I’m doing something a tiny bit different for the next few weeks; instead of shining the spotlight on friends’ new books, I’m going to shine a spotlight on readers. (If that’s not your thing, be sure to come back Friday, December 30 for a guest post written by the amazing Nikki Grimes!).

A dad in Omaha, Nebraska, sent me this photo (be still my heart!). He said his son hadn’t wanted to read Duke, because Hobie gives Duke away to the Dogs for Defense program. You can clearly see why this young reader would feel that way! Look at that adorable German shepherd! He has his own teddy bear, too.

tren-and-duke

But this reader took a chance on opening up his heart to this book, even though he worried it might make him sad. I admire this young man’s┬ácourage, and see him as a true role model. So here’s one of my mantras for the foreseeable future: no matter what’s happening in the moment, if I open my heart up to the whole story, I might find a happy ending or two.