Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories


I knew nothing of the story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, or that of chess superstar Phiona Mutesi ahead of reading ‘Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Lives’. These are some of the unknown children and young children who feature in this absorbing book. The range of subjects and their achievements is riveting. Furthermore, the way the book is arranged sustains our interest. After a biography of each of the twenty nine featured young people, there is further information. We are invited to read about the issue that concerned the subject, or the area of his/ her achievement, or how an heroic act might have been achieved. There is information about how to join or support a particular focus. There is further information about the life of the young person. Thereafter, we learn about subsequent progress and impact of the work done.

Obviously people such as Malala Yousafzai and Ellie Simmons feature. However, the writer has chosen to head further into history to remind us of the extraordinary achievements and heroism of young people like Louis Braille and Desmond Doss. We are also reminded of continued struggles like those that absorb Greta Thunberg and Boyan Slat.

‘Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories’ is a title that deserves to be shared, read and known. We are proud to recommend this wonderful book to our readers.


Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

Amanda Li, illustrated by Amy Blackwell

(Buster Books)– hardback

‘Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories’ is an astounding title. We learn of twenty-nine children and young people who have defied the odds of their circumstances. Obviously, Greta Thunberg is our first subject. The writer explains her background further than in Greta’s Story, so we understand Greta’s early appreciation of climate change. Thereafter, she describes this trailblazer’s initial actions and thereafter, the result. However, Greta Thunberg is only one of a few well-known subjects. Throughout my reading of ‘Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories’, I exclaimed at unknown people and achievements.
From wildly creative inventor William Kamkwamba to the humanitarian efforts of Abraham Keita, these children demonstrate such enterprise, drive and imagination.
The subject is focused upon ahead of an explanation of the issue that concerned him or her. Thereafter, the book explains how readers may become involved and how we might contact related organisations.  Frequently, there is an update on the progress of the action and the subject.
Bookwagon recommends ‘Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories’ to schools and families. It works so well as a companion piece to the equally remarkable Children Who Changed the World.


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