It’s the season for graduations. Most of us know someone who will be moving on to high school or college or from college to (we hope) a working life.
One difficulty of the graduation transition is that the graduate’s elders want desperately to pass along their best advice—and this at a time when many a graduate feels young, invincible, and too smart to be slowed down by “lectures” (because that’s the way they sound) from their elders.
So, sometimes we give the graduate something we hope will help her wisdom along. For instance, a book that is small and friendly.
Books targeting high school or college students can fail miserably if they are written in a patronizing way. The voice has to be authentic. And the person writing must truly know her audience.
Well, I have just such a book to recommend: I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This: Advice Given in the Nick of Time, by Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart. The author worked with young people for years and founded Tomorrow’s Present, a leadership group for young people. She has the experience to back up her words.
Actually, she had the experience. Lisa-Marie died last year after a long fight with cancer. She sent a manuscript to our acquisitions editor, and he turned it down because it didn’t quite work. Then he discovered that this woman had a long history of ministry and was dying. So he got back to her and said, essentially, “I’m rejecting this manuscript. But I want you to write another book.”
To which she said, “You do realize that I’m dying, right?”
“All the more reason to get started right now. What are the most important things you have to say to young people, now that you’re facing your own death?”
So, in just a few weeks’ time, Lisa-Marie wrote I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This. She was literally dying as she and the editor did the read-through of her final draft. By the time the book was published, the author had already accomplished the ultimate graduation.
You can buy this book at a discount during graduation season.
On Wednesday, I’ll post some excerpts, because Lisa-Marie’s wisdom is good for anyone, not just young people.