Prather’s Pick: ‘Staying Strong’ an inspirational memoir

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Diane Prather

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Courtesy photo/Macmillan Publishers

“Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year” by Demi Lovato

“Family gives us strength and builds our character.”

It’s a quote written by Demi Lovato for the Dec. 25 entry of her book, “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year.” The book is this week’s Prather’s Pick.

Lovato is a platinum-selling recording artist, a songwriter, and a television star. Her latest album is “Demi,” and its lead song, “Heart Attack,” is a huge hit. Lovato has just finished her second season as a judge on “The X Factor.” She has an unbelievable number of fans — 17 million followers on Twitter and 21 million on Facebook.

But Lovato has had her personal struggles, too, and she openly discusses them.

In a letter to the reader, found in the beginning of the book, Lovato writes that her struggles have included addiction and depression. According to the short biography found on the jacket of her book, Lovato is an “outspoken advocate for young people everywhere.”

She is an official ambassador for We Day and the organization Free The Children. In addition, Lovato has launched the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program to help cover the cost of treatment for people struggling with mental health and/or addiction problems.

In the introduction to the book, Katie Couric writes that Lovato’s honesty inspired her to speak out about her own personal problems, this during Lovato’s appearance on Couric’s daytime television show.

“Staying Strong” is an inspirational book intended for all 365 days of the year. Each day’s entry includes a quote, followed by Lovato’s personal reflections, lessons, meditations and, finally, a goal.

Lovato has written her own quotes but has also chosen those from others, which include Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Aristotle, Steve Jobs, Bill Cosby, Dr. Seuss, Helen Keller and lots of others — even Cinderella.

The quote for Dec. 25 was written by Lovato. Following “Family gives us strength and builds our character,” Lovato writes about the support she receives from her family members who accept her “with all of my flaws.”

In return, she accepts them. The goal is to “Soak up the love of your family today. Love them for what they are and aren’t.”

Lovato believes that “sometimes the smallest few words can make a difference,” and I believe that this book has something for everyone. There are messages about being positive, self-love and acceptance, not having to be perfect, dealing with anger, dealing with bullies, listening to your heart and a whole lot more.

After the 365 days are over, the reader can begin at Jan. 1 again, because the entries may have different meanings another time around. Or the reader might choose to mark pages with especially inspirational messages to refer to again and again.

This is a special book!

“Staying Strong” is published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan, 2013. It costs $19.99 in hardcover.

The book can also be found, with the new books, at Moffat County Libraries.

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