Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World

I received a copy for review

Young, Fearless, Awesome - 25 Young People Who Changed the World book

Children will learn best when they are motivated to do so. That’s why their passions need to be discovered and they need to be inspired that they can achieve. Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World is a book containing the stories of children who have achieved this and now are inspiring others.

The Make-Up of Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World

Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World is a fantastic book for children – it is set in a way that makes it mature enough for older readers, but in small simple bite-sized chunks with superb illustrations to hold their interest and be captivating for younger audiences also. From back in time starting with Anne Frank right to the present day’s Greta Thunberg. Each young person has their own chapter before the reader can take a multiple-choice quiz to see which of these Awesome young people they are most like, followed by a timeline (and index).

illustrators for Young, Fearless, Awesome - 25 Young People Who Changed the World

The message in this book is that children do not have to change the world but can be awesome by just trying their best.

Some of the Young, Fearless and Awesome People

Anne Frank 1929-1945

The Diary of Anne Frank could be utilised to help children cope with the current situation with the Corona Virus. Anne wrote in her diary many ways that helped her whilst surrounded by tragedy – such as thinking about the beauty around.

Anne Frank portrait

Claudette Colvin 1939

At just 15 years of age Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man – this was 9 months before Rosa Parks famously did the same. She knew the system wasn’t right and it was that sense of injustice that gave her the courage to make a stand. Does this seem familiar to you? Whether it is the colour of someone’s skin, their gender or their social status there are still so many battles to be won before we live in a fair and justice society.

Kim Soo-Nyung – Viper 1971

At aged 17 Kim was a double gold medallist in the Summer Olympics in Seoul and then went on to dominate her sport. This was about a belief that she was good at something and put a lot of effort into it – showing that hard work and determination can pay off with things you love to do.

Ryan White 1971-1990

Ryan was given only 6 months to live at aged 13 when he was diagnosed with AIDS. Ryan fought against discrimination and ignorance when returning to school – and helped to open hearts and change attitudes. Ryan’s story helps us to think about encountering prejudice – how to stand up to it for both ourselves and others.

Ryan White portrait

Samantha Smith 1972-1985

When Samantha was just ten years old she wrote to the leader of the Soviet Union and asked them why they wanted to conquer the world. When Andropov didn’t respond she sent a second letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington asking why he hadn’t replied. These days it is even easier to ask people questions and hold them accountable for their actions with the use of e-mail and social media. Maybe your child wants to help make a change in this way.

Carlos Acosta 1973

Dancing his way out of poverty Carlos became the first black principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London. It was actually Carlos’ dad who pushed him into ballet and it wasn’t until he was 16 and won the gold medal in the Prix de Lausanne in Italy in an international competition when his life changed for him. I guess this story shows that sometimes children need to trust in their parents trying to do what they feel is best for them.

Carlos Acosta Quote imagery

Tawakkol Karman 1979

Tawakkol Karman became a pioneer for promoting peaceful protest in the Middle East. In 2005 she founded “Woman Journalists Without Chains” and had weekly sit-ins and non-violent demonstrations. They demanded an end to corruption, freedom of expression and civil rights, particularly for women. Tawakkol never believed that violence solved anything and so found more peaceful ways of finding solutions to problems. Thinking about her could help encourage children to also think about non-violent ways of handling situations such as bullying.

Deng Adut approx. 1980

At just six years old Deng was forced to become a child soldier. He was rescued by his brother and as a survivor he came a respected lawyer. Deng’s story shows no matter what your hardship you can overcome it and achieve. At 14 years of age Deng had hardly any formal education – I think this shows that people do not need to panic about children “falling behind” during this time of school closures.

Deng Adut portrait

Jesse Martin 1981

At only 17 Jesse Martin sailed solo around the World – the youngest person ever to complete this incredible challenge. Jesse didn’t feel like he was very good at school work but found his passion and lived his dream. His parents had always taught him to believe that he could do anything.

Iqbal Masih 1983-1995

At just four years old Iqbal was forced into slavery. Despite this he never let his spirit be broken and became an activist, fighting to raise awareness of child labour.

Iqbal Masih portrait

George the Poet 1991

George was born in Harlesden, a rough part of London, and began rapping about the injustice he saw around him. George got into a top-performing selective grammar school and then went on to Cambridge University. There he saw that “spoken word poetry” rather than rap was a more direct way of speaking to his audience. George believes that everyone has something to contribute.

Thandiwe Chama 1991

When 8 year old Thandiwe’s school was shut down due to the community in Zambia being shattered by AIDS, she turned her frustration into action and organised a protest march; before going on to campaign for education for all and becoming a leader in raising awareness about HIV and AIDS. I think we could think about our own current situation with school closures and think about how similar and different they would have been for Thandiwe.

Thandiwe Chama Portrait

Ryan Hreljac 1991

6 year old Ryan saved up to pay for a new well in Africa after he discovered that people were dying for the lack of clean water. He ended up founding a charity that has improved the lives of thousands. This really goes to show how it doesn’t matter who you are, or how old, we can all do great things to make a difference to others.

