Journey Through Heartsongs

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Mattie J. T. Stepanek takes us on a Journey Through Heartsongs with more of his moving poems. These poems share the rare wisdom that Mattie has acquired through his struggle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy and the death of his three siblings from the same disease. His life view was one of love and generosity and as a poet and a peacemaker, his desire was to bring his message of peace to as many people as possible.
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About the author

Matthew J.T. Stepanek, best known as "Mattie," was raised by his mother, Jeni, in Upper Marlboro, MD. He wrote poetry and short stories since the age of three, and his first book of poetry entitled Heartsongs is a collection of his earliest works. Mattie was a frequent public speaker who appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, and Good Morning America and had his poetry published in newspapers and magazines nationwide. In 1999, Mattie was awarded the Melinda Lawrence International Book Award for inspirational written works by Children's Hospice International. In 2001, Mattie served as the Maryland State Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2002, he served as both the National Ambassador and the State Ambassador for the MDA.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette Books
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Published on
Sep 1, 2015
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Pages
74
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ISBN
9780316390187
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Inspirational & Religious
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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I write about anything that touches the essence of my existence. What I witness, what I feel, what I think, what I fear, what I treasure. I write about life, which is our greatest gift." --Mattie Stepanek, 1990-2004

Mattie J. T. Stepanek lived and died a child, but he had the spirit of a giant. Affected by a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease, Mattie lived almost fourteen years but in that time became a poet, best-selling author, peace activist, and a prominent voice for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Before his death in June 2004, his five volumes of Heartsongs poetry sold more than a million copies.

Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs is the final collection of Heartsongs that Mattie was working on when he died. It includes the last poem Mattie penned along with a special collection of unpublished poetry, photographs, and artwork spanning the decade from when he began writing Heartsongs at age three. Culled from the thousands of poems, essays, and journal entries Mattie left behind, the entries in Reflections of a Peacemaker create a portrait of Mattie in his own words. In these poems he explores disability, despair, and death but also the gifts he finds in nature, prayer, peace, and his belief in something "bigger and better than the here and now." The poems are grouped by theme such as playful, stormy, sacred, and final Heartsongs, with each section introduced by a personal tribute from the likes of Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, and former President Jimmy Carter.

In the words of Mattie's mother, Jeni Stepanek, who has published Reflections of a Peacemaker at her son's request, "In reading these poems we enter Mattie's world and gain insight through a child who somehow balanced pain and fear with optimism and faith."
"I was touched by the depth of passion and awed by the firm resolve with which Mattie Stepanek pursued a dream that has evaded men and women throughout history. What began as a casual discourse, not too different from others I have had with inquisitive young people who have reached out to me, became a treasured and enlightening friendship that changed my life forever. With the purity of heart that only a child can possess, and the indomitable spirit of one who has survived more physical suffering than most adults will ever know, Mattie convinced me that his quest was not inconceivable. Inspired by his enthusiasm and without reservation, I committed to a partnership with him. . . . These words of wisdom and inspiration came from the most remarkable person I have ever known." --Jimmy Carter 

Sometimes the most important messages come from the most unlikely places. Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a 13-year-old boy, made a difference before he died with his Heartsongs poetry. He continues to impact the world through Just Peace. This poet, best-selling author, peace activist, and prominent voice for the Muscular Dystrophy Association fervently believed in and promoted world peace not just as a concept, but as a reality.

Mattie was working on this manuscript with Jimmy Carter when he died in June 2004. His mother, Jeni, who edited the material and wrote a preface for the book has published it at her son's request. Just Peace explores Mattie's concept of the world and all people as a unique mosaic of gifts. War and injustice shatter the mosaic, which can only be made whole again by planning and actively pursuing peace. The young visionary's essays, poetry, and photographs appear throughout the book. Jimmy Carter has written a special foreword for the book.

Just as important to the book and enlightening to the reader are Mattie's many correspondences. Central to these are his personal e-mails to and from former president Jimmy Carter, Mattie's peace "hero" and role model. The Nobel Peace Prize winner met Mattie, considered him an angel, messenger, and hero in his own right, and was genuinely affected by Mattie's passion and drive. Just Peace is an intimate portrait of a president, a young man of hope, and peace itself.

"I was touched by the depth of passion and awed by the firm resolve with which Mattie Stepanek pursued a dream that has evaded men and women throughout history. What began as a casual discourse, not too different from others I have had with inquisitive young people who have reached out to me, became a treasured and enlightening friendship that changed my life forever. With the purity of heart that only a child can possess, and the indomitable spirit of one who has survived more physical suffering than most adults will ever know, Mattie convinced me that his quest was not inconceivable. Inspired by his enthusiasm and without reservation, I committed to a partnership with him. . . . These words of wisdom and inspiration came from the most remarkable person I have ever known." --Jimmy Carter 

Sometimes the most important messages come from the most unlikely places. Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a 13-year-old boy, made a difference before he died with his Heartsongs poetry. He continues to impact the world through Just Peace. This poet, best-selling author, peace activist, and prominent voice for the Muscular Dystrophy Association fervently believed in and promoted world peace not just as a concept, but as a reality.

Mattie was working on this manuscript with Jimmy Carter when he died in June 2004. His mother, Jeni, who edited the material and wrote a preface for the book has published it at her son's request. Just Peace explores Mattie's concept of the world and all people as a unique mosaic of gifts. War and injustice shatter the mosaic, which can only be made whole again by planning and actively pursuing peace. The young visionary's essays, poetry, and photographs appear throughout the book. Jimmy Carter has written a special foreword for the book.

Just as important to the book and enlightening to the reader are Mattie's many correspondences. Central to these are his personal e-mails to and from former president Jimmy Carter, Mattie's peace "hero" and role model. The Nobel Peace Prize winner met Mattie, considered him an angel, messenger, and hero in his own right, and was genuinely affected by Mattie's passion and drive. Just Peace is an intimate portrait of a president, a young man of hope, and peace itself.

I write about anything that touches the essence of my existence. What I witness, what I feel, what I think, what I fear, what I treasure. I write about life, which is our greatest gift." --Mattie Stepanek, 1990-2004

Mattie J. T. Stepanek lived and died a child, but he had the spirit of a giant. Affected by a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease, Mattie lived almost fourteen years but in that time became a poet, best-selling author, peace activist, and a prominent voice for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Before his death in June 2004, his five volumes of Heartsongs poetry sold more than a million copies.

Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs is the final collection of Heartsongs that Mattie was working on when he died. It includes the last poem Mattie penned along with a special collection of unpublished poetry, photographs, and artwork spanning the decade from when he began writing Heartsongs at age three. Culled from the thousands of poems, essays, and journal entries Mattie left behind, the entries in Reflections of a Peacemaker create a portrait of Mattie in his own words. In these poems he explores disability, despair, and death but also the gifts he finds in nature, prayer, peace, and his belief in something "bigger and better than the here and now." The poems are grouped by theme such as playful, stormy, sacred, and final Heartsongs, with each section introduced by a personal tribute from the likes of Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, and former President Jimmy Carter.

In the words of Mattie's mother, Jeni Stepanek, who has published Reflections of a Peacemaker at her son's request, "In reading these poems we enter Mattie's world and gain insight through a child who somehow balanced pain and fear with optimism and faith."
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