For several years, Sarah Joy Wester, M.A. ’12 (Art Therapy), dreamed about writing, illustrating, and publishing a children’s book. While caring for her new son, a story idea took shape and became Dawn the Dreamer and the Feather Field: The Story of How the Broken Birds Began to Fly.
The book follows the adventure of Dawn, a brave but broken bird who is born into a flock that has no idea it was born to fly, Wester said. “Dawn embarks on a journey of growing her wings little by little and not only discovers the wonder of flight for herself but also later returns for her loved ones. It’s a perfect example of growing for the sake of giving back.”
Readers of all ages will enjoy the book, Wester added. “It is a book for the misfit dreamers out there who are seeking to rise above their pasts and who find themselves being misunderstood as they reach beyond themselves.”
Wester said she hopes the book helps children develop their emotional intelligence, the ability to identify and manage their own emotions and recognize the emotions of others. Research studies show that emotional intelligence is a lead indicator of success and happiness in life.
“In a world where relational intimacy is hijacked by technology and superficial relationships, it is increasingly important to enrich our children with opportunities to develop emotional intelligence,” Wester noted. “It is deeply satisfying to me to think that my book can be a small part of inspiring young readers to dream and love courageously.”
Wester, who lives in New Braunfels, Texas, and counsels high school students, is donating a portion of the book’s proceeds to organizations serving survivors of human trafficking.
The book’s themes are connected to Adler University’s values and vision. “One of the facets I especially appreciated about my education at Adler was the focus on learning with the intention of serving others,” Wester said. “It isn’t about being the smartest person in the room and obtaining mere head knowledge and making heaps of money. It’s about offering our skills to make the world a better place.”