Monday, 16 November 2020

YOUTHQUAKE by Tom Adams, Illus by Sarah Walsh - reviewed by Damian Harvey

YOUTHQUAKE - 50 Children and Young People Who Shook the World celebrates the achievements of young people from around the world. It focuses on a wide range of girls and boys / young men and women from different cultures and backgrounds, as well as different periods in history. 

The author, Tom Adams has selected young people that have made a name for themselves in their own field - be it sports, science, music etc but who have also made an impact one way or another with what they have done and achieved. It's good that the chosen figures span a long period in history  - the earliest being Pocahontas (b.1596) and Blaise Pascal (b. 1623). The most recent are Greta Thunberg (b.2003) and Marley Dias (b.2005). The figures in between comprise a mixture of familiar and not so familiar figures, some, like Mozart, are obvious choices whereas others, like Bjork or Emma Watson come as a pleasant and welcome surprise. Many, though not all, of the people included have also had to overcome some sort of difficulty or set back in their lives yet have still made a huge impact.   

The book is is usefully divided into sections - Think & Invent, Create & Dream, Hope & Believe, Lead & Triumph, and Change & Conquer. Each of the 50 young people have been given a double page spread which includes brief biography giving details of their lives and achievements up to the things they have done to Shake the World. Each spread is brightly illustrated by Sarah Walsh and many include photographs too.
This is a great book that highlights the achievements of young people everywhere whilst also sending a positive and encouraging message to all young readers that they too can achieve whatever they want if they are determined enough - no matter what setbacks they might face and no matter how underprivileged they may feel. The inclusion of so many modern day achievers helps make the book more current and attractive to young readers whilst also showing that not all great achievements were made in the past. A great addition any book shelf.


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