This is a really interesting look at an incredibly wide range of historical figures from wide variety of backgrounds.
This would be an excellent starting point to looking at all kinds of historical topics or as a way of inspiring children by taking a look at some unusual choices of people they could aspire to be like themselves.
The list of people detailed here really is huge and ranges from the more obvious figures such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Isaac Newton to people I had never even heard of myself such as Wangari Maathai, Valentina Tereshkova and Ana Nzinga (a 16th century warrior queen from Angola – how awesome is it to be able to share a figure like that with young readers?)
There is no doubting that some of the figures here can be used to inspire children in their own school learning.
Want to inspire young writers? Have a look at J K Rowling and Hans Christien Anderson, or something a little different like Gabriel Garcia Marquez or even a writer who was closer to their own age and an important historical diarist in Anne Frank.
Got some budding young artists or possible future architects? How about introducing them to Leonardo Da Vinci, Erno Rubik, Antoni Gaudi or Pablo Picasso?
Or, if you’re wanting to help inspire young scientific thinkers then besides those already mentioned, there’s Tim Berners-Lee, Louis Pasteur and Alfred Nobel or female greats from the scientific sphere such as Marie Curie, Valentina Tereshkova and Katherine Johnson (great for helping show girls that science isn’t a subject for boys!).
Young musicians could be inspired by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, David Bowie while for athletes there’s Rudolf Nereyev, Pele and Muhammed Ali.
Then there’s people who have had an enormous impact on world history such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Eva Peron, Jan Amos Komensky, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Rosa Parks, Sejong The Great Confucius or even a modern day global figure such as Malala Yousafzai.
And finally, most interestingly for me, there were a remaining list of figures covered who, to my shame, I was either not aware of or had forgotten entirely but who were worthy of mention and could just well be the figures set to inspire the young minds introduced to them through this book. In the interest of fairness to them, and honesty in showing up my own ignorance, the list of people in this book I did not recognise follows thus…
Trischa Zorn, Hanae Mori, Roald Amundsen, Vincent Lingiari, Mary Anning, Sappho, Frida Kahlo, Olaudah Equiano, Antonio Rodrigues, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Simon Bolivar, Maria Montessori and Tegla Loroupe.
Never before has a book for children made me feel so ignorant to world history as this!
I would definitely recommend this as a must have book for school or classroom libraries – It’s just so full of great starting points that it’s hard not to love it.