Book encourages kids to never give up



JASPER — Sometimes, we bow out when our goals are just within reach.

In “Stick to Your Dreams,” a new children’s book created by writer Dr. Gregory Gordon and illustrator Jason Martin, the team of local creatives hope to inspire children to never give up.

“I think we all have dreams,” said Gordon, 61, who lives between Jasper and Celestine. “And I think a lot of people give up on their dreams, or their dreams change. My favorite word in the English language is the word perseverance, and I really believe, a lot of times, the difference between success and failure is sometimes people just give up too early.”

He continued: “If they could just hang on a little bit longer, they might even accomplish their dream. And they don’t even realize it.”

Gordon’s book focuses on a baby eagle named Chance who is swept from his family’s nest during a rainstorm. After falling into a river, he is rescued by a turtle who dreams of seeing his home from the sky. Years later, Chance returns to help his friend’s dream come true.

“Maybe, my friend, you too have lofty goals,” reads the final passage of the book. “Stick to your dreams, hold on tight, and with God’s help ... who knows?”

Gordon — who is also a Jasper optometrist — began writing when he was in his mid-30s, and has since published six books for both children and adults. He hopes to brighten readers’ lives through his work.

“If nothing else, something you say or do or share with somebody might give them the strength to hang on just a little bit longer,” he said.

“Stick to Your Dreams” is the first book Martin has illustrated. The Ferdinand man immediately began putting the artwork down on paper after reading the script. Martin — who also does service work at Dubois County Garage Doors and dabbles in other art and restoration projects — was recovering from a knee replacement at the time, which allowed him to concentrate on the project.

Gordon is his optometrist, and the two grew close after Martin completed a mural in Gordon’s son’s room. Now, the pair is already collaborating on another book.

Martin said reading children’s books is a good way for kids to get away from tablets and TV screens.

“I think they need something to get away from electronics every once in a while,” he said. “Something like this gives them a good break. And this book works well for adults and children.”

Those wanting to pick up a copy of the book can find it at Gordon’s optometry office, which is located at 471 U.S. 231 in Jasper. A portion of the proceeds will benefit homeless people in Indiana and Philadelphia.

Gordon hopes kids and parents close the book knowing that love and kindness is like a boomerang. It always comes back.

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