'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 24 August 2019

Review: Kids Who Did

This collection is made up of 40 real life stories about children throughout history who made their mark on the world. 

They feature kids from countries around the globe, from varying timelines and mixed age groups.  Each story inspires with a collective theme of courage, bravery and initiative. 

The detail is generous, and highlights the contribution each child made, and the impact their choices had on humanity.  

Previously published in 1999 under the title Tough Stuff, true stories about kids and courage, this 2019 edition has been updated re-titled Kids Who Did. 

It shines an everlasting light on the amazing successes of kids who believed they could and did, who dreamed and made their dreams come true, and others that changed the course of history and others’ lives with their passion.

Billy Corcoran and Tatum De Koning are among those awarded medals for bravery. There are geniuses like Billy Sidas who had an IQ of between 250 and 300 and taught himself countless languages, George Bidder who counted any amount of numbers in his head, and chess champions, the Polgar sisters.

Well-researched and presented in a non-didactic form, its warm prose pours onto the page and reaches out to the mind and heart. Each of the stories has great historical significance and will leave a lasting impression on the reader.  

Kids Who Did salutes children’s lives, some of which died or were killed in their effort to change things for other children. Luckier ones grew up and saw the benefits of the change for which they fought. These kids were rebels, who never took no for an answer, but stood up against terrible odds and persevered regardless of hardships, to create a better future for themselves and other kids. Some survived torture and starvation; others became famous and had sad ends. The book is not about famous people, but about ordinary children that achieved extraordinary things because they believed in them.

There are chapters on Superstars, Rescuers, Whiz-kids, Feral Kids, Rulers, Rebels, Battlers, Survivors, and Climate Warriors, and additional reading and resources

It is a one-sitting read and will be given permanent residence on the bookshelf, to be revisited often and used as a reference. It encourages and inspires children to strive for high ideals, to clutch tightly to what they long to do, and never say something can’t be done or achieved. These lives are proof of that.

Title: Kids Who Did
Author: Kirsty Murray
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 1 April 2019
Format: Paperback
For ages: 8 - 14
Type: Non Fiction