Life keeps knocking 12-year-old Alan down.
Can he find the courage to get back up?
Orphaned at a young age, all Alan Michaels wants is a place to belong. But the independent, street-smart kid, who lacks self-confidence, has no clue how to deal with disappointment - or a formidable bully who won't back down. And New York City is a tough town to grow up in if you are a kid who doesn't have much. But when he starts training at Sensei Hideki's School of Karate, he hopes his life will change forever.
Determined to prove he's got what it takes to become a true warrior, he pushes his body and mind to the limit. But just when the karate school starts to feel like home, tragedy strikes again. Does Alan have the courage and inner strength to overcome the odds stacked against him?
"When you get knocked down, you just keep getting back up
…You never give up." Sensei paused for a moment and spoke
louder. "That's what takes real guts." He stared at Alan intently.
"You know, sometimes failures are your steppingstones
BRUCE BERNSTEIN is the author of You Gotta Have Heart. He's a fourth-degree black belt in karate with extensive training in the martial arts. Before recently retiring, he had a solo law practice, which specialized in protecting the rights of employees, while working part-time as an administrative law judge in New York City. He is a lifelong resident of New York City who also happens to be a licensed New York City tour guide. Like Alan Michaels, the hero of You Gotta Have Heart, he also knows a lot about Central Park and New York City.