FOREWORD by Craig Kielburger, Free the Children Foundation. When the Children´s Wish Foundation approached lovely 13-year-old Maddison Babineau just after she received her cancer diagnosis, they offered her the wish of a lifetime. You can do anything, they said: A Disney cruise? The chance to meet your favorite movie star? A $5,000 shopping spree? To those who knew her, it came as no surprise that none of these things were on Maddie´s wish list. But she did know exactly what she wanted. She had been moved to tears after watching a television program about the plight of orphaned children in an African village whose suffering was made all the more tragic because of inadequate shelter, lack of food, and clean drinking water. Maddie´s wish? To ease the plight of these children, halfway across the world. With the money from the foundation, Maddie built the village orphans a shelter and a school, and she provided food and clean water. But this was just the start. Despite being bedridden, and then hospital-bound by her disease, until her dying day Maddie became an indefatigable fundraiser for her children. Maddie was recognized, in life and posthumously, with a number of awards, honors, and memorials. But, until the end, all that was important to her was providing hope and future to the village children who had filled her heart. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Susan Crawford. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/052220/bk_acx0_052220_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Olympia Crawford Rubinstein has a busy legal career, a solid marriage, and a way of managing her thriving family with grace, humor, and boundless energy. With twin daughters finishing high school, a son at Dartmouth, and a kindergartner from her second marriage, there seems to be no challenge to which Olympia cannot rise. Until one sunny day in May, when she opens an invitation for her daughters to attend the most exclusive coming-out ball in New York and chaos erupts all around her. One twin´s excitement is balanced by the other´s outrage; her previous husband´s profound snobbism is in sharp contrast to her current husband´s flat refusal to attend. For Olympia´s husband, Harry, whose parents survived the Holocaust, the idea of a blue-blood debutante ball is abhorrent. Her daughter Veronica, a natural-born rebel, agrees, while Veronica´s identical twin, Virginia, is already shopping for the perfect dress. Then there´s Olympia´s ex, an insufferable snob, who sees the ball as the perfect opportunity for a family feud. And amid all the hubbub, Olympia´s college-age son, Charlie, is facing a turning point in his life, and may need his mother more than ever. But despite it all, Olympia is determined to steer her family through the event until, just days before the cotillion, things begin to unravel with alarming speed. From a son´s crisis to a daughter´s heartbreak, from a case of the chicken pox to a political debate raging in her household, Olympia is on the verge of surrender. And that is when, in a series of startling choices and changes of heart, family, friends, and even a blue-haired teenager all find a way to turn a night of calamity into an evening of magic. As old wounds are healed, barriers are shattered, and new traditions are born, a debutante ball becomes a catalyst for change, revelation, acceptance, and love. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Garrison. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/000848/bk_rand_000848_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.