A competitive swimmer in Syria, Yusra Mardini never let go of her Olympic dream, even when civil war made it too difficult to train in her country. In 2016, she was allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics as part of a special team for refugees. This was only months after making a daring crossing of the Mediterranean Sea in a sinking boat that she helped tow to shore. Dozens of lives were saved on the voyage. Still training, Mardini also acts as a spokesperson and educator for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.
American gymnast Simone Biles wowed the world at the 2016 Rio Olympics by winning four gold medals. The first female gymnast to earn three consecutive all-around titles, Biles has been listed on TIME magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People, authored a book on her life, and won an ESPY award for best female athlete in 2017. Her determination carried her through an unstable home life as a young child to become someone who wants to inspire others to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle.
This inspiring book examines the life and work of Craig Kielburger, co-founder of the worldwide Me to We and Free the Children organizations. An important children’s rights activist, Craig works to empower youth around the world to make a difference in their communities and take action to solve global issues. With his brother, Marc, Craig actively works to stop child labor and promote social involvement across borders—educating, inspiring, and motivating people to make a difference every day.
Championing equal rights for all people regardless of gender, race, and economic class, Dolores Huerta is a globally recognized icon in the fight for social justice. This book explores Huerta’s inspiring story, focusing on her courage and perseverance as an advocate for the working poor, women’s rights, and rights for immigrant communities. As a co-founder of the United Farm Workers union and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she continues to make positive strides for equal rights and inspire people everywhere to stand up for what they believe.
Joshua Wong was born in Hong Kong less than one year before China took back control of the city from the United Kingdom. While the handover was peaceful, Hong Kong’s citizens lost their right to fully democratic elections. Joshua's leadership as an activist came to international attention in 2014, during pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The protest became known as the Umbrella Movement. Although Joshua and his student organization called Scholarism promoted peaceful protest, he was jailed for his participation. Undiscouraged, Joshua continues to advocate for full and free elections in Hong Kong. He has been the subject of a documentary called Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, and has been recognized for his work with many awards including TIME magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens.
Trailblazing Xiuhtezcatl Martinez speaks and performs around the world to inspire and empower people to protect and preserve the environment. A leader of the youth-led climate change movement and an activist for Indigenous rights, the 15-year-old Aztec change-maker is a commanding example to all youth to get involved in social change. Using the powerful medium of music, Xiuhtezcatl inspires people around the world to be environmental stewards in order to secure a better future for today’s youth.
American teenager Zuriel Oduwole tries to live by the quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.” A filmmaker, public speaker, and writer, Zuriel has interviewed dozens of world leaders and pushed them to promote the education of girls around the world. Founder of the Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up organization, Zuriel teaches citizen filmmaking to kids around the world, speaks out on gender equality at major world forums, and makes world leaders accountable for supporting girls’ education initiatives.