Review Blog

Apr 24 2019

Kids who did - Real kids who ruled, rebelled, survived and thrived by Kirsty Murray

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Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760524470.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. A collection of biographical accounts of the lives of young people who have made a difference is presented in a larger than average paperback book with a few margin illustrations, a contents page which offers the biographies in groups and an index which I found more useful.
Beginning with stories of ordinary kids and their acts of bravery in a chapter called Rescuers, the stories of kids as young as nine are given in a fictional way making it more readable than a large amount of text. This is followed by a chapter called Whizz Kids, showcasing kids and their extreme intelligence, like George who at 11 stumped the professors at Cambridge University with his mathematical skill, not unlike a modern calculator. This is followed by a chapter called Feral Kids with the tale of Victor a child who walked from the forest one day in France and was presumably raised by wild animals. Rulers follows which has stories of historical rulers who struggled to maintain power, like Lady Jane Grey and the Dalai Lama. Each chapter is full of interest and offers a range of lives to ponder, going on to include, rebels, battlers, superstars, change agents, climate warriors and survivors who were/are doing things quite unexpected from people so young. This is an interesting and often inspiring collection of forty stories about young people, some well known, others not so well known, drawn from across the globe and presented in an easy to read way which will attract young readers. They will certainly be intrigued with stories of people of their own age, taking hold of things happening around them, striving to make a difference.
Themes: Children; Biography; Survival; Overcoming difficulties; Fear; Prejudice; War; Sports; Heroes and heroism. Teacher's notes are available.
Fran Knight

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