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Book Review: Kid Activists

Today’s featured book is Kid Activists; it is one I have been meaning to share for a while and somehow never got around to it; until today. I am guessing the weekend list of Malala related books triggered this!

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The Book Review

Kid Activists

Book Info

Title: Kid Activists : True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change
Author: Robin Stevenson
Illustrator: Allison Steinfeld
Publishers: Quirk Books
Pub Date: September 24, 2019
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Social Activists
Age-Range: Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7
Source: Edelweiss

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Moving, relatable, and totally true childhood biographies of Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Malala Yousafzai, and 12 other inspiring activists.

Every activist started out as a kid—and in some cases they were kids when their activism began! But even the world’s greatest champions of civil liberties had relatable interests and problems—often in the middle of extraordinary circumstances. Martin Luther King, Jr. loved fashion, and argued with his dad about whether or not dancing was a sin. Harvey Milk had a passion for listening to opera music in different languages. Dolores Huerta was once wrongly accused of plagiarizing in school. Kid Activists tells these childhood stories and more through kid-friendly texts and full-color cartoon illustrations on nearly every page. The diverse and inclusive group encompasses Susan B. AnthonyJames BaldwinRuby BridgesFrederick DouglassAlexander HamiltonDolores HuertaHelen KellerMartin Luther King Jr.Nelson MandelaIqbal MasihHarvey MilkJanet MockRosa ParksAutumn PeltierEmma Watson, and Malala Yousafzai.     

My Thoughts

Kid Activists is my second read in this wonderful series. Like the first one I read(Kid Authors, reviewed here), this book checks all the boxes I can think of for such books.

It is sure to engage even the most reluctant reader from the get-go as it explores the childhoods of some of history’s most admirable activists. Stevenson’s writing is accessible, sentimental, and truly inspiring. Once I started reading the book, I could not put it down! (Yes, even though they were separate biographies, and hence non-fiction!)

From the dedication

“To all the courageous and passionate kids around the world who are standing up for justice and equality.”

and the inspiring introduction;

where Stevenson gives a brief yet beautiful explanation about activism and its history; mentions the hows and whys different activists took up fights for their varied causes; while causes were different, their goal was inevitably the same: to work towards a better world!

through the featured biographies themselves

The biographies are divided into four categories (shown below), with four activists included in each category:

  • Leading the Way (Frederick Douglass, Susan B Anthony, Harvey Milk, Dolores Huerta)
  • Taking a Stand (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Nelson Mandela)
  • Unusual Childhoods, Powerful Voices (Emma Watson, Janet Mock, Helen Keller, Alexander Hamilton)
  • Child Activists (Ruby Bridges, Iqbal Masih, Malala Yousafzai, Autumn Peltier)
What I loved:
  • the book includes a diverse group of activists; across race, time, geography, familiarity, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • One chapter per activist. I loved Stevenson’s focus on what influenced each one towards activism.
  • The inclusion of humorous anecdotes and other details makes these larger-than-life people relatable to young readers; it also helps show their struggles age-appropriately.
  • I enjoyed reading the additional one-page narratives about one other related activist at the end of each chapter. For example, Emma Watson’s story ends with a mention of Colin Kaepernick, while Harriet Tubman’s story is included at the end of Frederick Douglass’s chapter.
  • And of course – the illustrations! Allison Steinfeld’s drawings are adorable, bright, and colorful; they make the book and its subjects totally attractive and approachable to its readers.
  • the message I got from this; that every tiny act has the capacity to cause big changes – like a pebble in a pond and the ripples it causes.
  • this book is filled with information! I learned so much about all the featured activists (some of who I know only because of this book) that I had not known before (even the ones I had read about earlier).
ending with a useful bibliography

which includes a list of further reading resources for each activist.

In Summary

this book is a must read; engaging, educational, and empowering!

Get It Here

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Book Review: Kid Activists

Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and Quirk Books for providing me with digital review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Would You Rather

Today’s WYR

Would you rather only read classics for the rest of your life or non-fiction?

Oh, this is a tough choice… but if I really had to choose, I would read classics (and hope they have stories based on real heroes!)

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read books about any of the activists featured in this book? Any recommendations for me (well, I do have the list for Malala!)

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