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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kid President's Guide to Being AWESOME, by Brad Montague and Robby Novak. Harper, 2015. $26.99 all ages

"Do you want to be awesome?
Treat people awesome.

This book is our attempt to share
a few ways we've seen awesome
spread. We hope that by sharing
these thoughts, you and your
loved ones will be encouraged to
do good. You'll see stories of
people who have inspired us ..."

You have to take the time to read the introductory set of adages from Kid President! Many should be on the wall in front of me as I write: 'Be less busy and be more awesome.', 'If it doesn't make the world a better place, don't do it.', 'Treat everybody like it's their birthday.', 'We need to live in a world with fewer selfies and more otherpeoplies.', 'Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.', 'Don't be in a party. Be a party.', 'Be kind. It's not always easy, but it's always important.', 'Start with your heart ... and then just start.' and my personal favorite, 'Read. Then read some more.'

Pretty tough to ignore any of those suggestions, isn't it? And would the world not be a much better place if we only chose two?!? Robby Novak became a YouTube sensation when his brother-in-law Brad Montague posted a few videos encouraging people of the Internet to make the world a better place. That's when Rainn Wilson and his partner Devon at SoulPancake saw Kid President for the first time and asked them to join their team. In his preface to the book Rainn explains why:

"... I realized there are three qualities that came together in a perfect storm to create the Kid President phenomenon. The one I've already mentioned is joy. Joy in tone and execution. And in the hearts and smiles of millions of viewers. The second is an obvious one - talent. Brad and Robby are brilliant together. Period. But the final factor that I think is often forgotten in what makes Kid President magical is the power of encouragement."

When you learn that Robby has brittle bone disease, has broken more than 70 bones and had 13 surgeries, you might wonder at his big grin and 'awesome' attitude. You need to see him as Brad sees him:

"I remember one particularly rough patch when Robby was just 4 years old. Two back-to-back surgeries for femur rerodding resulted in him being confined to bed in a bright-red full-body cast. Going to visit him I was prepared to be tough. I had never seen him this broken and did not want to cry in front of him. Of course, he was the tough one. I walked in to see him lying on his little bed with a huge smile on his face, listening to music, and using the only body parts he could move (his toes, fingers, and head) to dance."

If Robby could dance then, and continues to dance now, surely we can follow in his footsteps!

So, listen up:

"THIS is LIFE, People. You got air coming through your nose; you got a heartbeat.
That means it's time to do something."

You cannot come away from reading their wonderful, uplifting guide without feeling that you, too, can make a difference. Along the way, they provide 100 ideas for making the world a better place and show us the many people who are doing just that. They inspire each one of us to find our passion and get going at making change in our own small part of this big, beautiful world.

Be sure to check

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