Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

The Reading Quilt: Finishing Strong

Aug 03, 2023 10:00AM ● By Dr. Rachel Slaughter

Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) are an interesting bunch. Often vocal about their beliefs, Boomers are called to the carpet by Millennials and sometimes dismay Gen Xers. Yes, Boomers are unique in many ways, and sometimes rub people the wrong way. Here are a few interesting ideas that may help people understand Boomers better: 

Children of the “The Greatest Generation,” (or The Silent Generation) were born between 1910-1924. These warriors survived The Great Depression and became comfortable with less, including children. They are full of patriotism and ambition.  

Boomers, despite experiencing a fruitful economy and prosperity, often hold back from splurging since their parents lived with and valued frugality. This frugality and comfort with lack sometimes breed a sort of plutophobia or fear of wealth and prosperity since, in many ways, you have to spend money to make money. Sometimes, Boomers can become overwhelmed with the myriad of possibilities the world has to offer via technology and entrepreneurship opting to “play it safe” as an employee.

Well, Baby Boomers, meet Gwendolyn Cody-Davis who wants Boomers to explore the question “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?”  Ok, Boomer, what is the answer?

 Each month “The Reading Quilt” provides a short review of a book that a teacher may use to spark conversations about culture and race, along with a learning activity that may help students understand human behavior. Using the acronym QUILT, the review offers readers information about the Quality of writing, Universal theme, Imaginative plot, a mini Lesson plan, and Talking points that stem from the book’s premise.

This month’s selection is Finishing Strong: Strategies for Baby Boomers to Transform Dreams into Realities by Gwendolyn Cody-Davis. She is the dynamo who wants Boomers to realize their dreams. “Somewhere deep inside of you, you want the dream to become your reality, but doubt and fear have caused you to feel inferior to your ambitions,” she says. Published by NOMOLAC, LLC in 2023, the book has ten chapters, each introduced by a compelling scripture or quote.

Gwendolyn Cody-Davis. Source:

Quality of writing:  Gwendolyn Cody-Davis’s book is a capsule of inspiration. In the book, Gwendolyn offers a promise: “When you are ready to put in the work to see your dreams come true, I am waiting to hear from you.” Soothing and engulfing, Gwendolyn’s prose is a personal conversation between her and the Boomer who is teetering on the fence of his dreams. With chapters like “The Power of Small Beginnings,” “Overcoming Failures,” “Don’t Let Anyone Define You,” and “Bring Your Flavor to the Table,” Gwendolyn, or Cody as she likes to be called, gives you a glimpse of her mission: to be a dynamic servant-leader of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Universal theme: Cody’s book helps the reader answer the question “Are you living up to who you want to be?" Each chapter, quote, and scripture reference is meant to inspire the reader. A self-help book, Cody encourages the reader to complete the entire book to glean the information and strategies which are carefully constructed to move you from the starting point to the finish line. 

Imaginative plot: A civil servant for 32 years in the federal government, a licensed and ordained elder at Blessed Hope Community Church in Prince, George, VA, a member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc, (Gamma Delta Chapter), a dutiful wife of over four decades to Mr. Randy M. Davis, and a mom of two adult sons, Cody has realized many, many dreams with tenacity and grit. Cody brings this attitude to her book.

Lesson plan: This self-help book is like a map to success. Although marketed to Boomers, this book includes a ton of lessons for a young adult in despair. Cody’s book is a helping hand. “How you’ll win your first battle is by winning the battle of your mind. If you overcome worries, doubts, confusion, anger, and the feeling of defeat, you will be victorious even if you cannot see it immediately.”

Talking points: High school students may benefit from exploring their career goals while reading this book. When prompted to dream big, students may explore these questions:

  1. “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?” 

  2. What are the “tiny steps” you need to take to make your dream come true?

  3. Have you ever felt like everyone was progressing except for you? How do you cope with or overcome these feelings?

  4. From where do you gain your strength and confidence? Do you believe in a higher power?

  5. Do you have a positive support system?

 Dr. R. A. Slaughter’s (Doc) textbooks Turning the Page: The Ultimate Guide for Teachers to Multicultural Literature, and Turning the Page: A Guide to Securing Multicultural Literature for Schools, both published by Rowman & Littlefield and available in all bookstores, have brought Doc global recognition. For more information, log onto or check out “The Reading Quilt” talk show, every Monday, at 3:30 pm on Philly Cam.

Read more from Dr. Rachel Slaughter:

The Reading Quilt A Breed Apart

The Reading Quilt: A Breed Apart

Victor Woods, motivational speaker and author of A Breed Apart (Atria, 2015), is a model of redemption from crime and victory in rebuilding a better life. Read More » 


The Reading Quilt The Marva Collins Way

The Reading Quilt: The Marva Collins’ Way

This month “The Reading Quilt” shines a spotlight on the late Marva Collins, who worked passionately to help educate African American children who were dismissed as learning disabled, har... Read More » 


The Reading Quilt: Yes, You Can

This may be the book that motivates a young scholar to explore the history of African American men in the teaching profession and take up the mantle of teaching. Read More »