Dave Ketchen and Larry Thornton’s new book is titled You Have to Live, Why Not Win?, complete with illustrations by Dave Dodson. The book is an excellent exposé not just on how to achieve success, particularly in an increasingly insane world, but a testament to one of the authors. Larry D. Thornton’s singular journey breaking down barriers to become the definition of the American success story is laid out in bell-clear, undeniable, and wholly immersive fashion. By making things into a graphic novel, you’re not just being told – you’re being three-dimensionally shown. Barriers can be broken.

URL: https://www.whynotwin.org/

Success isn’t just a mindset, it’s what you do. It’s no accident or luck in any way, shape, or form that Mr. Thornton is now a McDonald’s franchisee, serving on multiple boards of directors, and is an established artist with works owned by names like former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and media proprietor and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. In an interview with the Birmingham Times, Mr. Thornton was quoted as saying, “The real Larry Thornton is this struggling kid who had these academic missteps, but the message is that we should not allow our past failures and missteps to follow us and to define us…I think every parent wishes that his or her kid or grandkid could understand that it doesn’t’t matter where you’ve been [or] where you are. All that really matters in life is where you’re going and that you’ve made up your mind to get there.”

A big part of what Thornton seems to espouse with the realization of You Have to Live, Why Not Win? is not only the individual’s own utilization of opportunities, but the responsibility and influence those around said individuals play in the process. In the same, aforementioned article, Mr. Thornton was also quoted as saying: “We had this very forward-thinking attorney who lived in Madison Park. His name was Solomon C., and he went about canvassing the community…It was not a mandate that we go to this white school, but we had ‘Freedom of Choice,’ which for the first time gave African American students an opportunity to attend otherwise all-white schools. …

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.whynotwin.org/product/you-have-to-live-why-not-win/

Thanks to his canvassing, his daughter and five others of us were recruited for this experience…(My Senior English teacher) Ms. Nichols assigned a book to me to read. It was called ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ by John Bunyan. … [After completing a book report], Ms. Nichols places a B-plus on my desk. I’m shocked, she’s shocked, but it was enough for her to think, … ‘There’s something else to this kid, and I’m going to make a difference.’ She was demonstrating that I was somebody that could measure up, somebody that could make a difference…There was a different step in my walk because Ms. Nichols indicated that I was college material…It’s amazing what can happen, and [it] should be a message to all of us [about] the power and the impact we can have on other people.”

Garth Thomas