High School Dropout to Harvard is a memoir by John Rodrigues that reads like a fiction novel. He tells of creating giant ice sculptures that win international competitions, traveling aboard a cruise liner to numerous exotic locations, and getting into Harvard—all after dropping out of high school and fighting with dyslexia.
John shares the trials and tribulations of his life while living with a learning disability. As a child, he disappointed his parents and fellow students with his clumsiness and general comprehension issues. Instead of thinking in words and reading letters, he realizes early on that he thinks in pictures and that life is a giant puzzle. Over the course of his lifetime, he learns to harness this unusual ability to think in abstracts to achieve greatness and be unique. Although he drops out of high school and almost everyone thinks he’s never amount to amount to anything, he eventually—through much perseverance and hard work—ends up matriculating at Harvard University.
It is John’s unbelievable tale that draws the reader in, but it is the realization that every word is true that creates a lasting impression. John’s battle with his own brain—and his conquering/compromising with it—can be applied to every person’s life. He figured out a challenging aspect of himself, learned to work around that aspect/use it to his advantage, and accomplished more than he ever thought possible. This book is a must-read and an inspiration to people with disabilities and “normal” people alike!