Books, Learning, Reviews

4 Wonderful Books That Show Age Doesn’t Matter

Today’s post includes 4 wonderful books that show age doesn’t matter; that no matter how old, or how young you are, what matters is you and your actions. You can achieve your dreams, and inspire others in the process to follow theirs, regardless of who, how (old/etc), where, what, you are..

All the featured books today are part of my Cybils Awards reading..

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.    – Mark Twain

4 Wonderful Books That Show Age Doesn’t Matter

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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Book Info

Title: The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
Author: Rita Lorraine Hubbard
Illustrator: Oge Mora
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biography (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade(January 7th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is (from book description)

Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation’s oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator and a rising star author.

The How (I Felt)

This book is remarkable – in its story telling and in the illustrations. The decoupage style of art fits perfectly into the story, and indeed adds to it. Mary Walker’s story is inspiring to say the least; and you can check out the interview with Rita Hubbard as she discusses this book here.

The reader is taken along the long, hard, yet inspiring journey of Mary’s life, from her birth into slavery in 1848, to emancipation at age fifteen, and later on to her first real flight on a plane three years after she learned to read at the fine age of 116!!

Circumstances prevented her from being able to learn before that, and by the time she was 114 years old, she had outlived all her family members and sadly unable to read. But that did not deter her and she began learning earnestly.

If Mary Walker could learn something new, and have a zest for life and learning at that age, then each one of us can too, right? After reading this story, it seems totally wrong to say, “It is too late!” or “We are too old.” or any other such excuse that we give ourselves to new learning opportunities..

Perfect Pairing

A Goodreads recommendation caught my eye and I hope to read it soon – Nana Akua Goes to School.

In Summary

An inspiring read that will be sure to get readers of any age started on something they have been putting off.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Clarence’s Big Secret

Book Info

Age Doesn't Matter

Title: Clarence’s Big Secret
Author: Roy MacGregor, Christine MacGregor Cation
Illustrator: Mathilde Cinq-Mars
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biography (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: Owlkids Books (March 15th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is (from book description)

Clarence Brazier kept a big secret for nearly one hundred years: he didn’t know how to read. This picture book tells the true story of his journey to learn—and then love—to read.

The How (I Felt)

How can one fail to be inspired by someone who decides to learn something at 100? I truly enjoyed this charming and inspiring read.

Unfortunate events at school (on his very first day) followed by more misfortune at home prevented Clarence from getting back to school; and hence his learning as well. But his natural smartness and abilities helped him lead a fairly normal life, as long as things did not require him to read or write. He was able to keep his secret with the help of his wife, until her death. He later had to, and successfully did, learn to read, and returned to school as a 100-year-old, and inspired the littlest readers there!!

The accompanying illustrations add to the charm and lend to the atmosphere of the time; the author’s note at the end is worth a read as well.

This book is full of wonderful takeaways. It shows that:

  • it is never too late, that learning is a lifelong process, and anything is possible when you set your mind to it.
  • your loved ones will not judge you; instead they will help you.
  • teasing and bullying can inflict damage on others,
  • reading is truly wondrous, and
  • you can be an inspiration with the little things you do…
Perfect Pairing

How I Taught my Grandmother to Read by Sudha Murthy might be a great pairing.

In Summary

Another biography that teaches readers it is never too late..

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

And now I take you to the other end of the age-range – the young….

No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History

Book Info

Title: No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History
Editor: Jeanette Bradley, Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson
Poets: Various
Illustrator: Jeanette Bradley
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biography (5 – 9 years)
Publisher: Charlesbridge (September 22, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is (excerpted from book description)

No Voice Too Small celebrates the young people who know how to be the change they seek. Fourteen poems honor these young activists. Featuring poems by Lesléa Newman, Traci Sorell, and Nikki Grimes. Additional text goes into detail about each youth activist’s life and how readers can get involved.

