a big chunk of my paycheck. I’m really struggling.” Nigel reiterate the question before answering it: “Now, if everyone has the same 24-hours each day, then how come some people have lots of money, while others have none?” Then, he delivers a short lecture to his best friend: “You must apply your creativity and imagination to create #value in a product or service that people, governments, or organizations would like to buy or pay for, even people from around the world. This could fetch you income around the clock, whether you’re asleep, sick /disabled, on vacation, or even lose your job for whatever reason, he explained further.” He continues: “Once you discover an idea, the one you’re most passionate about, you can work on it in your spare time. Then, when the idea takes hold and provides you a steady stream of income and expands your wealth, you could decide between your idea and your job at some point, Cody.” And, he makes a fine point about the moral and social value, beyond self-enrichment: “It’s also about enriching other people’s lives with the product or service you create, Cody. Not to mention all the jobs you’d create along the way, and the taxes you’d help generate for the government to provide essential services as well.”
In the tradition of American-storytellers’ happy endings, Cody applies his professional and scientific skills to assemble a team of fellow pharmacists and develop a product that will—you guessed it!—transform the lives of countless people around the world.
The book excels not only in storytelling, but also in its brilliant illustrations, styled after the contemporary visualization of video games, appealing to current youths. Its message reinforces the invaluable virtues of pursuing great dreams and worthy goals with persistence, passion, hard work, commitment, positive attitude, and strong “belief in one’s ability to meet challenges and succeed.”
In summary, NURTURING THE AMERICAN DREAM is a wonderful book of inspiration and guidance, delivering timeless ideas and priceless advice that would rejoice young and mature readers alike while they pursue success, wealth and happiness. Highly recommended! –Avraham Azrieli for TheColumbiaReview.com