Kevan Chandler, the author of the book, is also the star of the story. He and his friends approached a challenge (visiting overseas) and found a way to address it so that everyone was enriched, boundaries were shattered, and love was left in their wake, presumably everywhere these young men went. Chandler spent the majority of his life getting around in a wheelchair, until he and his friends had a crazy idea to create a custom backpack that would be used to carry Kevan on an international trip. Living in the USA, having no funds to get there, and creating a very ambitious plan, this was no easy feat. Complete it they did, however, leaving the wheelchair entirely out of the picture (they left it at the airport).
Imagine the kind of trust that takes, and kindness, and love...on the parts of all of them. The takeaways I got from the book were multiple, but I will leave you with the few that instantly come to mind. 1). We need to reach out more. This story touched me in a big way. I was deeply and profoundly moved by the genuine outpouring of consideration, ambition, drive, and unity it took to make this trip happen. Let me say too, that being a tad bit of introvert (me, not Kevan), I envy the kind and welcoming nature that Kevan and his friends seem to possess. That kind of reaching out and connection is admirable. #lifegoals
2). The limits of mobility can be redefined. This crew went to some amazing places, and they did so toting another human being on their back. Dude! I get tired carrying my granddaughter for too long (she's 6 now, and not so light!). I still rent a stroller for her if we go to an amusement park, which is only a one-day outing!! Hats off to the carriers. #waycoolhumanbeings
3). The generous spirit this troop inherently possess leaves a mark on those they interact with everywhere they go. I don't want to give anything away, so I will let you read the book to understand more about what I mean with that last point. #sharingiscaring
We Carry Kevan defies norms in ways that open doors and leave you cheering, relating and standing back in awe not only at the wonderful feat(s) they accomplished with this trip, but also at the seamless telling of the story, which was so wonderfully written. Kudos to the author and contributors, kudos to the men, and mostly kudos to Kevan Chandler for sharing his story with the world. Consider me inspired, and in love with this book. It is a wonderful selection to add to your home library, or purchase as a gift. It is definitely my summer reading jam!
WE CARRY KEVAN (Hachette, April 23, 2019) - Kevan grew up, he says, at "belt-buckle level" and stayed there until his beloved group of friends decided to leave his wheelchair at the Atlanta airport, board a plane for France, and carry him around Europe on their backs to accomplish their dream of seeing the world together! The inseparable group traveled to Paris, England, and Ireland where, in the climax of their adventure, they scale 600 feet up to the 1,400-year-old monastic fortress of Skellig Michael. In WE CARRY KEVAN the reader sits with Kevan, one head-level above everyone else for the first time in his life and enjoys camaraderie unlike anything most people ever experience. Along the way they encounter the curiosity and beauty of strangers, the human family disarmed by grace, and the profound power of friendship and self-sacrifice.