"What this book gives its readers is inspiration at its highest. Success and winning often give inspiration, yet here the struggles are doing that in Willie's life. Willie's story is great but challenging. This book helps us all."
NCAA National Wrestling Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist
"High school can be a tough time in a person's life. For Willie Burton, after a life of growing up different from his friends, walking different, talking different, he wasn't sure what he was going to find at Fairdale High School. But what he found was just what he needed – a brotherhood of teammates. We can all learn from Willie's story."
Feature Producer, EPSN E:60 WILLPower
"Heart of a Lion: Our Journey of Faith and Courage by Willie Burton, Brenda Burton, and Barry Kienzle explores the miracle of daring and courage. It is the story of Willie Burton, born with cerebral palsy, and how his strong spirit and determination pushed him to overcome the limits imposed on him by his illness. Someone whose youth was punctuated by numerous surgeries and therapies, Willie signed up for the wrestling team at Fairdale High School where he dreamed of winning a single match on the mat. Follow his journey and discover how he triumphs over his disability to grab the attention of many.
This story explores the heart of a born fighter. Readers enter the life of someone born with a disability but who refuses to be defined by that disability. Going to Fairdale High School might have been a challenging thing for young Willie, but it turns out to offer the support he needed to overcome his fears, connect meaningfully with others, and find a purpose. The book is beautifully written, and the prose is gorgeous. The reader cares about Willie, exploring the way the relationships develop in the book. The role that his adoptive mother plays in his life is invaluable and her faith in him pushes him to build his resilience and to believe in himself. Heart of a Lion: Our Journey of Faith and Courage by Willie Burton, Brenda Burton, and Barry Kienzle is a unique gift to readers who doubt what they can do. It inspires, it builds hope, and it moves the reader to believe in the impossible."
Reader's Favorite - 5 Star Book Review