Readers know of exceptional young people, who’ve moved mountains it seems, like Anne Frank, Stevie Wonder, Malala Yousafzai, Amadeus Mozart or Greta Thunberg.

Yet these are just six young people included in the magnificent Youthquake. Furthermore, reading about these soaring six, you’re made aware, anew, of just how young they were at the point their actions ‘made the headlines‘. What’s more, we are made to realise their sacrifice, if not of a life, in the case of Anne Frank, then the loss of the usual trappings of youth.

The young people profiled in this book shame, awe and inspire. We realise their persistence too,  for example,  in the case of someone like Louis Braille. He took something he’d experienced, a faulty system that sought to enable blind people to read, and simplified and developed a ‘fully working system’– aged fifteen!

There are many heartbreaking stories, such as that of Iqbal Masih, a child slave whose escape from a carpet weaving machine, led to protests about this practice within Pakistan. Ultimately, what he revealed brought the world’s gaze to abhorrent practices, but cost his life.

Youthquake is a proud, beautifully presented title, with a satisfying mixture of photographs and illustrations from Sarah Walsh. Meanwhile, Tom Adams’ fifty biographies are splendidly researched and created. This is an outstanding, necessary title.

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50 Children and Young People Who Shook the World

Written by Tom Adams, illustrated by Sarah Walsh

(Nosy Crow)– hardback

It is difficult to do justice in my description to just how magnificent and inspiring a title Youthquake is. However, this book held me in one sitting. I was moved to read through and learn about each of the fifty children and young people selected by Tom Adams. Therefore, I will share just one story where we learn of William Kamkwamba.
His experience of the dreadful famine that struck Malawi in 2001 changed everything. The family had ‘no spare maize to sell‘ from their crops and thereafter no money ‘pay for William to go to school’. Furthermore, his family was existing on one meal a day. Yet his drive to learn compelled him to the local library where a book about Using Energy, led him to create a home made windmill from parts collected from a junkyard. What he created eventually became  ‘powerful enough to pump water across the fam to spray on his father’s maize’. Some years on, and studying engineering at university, William Kamkwamba has a multitude of projects in place and preparation, to ‘improve life in rural Malawi’. Furthermore, he has created a biomass converter:- William Kamkwamba Ted talk
William’s story is only one of fifty. Every one of them demonstrates actions from outstandingly brave, inspired and determined young people. What’s more these young people inspire readers of any age. Bookwagon recommends Youthquake for home and school reading. It is an essential title.



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