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.
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.
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.
Known as the Kid President, American teenager Robby Novak thinks it’s cool to be kind, and that compassion and curiosity can help change the world. A YouTube sensation and author of two books before he was 12 years old, Robby promotes his belief that everyone matters and has a purpose. Despite his ongoing struggle with a difficult disease that makes his bones brittle, Robby’s mission is to dance the world toward happiness and show people that everyone can be a superhero to somebody.
A groundbreaking advocate for transgender youth and LGBTQ rights, Jazz Jennings is one of the first youth to speak publicly about her experiences as a transgender individual. A spokesperson, writer, and public figure, Jazz inspires all people to embrace themselves and be accepting of all people. Overcoming incredible struggles as a young transgender person, Jazz now uses her platform to make a difference in the LGBTQ community. A vocal advocate for equal rights, she co-founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation—all before the age of 15.
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.
The first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison has broken barriers in science and medicine to become one of the most admired women worldwide. This fascinating book describes how Jemison refused to let anyone stand in the way of her dreams. She became a doctor and worked in the Peace Corps until NASA invited her to join the astronaut program. Today, she is an important advocate for science in education - especially for girls and women. Jemison also continues to push scientific research to improve life in developing countries.
When doctors told her parents that she may never walk again, no one could have imagined that Wilma Rudolph would grow up to become the world’s fastest woman. This awe-inspiring book shows how, with grace, perseverance, and dedication, young Wilma used her inner strength to overcome physical disabilities caused by polio to win three gold medals for the USA in track and field at the 1960 Olympics. A sports superstar and an icon worldwide, her legacy continues to inspire youth and African-American communities today.
Courageous Malala Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt for advocating for the education of girls in her home country of Pakistan. This book describes her incredible story, including her advocacy work on behalf of women and girls on an international scale following her attack, and how she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - all while she was still in her teens. Young readers will discover how important her parents' support has been to the young activist and gain an understanding of the culture in which Yousafzai was raised. The world can always use more positive female role models, and Yousafzai's youth and forthrightness make it easy for young readers to relate to her.
American Temple Grandin is a renowned scientist, champion for animal rights, and an advocate for people with autism. This book highlights the achievements of this inspirational woman who lives with high-functioning autism. Grandin overcame language and social challenges to become one of the world’s most influential minds in animal welfare and in autism education, exposing the incredible, and sometimes unacknowledged, potential of people who have special needs. Primary sources, sidebars, and discussion and writing prompts highlight her remarkable story.
An important advocate for people with physical disabilities, Canadian Paralympic athlete Rick Hansen circled the world in his wheelchair, proving that, with perseverance and courage, anything is possible! Hansen's Man in Motion tour took him around the world, raising money for research to improve the lives of those who have disabilities. This inspiring book describes his remarkable story as an athlete, activist, and philanthropist. An example of determination for many people around the world, his commitment to making a difference continues today.
Imagine your family had to choose between sending you to school or having enough food to eat. This book tells how William Kamkwamba was forced to drop out of his school in Wimbe, Malawi, when a famine struck his village and his family, who relied on farming, could no longer afford his tuition fee. Instead of giving up on his education, William visited his local library often. It was here that he read a book about wind power. At the age of 14, William used what he learned from the book to build a windmill that brought power to his family’s home. He has since built his village’s first drinking water pump. William’s ingenuity, perseverance, and initiative are an inspiration to many people around the world.
Kate Middleton became a household name around the world when her engagement to Britain’s Prince William was announced in 2010. Since becoming the Duchess of Cambridge, she has built a lasting legacy as an inspiring philanthropist, positive role model, fashion influencer, and devoted mother. With her ever-growing influence around the world, Kate Middleton has sparked a new generation’s interest in the British monarchy.
One of the top tennis players of all time, Serena Williams is both a powerhouse athlete and a philanthropist. This energizing title tells her inspiring story, from learning to play tennis along with her sister Venus from their father in Compton, California, to Serena's record-setting 23 individual Grand Slam titles. Serena’s dedication, perseverance, and global activism on behalf of underprivileged people and for equal justice make her a role model for people around the world.
From Disney star to blockbuster actor, fashion influencer, singer, and activist, Zendaya is making waves in Hollywood. This remarkable book shows that her fun, relatable persona and outstanding acting and singing chops aren’t the only reasons that she is a role model for girls and women around the world. She also champions her self worth, and is a figure for causes such as female empowerment and racial equality.
Known for his creative songwriting and unique talent, Ed Sheeran has developed a devoted following of music fans around the world. Raised in a small town in England, he independently produced his music until influential artists Elton John and Taylor Swift recognized his talent and helped him pursue his dream. Through dedication and perseverance, the “Thinking Out Loud” singer has become one of the defining voices in pop music today.
Harry Styles first rose to international fame as a member of the pop group One Direction, which took the world by storm after its members were discovered on The X Factor. But his successful solo music ventures and fresh acting career have proven that Styles is much more than just a teen heartthrob and pop sensation. Learn more about the life of this talented young star and his rise to fame as an independent singer and actor.
Bursting onto the world stage at the age of 11 as Hermione Granger in the film version of Harry Potter, Emma Watson has since become an acclaimed actress, voice for social change, and style icon. This intriguing book follows her rise to fame, navigating from child star in England to grown-up acting roles, and using her widespread influence to work as an activist for gender equality around the world.
From online singing sensation to international superstar, boy-next-door Shawn Mendes is one of the world’s biggest young stars. Born and raised in Pickering, Ontario, Shawn first gained attention by singing cover versions of songs, which he posted online to quickly garner a huge, grassroots fan base—and eventually a record deal. Learn how the singer’s hard work and dedication helped him become an award-winning artist, and a voice for positive change.
Following an outstanding NHL rookie season, which ended in his winning of the Calder Memorial Trophy for best overall rookie, Auston Matthews has quickly become known as one of the league’s top hockey players. From his childhood beginnings in Arizona to being the first overall draft pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs, this exciting book helps readers find out how the hockey star has skated his way to stardom.