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Akim Aliu: Dreamer (Original Graphic Memoir) (Hardcover)

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This honest, engrossing graphic memoir tells the story of professional athlete and activist Akim Aliu's incredible life as a hockey prodigy in Canada.

Akim Aliu — also known as "Dreamer" — is a Nigerian born, Ukrainian Canadian professional hockey player whose career took him all around the world and who experienced systemic racism at everyone turn. This graphic novel tells Akim's incredible story, from being the only black child in his Ukrainian school, to having his teeth bashed in by a racist teammate in the Ontario junior league. A gut-wrenching and riveting graphic novel memoir that reminds us to never stop dreaming, this story is sure to inspire young readers everywhere.

"With honesty and courage, Akim Aliu's Dreamer will inspire readers of all ages to move confidently in the direction of their future." - Colin Kaepernick

About the Author

Akim Aliu is the son of a Nigerian father and a Ukrainian mother. Born in Nigeria, he spent years of his youth in Africa and Ukraine before moving to Toronto. A hockey prodigy, Akim was drafted into the NHL as a teenager and played for the Calgary Flames. He experienced systemic racism, hazing, and abuse at every level of competitive hockey he played in — from Pee Wee hockey to the NHL — but has never stopped dreaming of a world where every kid, regardless of background, can be accepted for who he or she is (and play hockey, of course).

In May 2020, Akim wrote an article for the Players’ Tribune entitled “Hockey is Not for Everyone,” where he identifies the racism and violence he endured as a Black athlete within the sport of hockey. He has since partnered with the Time to Dream Foundation and the Hockey Diversity Alliance to help their mission to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.

Praise For…

Praise for Dreamer

“With honesty and courage, Akim Aliu’s Dreamer will inspire readers of all ages to move confidently in the direction of their future.” ⁠—Colin Kaepernick, athlete, activist, and New York Times bestselling author

“Gut-wrenching and vividly detailed… With well-drawn artwork and an important story, this will educate and inspire many preteen readers.” —Booklist

“(A) powerful graphic memoir . . . Blunt, simple language, a brisk pace, and realistic illustrations work harmoniously to keep readers engaged.” – Kirkus

“This gripping graphic memoir chronicling a boy’s hockey dream coupled with systemic racism is a must-purchase.” —School Library Journal

“Clear, crisp artwork and richly saturated colors by De la Vega and Williams, paired with Aliu and Elysee’s conversational dialogue, result in a riveting, animated account.” —Publishers Weekly

“The narrative is notable for its emotional clarity and the strength with which the concise text carries both Aliu’s pain and his resolve. Dynamic comic-panel art serves the story with expressiveness of motion and feeling. Grabbing readers at the intersection of sports and social justice, this is a welcome addition to the graphic-memoir genre.” —Horn Book Magazine

“An excellent all-ages book that is well recommended to any young reader out there… Inspiring and vividly brought to life.” —Black Sci-Fi

“Dreamer is an enthralling memoir, one that looks at both the highs and lows of playing hockey as a person of color.” —This Bliss Life

Product Details
ISBN: 9781338787610
ISBN-10: 1338787616
Publisher: Graphix
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
Pages: 128
Language: English