"Ava’s Dream by Joseph J. Ridgway tells us the story of Ava, our inquisitive main character, and her grandfather. Ava learns about the government alongside her grandfather to help her friend and others in a similar situation; along the journey, she learns about the government. This book teaches children rules to have a purpose, and that they may become unfair to others, and that they can and be changed. The writing conveyed the message in an understandable manner. I enjoyed Ava’s Dream, it taught me a lot about how the government works." ~ Maryame, Age 11, Kids Book Buzz. June 2021
"A fun, easy-to-understand story that explains to children how America's judicial system works. Ava's Dream is the perfect read for teaching our children about Civics. It should be found in all elementary school classrooms around the country. Includes the full Constitution with Amendments, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. Books like this show why America is such a great country! A must-read for all ages." ~ Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review, May 2021
"A must-read for any child wanting to learn more about the laws that govern our great nation and those who create, interpret, and sometimes even give their lives to enforce them. Ava’s Dream provides a path to understanding and captures the story of a young girl who sets out to make a difference in the life of a fellow citizen and sacred friend. Authentic, poignant, and enriching,…this story will inspire others to do the same." -Jennifer Padgett, San Francisco Book Review, May 2021
Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Children - Grade 4th-6th book "Ava's Dream" by Joseph J. Ridgway, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983344469.
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Reviewed By Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite
"Joseph J. Ridgway’s Ava’s Dream is a story about Ava’s journey in learning about the three branches of the government during her summer vacation. A new park had opened up in their town and Ava was more than excited to step through its large silver gates and explore it. One day, Ava notices her friend, Sofia Jo, outside the park with her dad. Sofia Jo is blind so she is always accompanied by her seeing dog, Sadie. Ava is thrilled to see them and immediately approaches her friend and invites her to play inside the park. Unfortunately, Sofia Jo declines her invitation and her father explains there is a rule in the park that states “NO DOGS ALLOWED IN THE PARK.” Ava feels sad for her friend and wants to help her. She asks advice from her lawyer grandfather who is used to helping people solve their problems with the law. Will Ava and her grandfather be able to help Sofia Jo and other people with service dogs enter and experience the fun that they are missing in the park?
Ava’s Dream by Joseph J. Ridgway is an educational children’s book full of valuable lessons relating to the law. The story shows that with hard work and perseverance, you will get the results you deserve. Ridgway gives us an interesting and simplified interpretation of the three branches of the government, making it easier to understand and remember. It also clearly explains the purpose of these three branches of government. The story is a great representation of the information Ridgway wishes to impart. The characters were sympathetic and kind and taught me many lessons - one is that there are laws written for good reasons but sometimes those reasons aren’t enough to keep certain laws from being unfair to others. It taught me that although laws are made with the benefit of everyone in mind, in the end, it doesn’t always benefit ‘everyone.’ Another thing I was impressed with was Ava’s determination to help her friend. Her kind personality and perseverance for someone else’s sake really stood out to me. The ending is truly satisfying after Ava and her grandfather’s long and hard journey. Overall, the story is brilliant and well-written; great work!"
You can learn more about Joseph J. Ridgway and "Ava's Dream" at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/avas-dream where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.
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Our Founding Fathers wrote a plan which provides the means to freedom, liberty, and justice for all, starting with these three words, “We the People...” Ava will recognize the value as future safe-keepers of their nation as we all learn and apply them as we continue on our path as one of ‘We the People.’
Welcome all readers and thank you for allowing me to share with you an important part of the amazing story of our United States Constitution. Ava’s Dream travels beyond the unbelievable and well-known tale of our Founding Fathers who risked their careers, their families, and their own lives to start a new country by revolting against the awesome power of Great Britain and its ruler, King George III. We all know our revolution was successful; what followed, however, truly was the most incredible part of our history.
Think of sitting at your desk while attempting to write a plan the government and people of our new country will follow forever; a plan which would provide the means to justice and freedom for all, which were previously denied. What would you write? How would you begin.
Our Founding Fathers decided to start with these three words, “We the People...” Clearly they were saying we wanted to govern ourselves. For almost 250 years we have done just that, governed ourselves. Governance has not been perfect - no human is. While sometimes taking two steps forward and one step back, we continuously persevere.
What has been the single most important key to our success? How have we been able to keep on the path of self-governance without finding ourselves lost in the woods? My hope is the tale told in this book answers, in large part, these questions. It is also my wish that the readers, many of whom are the future safe-keepers of our nation, will remember the importance of this lesson as you continue on your path as one of “We the People.”
~ Joseph Ridgway
Reviewed By Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers’ Favorite
"Like any other child of her age, Ava loves spending time in the park. That her friend Sofia Jo is unable to accompany her there saddens her. Sofia, being blind, is dependent on her seeing-eye dog, Sadie. However, the rules prohibit all kinds of dogs from entering the park, thus excluding Sofia. Ava sets out to resolve this unfair rule with some assistance from her grandfather. When everyone starting from the policeman patrolling the park to the mayor of the town seems unable to help them, Ava is disheartened. Should she quit her mission, or should she continue fighting for her friend’s rights? What does the US constitution have to say about this? Ava’s Dream by Joseph J. Ridgway can provide the answers.
Seemingly a sweet and short story geared towards children, Ava’s Dream holds a few profound messages. Ridgway introduces young readers to the US constitution and the legal system in the form of a relatable story. He describes the three branches of the government - legislative, executive, and judicial - and their limitations. This book helps children to understand clear concepts through repeated elucidations. Taking Ava’s experience as an example, Joseph J. Ridgway shows how even good-intentioned rules can be unfair, depending on the circumstances. He demonstrates the way to stand up against such rules, albeit in a law-abiding manner. Ava’s story emphasizes that when a cause is worthy enough, you should never give up fighting for it. This book teaches children patience and perseverance, two skills they will require throughout life."
Reviewed By Soumya Sreehari for Readers’ Favorite
"Civics lessons in school seem to be dry and uninteresting. Ava’s Dream by Joseph Ridgway makes Civics lessons interesting. Ava is an eleven-year-old girl excited about a new park in her city. The grand opening is the summer’s big event and much awaited by all citizens. During the event, Ava is overjoyed with the beauty, vastness, and activities of the park, except for the fact that dogs are not allowed. That means her blind friend Sofia Jo cannot enter the park with Sadie, her seeing-eye dog. Determined to help Sofia Jo, Ava partners up with her lawyer grandfather to solve the problem for Sofia Jo. The story that follows is Ava’s journey and a Civics lesson rolled into one. The appendix includes the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Children’s books are great sources to learn about critical topics. Ava’s Dream by Joseph Ridgway is written for children but is useful for anyone who is curious to understand the structure of governance at a city level. Through Ava’s story, Joseph outlines the basic structure of the United States government, and how a citizen can solve a public problem. The story is narrated in a simple and lucid manner. I found the story straightforward, instructional, and inspirational. It is critical to educate our children – future citizens – in a relatable manner. This ensures that they are interested in the subject and can further their knowledge as they grow older. The story form is especially effective to hold children’s attention. I highly recommend Ava’s Dream to young children and adults too."