Real Life is No Fairy Tale is a children’s book unlike any other. Tony’s story is based on research on resilience, a psychological trait that can give children a considerable advantage in overcoming adversity. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from negative experiences and move forward with a positive outlook. Although it is a key skill in making sense out of struggle, resilience is rarely taught to children. Real Life is No Fairy Tale presents a realistic portrayal of how resilience and positive thinking can drastically change the course of one’s life. Tony’s story takes place in a poor urban community, but adversity can take many shapes, forms, and colors. The story itself is written in rhythmic prose similar to that employed by hip hop artists. This dynamic can increase interest, retention and comprehension among struggling readers, and also makes the text resonate with children in a way that similar books often do not. The book’s artwork also breaks new ground. The hand-drawn images incorporate even the smallest details of urban life. Like key elements in the story, much of the imagery is based on input from young people across the country. The texturing of the images was created using high- resolution photographs of urban exteriors and interiors, including the childhood home of the author.