Must Read Mentor Text - A Story of Hope

It is time once again to link up with the lovely ladies at Collaboration Cuties for...

This week's theme is social studies and I am going to stretch my recommendation just a wee bit. My book is: Terry Fox - A Story of Hope by Maxine Trottier.

I did not put the full title of this book in my blog post title because I did not want people to think - oh that is just a book for Canadians!! It is NOT, it is an amazing story for everyone!!!!!

Here is why I love this book - I love Terry Fox. If you do not know about Terry here is a little bit about him from Wikipedia:

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name.

Here is a little video (watching the videos makes me cry every year when we show them at our Terry Fox Run/Walk assembly - I know he is going to die but it gets me every year - cried watching it to embed this one here).

Okay there are also things I love about the book. It is great for introducing biographies and non-fiction text features. It has great inspirational quotes throughout the book that you could use as a jumping off point for collecting and responding to quotes. Here are some of my favorite Terry Fox quotes:

"How many people do something they really believe in? I just wish people would realize that anything's possible, if you try: dreams are made, if people try. When I started this run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we'd have $22 million for cancer research, and I don't care man, there's no reason that isn't possible. No reason. I'd like to see everybody go kind of wild, inspired with the fundraising."

“I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”

“It took cancer to realize that being self-centered is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others.”

Also the book is written in a way that makes the story accessible for elementary students but still rich. The story brings up a lot of personality traits or attributes - determination, perseverance etc. and would be a great way to introduce these values or study personality traits.

As the organizer for our school Terry Fox Run/Walk I can say that the Terry Fox Foundation does a fantastic job providing resources for your school - not just pledge forms, tattoos and stickers - but books and videos too. I can also say that each year we tell our students that they just need to donate a toonie (two dollars for you non-Canadians) but each year the students get behind this fundraiser one hundred percent and bring in loads of donations - especially when they now it may mean teachers getting pie in the face. If you want to learn more about the Terry Fox Foundation or check out some lesson plans on Terry Fox check out this website:

Here is another great video with the Rod Stewart song Never Give Up on a Dream that I love, just in case you were still unsure if you wanted to read the book about this incredible individual.

Thanks to Erin for pointing out that today is his birthday : )


  1. Looks like a great book and an inspirational story!

    Is the book available on Amazon?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Learning in the Little Apple

  2. I have NEVER heard of Terry Fox, but wow! What an amazing person. Today would have been his 55th birthday, from the gravestone pictured in the video.

  3. I LOVE this book and often use it for back to school.
    Great recommendation!

  4. Such an incredibly touching story and a video to go with it! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners
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  5. I think that I saw a 30 for 30 on ESPN about him. He has a wonderful story!!

    Fifth in the Middle

  6. What an inspirational story. I will have to check this book out. I'm sure my kiddos would enjoy it.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  7. Wow! I've never heard of him either! We share a birthday! Touching!

    I will have to look into all of this for sure! Thanks for linking up!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. Terry Fox! What a great Canadian hero! That is a great book... I cry every year when we watch the video.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  9. Thank you for introducing me to Terry Fox! I love biographies and this sounds so inspirational-I MUST have it! Such a great story of perseverance! I cried my eyes out watching that video! This is beautiful AMC! I love it!!!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  10. Much like in my other post, anything that makes my students think beyond their own little world, the better. As a teen, I would go to my mom about "girl drama" and she would reply, "You never know what is going on in (insert name's) life." I disliked that response as a teen, but now I get it! Think beyond and do what you can to make our world better! Love it and sharing with my teachers.
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun


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