Never Too Young!
The premise of “Never Too Young” is to encourage kids to think of themselves as able to make a difference, and to make the world a better place. As inspiration, the profiles 50 youngsters who did exactly that. The brief biographies range from athletes to artists, philanthropists to human rights activists, scientists to journalists. Randomly arranged and coming from all parts of the world, these young achievers are known for doing significant things before reaching age 18.
Each double-page spread includes an illustration of the changemaker on the left-hand page, and a brief, three-or four paragraph biography on the opposite page. Among the stories are those of Nicholas Lowinger, a 12-year-old boy who founded Gotta Have Sole, which provides shoes to homeless kinds (2010); Akrit Jaswal, a boy in India who, at age seven, was the youngest person in modern history perform a surgery (2000); Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white New Orleans school (1960); and 15-year-old Jack Andraka who developed a simple blood test for pancreatic cancer (2012).
Some profiles are from the pages of history: Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Mozart and teen phenom Joan of Arc may seem like a reach. A few, like Bobby Fischer’s profile that omits his later-life mental illness, are not complete. But, all told, these short stories of spirited, bold, stand-tall youngsters may motivate young readers to accomplish whatever they put their minds to.
Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.