The How (I Felt)

I loved how this book is laid out!! It is always wonderful to read about those who fight for a cause, whatever their age; and using poetry as a medium to tell their stories does add a unique angle to that. And considering I enjoy poetry, as well as exploring different poetic forms, needless to say, I loved this book.

Each two-page spread is dedicated to one kid activist; and includes a realistic illustration that wows and fits that activist perfectly, a short bio, a poem, and a suggested action for readers. Each poem is by a different poet and the poems use varied forms, again, seems fitting to the activist and/or their cause.

  • Teach young readers about poetry forms – check
  • Empower readers by telling them about other young activists – check
  • Use poetry as a story telling device – check
  • Encourage young audiences everywhere to be inspired and to act – check

Backmatter includes brief information about the poetry forms used as well as brief bios of the fourteen poets.

Perfect Pairing

Kid Activists , Someday is Now, The Cat Man of Aleppo, and so many more.

In Summary

A book that will inspire young readers in so many directions – to act, to learn, to write, to inspire! A must-have for school and home libraries of young readers.

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It

Book Info

Title: Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It
Author: Jamie Margolin
Length: 272 pages
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/Biographies, Politics & Government ( 13 – 17 years)
Publisher: Hachette Go (June 2nd 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is (summarized from goodreads description)

Climate change activist and Zero Hour founder Jamie Margolin offers the essential guide to changemaking for young people. Featuring interviews with prominent young activists across different movements, this book is filled with tips and guidance on how-tos, taking care of priorities and your own mental health, and more.

The How (I Felt)

Jamie Margolin talks about her hows and whys of activism. And while it is powerful and accessible as well as useful for everyone, it will definitely be immensely of use to those of her generation and younger, for tweens, teens, and young adults.

I liked how she emphasizes that you are enough to make a change; and it all begins with that small step right at the beginning.

Jamie lays out the books using different ways to make your voice heard – by chapters – accompanied with interviews with youth activists who did exactly what she talks about in that chapter. I was thinking of including examples of the various ways and the interviews but then I realized I might not be able to stop, so it is better you read the book yourself.

Overall, the book is a sure to be a wonderful handbook for all readers (youth and older) who are eager to be the change but don’t know how to enter the world of activism. The book has lots of practical advice with something that every reader can take and apply in their lives, no matter who/where they are. Written in a straightforward manner and geared perfectly towards the intended audience, this book is relevant and powerful.

Perfect Pairing

The books mentioned for the previous book work well for this one too; as well as another that caught my eye and I am yet to read – How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation 

In Summary

In short, a book that is powerful and a must-have for all who want to make a difference (no matter their age).

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Pin Me (of course, Age Doesn’t Matter!)

4 Wonderful Books That Show Age Doesn't Matter

Linking these books @ It’s Monday, What Are You Reading over at TeachMentorTexts

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Or heard about any of the featured people mentioned in this post? Any similar books to recommend to me? Do let me know.. I am always eager to hear your thoughts on my post and your recommendations.

31 thoughts on “4 Wonderful Books That Show Age Doesn’t Matter

  1. These are great! I was talking to my husband on our walk the other night about age and how when you’re younger you think one day you will finally feel like an adult and know it all. You don’t. It’s so important to live for the day and to NEVER stop learning!

  2. What a great message to see in so many books! I saw No Voice is Too Small on one of my favorite blogger’s websites (Patricia Tilton at childrensbooksheal.com if you’re curious), but the rest of these are all-new to me! Thanks for the excellent post!

  3. These books sound wonderful! I was having a conversation the other day (online) with a few friends wondering how you know you are old. At the age of 67 I don’t feel old, (except for sometimes physically when my body doesn’t work like it used to.) I’m pretty sure that learning new things and taking on new challenges is what keeps us alive.

  4. What a neat topic to explore, Vidya! I’ve heard wonderful things about both No Voice too Small and The Oldest Student. And I’m happy to see we have Youth to Power is available on my local Overdrive account as an e-book. Thanks for these shares and I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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