Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward: Book Review

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Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward Book Cover
Title: Navigate Your Stars

My Synopsis:

In her commencement address to Tulane University in 2018, Jesmyn Ward shared some of her family history, her own hard-won path to success, and thoughts on achieving your dreams. That speech has been published in this illustrated hardcover edition.

My Review:

This is one of the most realistic commencement addresses I’ve ever read or heard. These things are usually full of high flown language about changing the world and chasing your dreams. That’s all very inspirational. But how do you actually get to that point?

You work and you work some more. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. But you keep going forward. You don’t look down on those who have to choose between education and putting food on the table or heating their homes. That’s the message I took from Ms. Ward’s beautifully-written words. It’s a powerful one.

I felt that Gina Triplett’s folk art-inspired illustrations were the perfect accompaniment to the speech.

This is a short read that packs a punch. Pick it up if you need a reminder to just keep going or if you’re looking for a gift for a recent graduate in your life.

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Reading Challenge:

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  1. This sounds wonderful and inspirational without having all the (perhaps somewhat unrealistic) lofty rhetoric, as you point out.

  2. Commencement speeches can be so awful or so typical. I love that this one is good! My daughter graduates from college next month so I hope her speaker does well.

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