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A Life Changing Read

Stacey Hydrick, the author of the newly released book, “The Unlikely Adventures of Stella Mickler,” has a story with the undeniable power to motivate and inspire. The book is a fictional account of the author’s volunteer experiences from her teenage years and will as easily evoke laughter in readers as it will challenge them to make a difference.

When you first meet Stella Mickler she’s a young kid living in a small southern town with her perfectly imperfect family. As the book progresses you watch her grow up and smile with amusement at the places her lively personality takes her. Finally when she’s in high school Stella finds herself spending much of her time volunteering with inner city kids whom she helped watch and compare basketball moves with.

For those of you who have seen the movie the Blindside picture Hurt Village where Michael Orr grew up – that’s where Hydrick spent much of her time volunteering in high school. Looking back the author says, “I don’t even know how I got in there. It was a very notorious project but then you go in and the people are just beautiful.” It is experiences from that incredible time in her life that Hydrick chose to depict in her book.

There’s one scene in particular where Stella is visiting with an old woman at the shelter that really tugs on a reader’s heartstrings. The woman, who had been evicted from her home, asked Stella for a hug saying that she hadn’t had one in years. In an interview Hydrick described what the real-life experience was like for her by saying, “This woman had just been dumped on the side of the road, no one looked at her, no one talked to her and it was really one of those life-changing moments for me. Even if you don’t give a homeless person a dollar, stop and look them in the eye and recognize that there’s a person there.”

In the sequel to “The Unlikely Adventures of Stella Mickler,” Hydrick plans to continue Stella’s story from college onward by incorporating scenes which will be influenced by her time volunteering in places like Mexico, the Bronx, and Harlem.

I encourage anyone reading this to go out and buy her bookbecause, if you let it, the story will change your life.