Boyan Slat 1994

Boyan was told that the plastic couldn’t be cleaned from the world’s oceans but Boyan’s Ocean Cleanup is the largest clean-up I history. He focused on what could be done and never gives up even when things don’t work out at first.

Boyan Slat portrait

Victoria Arlen 1994

At the age of 13 Victoria woke up from a coma she had been in for 2 years. But she couldn’t see, move or talk so had no way of communicating that she was awake. So for those two years she lay there making plans. Not only did Victoria recover but she became a swimming gold medallist at the Paralympics and defied doctors by walking again.

Alexandra Scott 1996-2004

For me Alexandra Scott is the most inspiring young person in the book. At just four years old Alex was very sick with cancer so set up a lemonade stand so that she could help other children suffering from the illness. She was always just grateful of what she had – and died at a mere 8 years old. Alex’s foundation has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting-edge research into childhood cancer.

Alexandra Scott portrait

The book also covers:

  • Sonita Alizadeh 1996
  • Malala Yousafzai 1997
  • Ann Makosinski 1997
  • Felix Finkbeiner 1997
  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason 1999
  • Emma Gonzalez 1999
  • Xiuhtezcatl roske-Martinez 2000
  • Sunakali Budha 2001
  • Greta Thunberg 2003

Conclusion of Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World

I think that Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World is a fantastic book and well worth purchasing. It can be either read for leisure (in one go or in small chunks) or as a basis for looking at, or thinking about each person in turn. The book has much more information than I have posted here. Every profile also has a ‘Be Fearless like’ section at the end imagining what advice they may give if faced with a certain scenario or issue that the reader could encounter. This also means that the book is useful for thinking about positive ways to respond and react to situations. I really like that there are a variety of people from different backgrounds, with different situations and achievements – so that everyone who reads this book can identify with someone and believe they also can make a difference.

Greta Thunberg Portrait

Three lucky Pinkoddy Readers each have a chance to win a copy of the book. Just answer the question below and enter the Rafflecopter. Good luck. UK only. E: 01/05/2020 0:00AM BST


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I was sent a free copy of Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World for purposes of review. All opinions are honest and my own

39 thoughts on “Young, Fearless, Awesome – 25 Young People Who Changed the World”

  1. I always think Anne Frank is very inspirational and always makes me remember not to take even the simplest things for granted – which I think is an important lesson I try and teach my children x

  2. They could all teach us ac thing or two but I am going for Anne Frank because she cab teach us a thing or 2 about being in isolation during this time.

  3. My niece, who always speaks her mind even when people don’t like it! She is who I would love to win this book for, so she remembers to keep saying what she thinks 🙂

  4. Greta Thunberg – because she has managed to bring environmental issues to the world stage and she has Aspergers and I think seeing someone with Aspergers succeeding is brilliant

  5. Greta Thunberg because of her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders in which she urges immediate action to address the climate crisis.

  6. These are all amazing stories but the one that touches me the most is Deng Adut. I think because I have a 6 year old and the thought of them becoming a child soldier is horrific! The fact that he achieved such greatness after this shows us to always believe in yourself and you can reach your potential.

  7. Malala Yousafzai who was so brave both before and after she got shot in her belief that every girl deserves an education

  8. My daughters! 6 & 7 and their handling of the current times, they’ve done amazing considering life has literally been turned upside down

  9. Definitely Claudette Colvin because she helped to change the divide between people of different race – even at such a young age she knew her actions were right

  10. I found Edmond Dantes to be a man who, once he realised how his revenge affected those he loved and what he did was worse than he should have played god to do, he regretted being so awful to those who hurt him. I admire that Dumas could look into the human psyche and show how human and flawed we all are, regardless of how badly we’re treated, and if someone put me in a dungeon for 14 years, not sure I’d regret their just deserts…

    Anne Frank, she lived through an awful era and bravely recorded her experiences, but sadly it does not have a happy ending RIP Anne

  12. Thandiwe Chama, love how she valued her education and then went on to educate others. So many strong, young, inspiring people.

  13. Almost impossible to choose between Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. Both have more courage and drive than most adults decades older than them. I salute them both.

  14. my son Jamie inspires me since birth hes had a speech impediment, we feared going to school would be a major problem. But he now reads aloud to the class, one determined young lad

  15. I think it has to be Greta Thunberg. I work with young people and I know that they have so much to say, but feel as though no-one is listening. For her to ruffle so many feathers and MAKE people listen to her, is amazing.

  16. Greta Thunberg as she shows so much courage and determination to make a change with climate change and has brought more awareness to the issue

  17. My daughter read a story in which Claudette Colvin was mentioned, she asked me about her and I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know who she was, it was fantastic to read about her with my daughter and find out more, there are some amazing people out there and it would be great to learn more about them together with my kids

  18. I have to say Greta Thunberg – what she is doing could literally save the world. She’s brave and not afraid to confront world leaders… incredible.

  19. Anne Frank was so resilient and managed to survive in close proximity to others who must all have been under so much stress.

  20. It would be Tawakkol Karman as this is inspiring to young people to be able to express themselves and to think about non violent ways to solve problems such as bullying or injustice


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