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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Our Heroes: How Kids Are Making a Difference. Written and illustrated by Janet Wilson. Second Story Press, 2014. $18.95 ages 10 and up

"The world needs childish thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity, and especially optimism," said Adora Svitak. She was twelve when she gave a lecture to adults about what they can learn from children. "Kids can be full of inspiring aspirations and hopeful thinking, like my wish that no child goes to be hungry."

Janet Wilson has made it a mission to let her readers know about the many young people around the world who work diligently to make life better for others. Previously she has shared in two books: Our Rights (Second Story Press, 2013) and Our Earth (Second Story, 2010). In this book, she tells her audience about those who make a difference.

I have shared this proverb before, but it bears repeating.

"If you think you're too small to make a difference,
you haven't slept in a closed room with a mosquito."

Ten child heroes are honored on double page spreads. They come from the United States, Ghana, Canada, India, South Korea, Philippines, United Kingdom, and Japan. Their ages are mind-boggling. The youngest is 5, the oldest 16! They are each inspiring in their own right: for the ideas, the actions, and the successes they have achieved. They are young, full of kindness for others, and persistent in making things happen that make a difference in the lives of many.

"There is no point for others to have so much to eat while others have nothing to eat."
                                                                              Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, 11, Ghana

"No one should ever have to eat out of a dumpster."
                                         Hannah Taylor, 8, Canada

"Every kid deserves the chance to play."
                                  Kyle Weiss, 13, USA

"We can change the world one heart at a time,
And it starts with helping one person."
                                 Kesz Valdez, 13, Philippines

What an inspiration they are! Whose procession would you choose to walk in? We can all make a difference.

A pleasing design, winning illustrations and photos, quotations from each of the 10 heroes and other inspirational leaders make this a book to be shared in classrooms and at home. Imagine the discussions that will follow. In follow-up pages, Ms. Wilson adds 22 information boxes about other children, their actions, their creativity, and a listing of those things we ALL can do: make the world better, help others, donate, volunteer, tell the world, fundraise, create or join an organization.

You CAN do it! 

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