The Road to Perseverance

By: Jocelyn Williams

Tom Harken, his road from illiteracy to self made millionaire (Problem and Solution)

In the short story, “Words Failed Him”, from the book "Unstoppable", Tom Harken went through a major struggle. At a young age Tom had polio which made him spend all of his time in the hospital instead of at school, leading to illiteracy. One of the main reasons why he started to give up was because his teachers would criticize him for his FALTERING in reading. Being illiterate made it difficult to complete many daily tasks causing him to rely heavily on his wife, Melba. After years of battling his fear, Harken decided that it was time to RESOLVE the problem in his life, by asking for help. Even with all of his ADVERSITIES he had the support and teachings from Melba. Tom would tend to get mad or frustrated if the learning did not come as easily to him. Years later Tom learned how to read and write.


Tom Harken was awarded the "Horatio Alger Award" for his PERSEVERANCE, PERSISTENCE, and his eligibility to recognize a problem and find a solution. He became fully literate and continued life to become a self-made millionaire.

Nadja on Her Way to Triumph (Sequence)

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How did Rump respond to his adversity and how did it affect him? (CAUSE AND EFFECT)

In the fictional story "Rump" by Liesl Shurtliff, the main character Rump faces a major adversity. In the village where he lives, they have a strong CONVICTION that their names are their destiny. This means Rump is not in a good place for his destiny, after all his name does mean butt.


The cause of his ADVERSITIES was because of Rump's mother. She died while giving birth and was not able to get Rump's full name out to the world before she passed, so as a result he was stuck with Rump. He was affected in many ways, he had tons of bad luck, made fun of, never found gold, and didn't get enough rations. He would try to VENTURE out of the village in order to find his name, but everything changed when one day he found his mothers magic spinning wheel. He learned that he had the talent to spin straw into gold.

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Spare Parts: Luis's vs. Lorenzo's Adversities (Compare and Contrast)

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Jackie Robinson: Overcoming Adversities (Description)

Jackie Robinson was born on January 21, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of 5 children and lived in relative poverty with a single mother. He was very athletic and loved playing all sports. He attended UCLA but was forced to leave close to graduation due to financial hardship. He was also arrested for not giving up his seat on a segregated bus.


He was later asked by the Brooklyn Dodger head manager if he would like to do something that no other team in the league had done. He would soon become the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.


Due to the time period of segregation he was confronted racism. Some example are, teammate insults, family threats, booing from the crowd, and much more. Jackie was COMBATIVE, but the coach of his team told Robinson that he could not fight back.

Jackie was not COMPLACENT or able to defend himself, he decided to not YIELD and keep playing in spite of the negative reviews he was getting.



Later in his life, he was placed into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Dodgers retired his number in order to reminisce his bravery and gratitude. Now he is well known for his accomplishments in life and in the game.

Works Cited

Davis, Joshua. Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


Kersey, Cynthia. "Words Failed Him." Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just like You. Naperville, IL: Source, 1998. N. pag. Print.


Bernstein, Barry. "Nadja on My Way." Literature and Language. Evanston, IL: McDougal, Littell, 1994. N. pag. Print.


Shurtliff, Liesl. Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Print.


Biography.com. "Jackie Robinson." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 10 May 2016.


History.com Staff. "Jackie Robinson." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 10 May 2016.