Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

30 People Who Changed the World

30 People Who Changed the World

Written by Award Winning Writers
For ages 8 to 11
Seagrass Press, 2017   ISBN: 978-1633223776

Over the centuries all kinds of extraordinary people have walked this earth. They have been teachers, politicians, artists, musicians and more, and many of them have made our lives easier or better because of their life’s world. Some people might think that reading about these people, learning about them, would be boring, but this is far from the truth. Touching the lives of people who lived in the past and who did remarkable things is fascinating.

Not long ago a group of children’s nonfiction writers got together to create an organization called INK Think Tank. They built a blog which they use to “interest, inspire, and entertain kids.” The blog contains biographies of some of the world’s marvelous people, and thirty of those biographies have been brought together to create this book.

Some of the people mentioned in this book are so familiar that we almost feel that we know them, while others are new to us. For example, there is an essay, written by Andrea Warren, that looks at the life and achievements of Charles Dickens. Many of us know at least some of Dickens’ stories well, and have enjoyed getting to know characters like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, and Pip from Great Expectations. The stories are gripping and entertaining, but what some people might not know is that Dickens also hoped that his tales would help his readers understand the plight of Britain’s poor.

Not many people have heard about Edmonia Lewis. She was a part Native American and part African American sculptor who had to overcome much hardship before she was finally able to settle in Europe. In her essay about Edmonia, Cheryl Harness tells us about how the sculptor created some beautiful sculptures, which can be seen in museums in cities around the world.

Many people have heard of Charles Lindberg, the first man to fly a plane across the Atlantic, but before him there was a young man called Cal Rodgers who became the first man to fly across the American continent. Writer and illustrator Roxie Munro tells us about how Cal survived numerous crashes and other misfortunes. His plane had to be rebuilt many times over, but he refused to give up, and he completed his landmark journey in just under seven months, arriving in California on April 3rd, 1912.

With short essays that are accompanied by illustrations, maps, diagrams, and period photos, this book gives young readers easily accessible biographical ‘pictures’ of special men and women. These people were compassionate, courageous, inventive, creative, and gifted. They excelled in some way in their chosen field or cause, and found a way to leave behind a legacy that we can appreciate today.