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This book is dedicated to every kid who has ever felt afraid, ashamed, bullied, or preoccupied with issues inside and outside of the learning environment that have made it more challenging to focus and learn in the academic setting. Where I Live not only involves the main character's physical environment but also his internal environment, where he sees himself in his mind and in his life's experiences. Know that you are loved and appreciated. Never feel that you are in this world by yourself. It's okay to communicate your feelings when you feel alone and afraid. I believe in you and care about your well-being. There are many more people cheering for you than you think. You were wonderfully created to do great things. Your future is bright, and you will and can get through anything that comes your way.
“Odell Staggers Where I Live is an all-too real story for many of our children but his is a message of hope and courage. While this is a beautifully illustrated children's book, Staggers pulls no punches and well he shouldn't.
Oscar lives in an environment that saps children of opportunity and could easily drive him down a dangerous path of violence, drugs and despair. Instead, Oscar finds true value from a lesson taught in school.
Where I Live is a book for all ages. It's message is powerful. Education and community are invaluable.”
-Alexandra Allred, Author, Speaker
Odell Staggers grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Although he was raised in a loving home by two amazing parents, he often had to deal with the dangerous and unkind streets. Odell and his siblings were confronted by gangs, peer pressure, intimidation, bullies, drugs, and other factors that made growing up very stressful. But having faith in God, praying, learning from loving parents how to navigate the dangerous streets, and never giving up on their dreams helped Odell and his siblings to overcome the plethora of challenges. Odell is a high school teacher and college instructor. He is married to his wife of 25 years, Karan, and they have three amazing children.
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