#1210 – Kid Activists by Robin Stevenson & Allison Steinfeld


Kid Activists:
True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change
Kid Legends Series
Written by Robin Stevenson
Illustrated by Allison Steinfeld
Quirk Books 9/24/2019
224 Pages   Ages 9—12

Genre:  Middle Grade Book, Nonfiction
Themes: Activism, American History, Legendary Childhoods


Across history, activists have worked, marched, and spoken out for equality and justice—and many had moving, relatable childhood stories. Martin Luther King, Jr. argued with his dad about whether dancing was a sin. Harvey Milk had a passion for opera. Dolores Huerta was wrongly accused of plagiarizing. Kid Activists tells these stories and more through engaging biographies and full-color illustrations on nearly every page. Learn about Susan B. Anthony, James Baldwin, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Hamilton, Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Iqbal Masih, Janet Mock, Rosa Parks, Autumn Peltier, Emma Watson, and Malala Yousafzai. (from back cover)

Opening Lines

Have you ever noticed something that didn’t seem fair? Do you sometimes wish you could make the world a better place for everyone? If so, then maybe you will become an activistl

Why I like this book

Dedicated to “all the courageous and passionate kids around the world who are standing up for justice and equality,” Kid Activists tells a childhood tale about each of the sixteen plus activists. As in past Kid Legends books, these stories are humorous, sentimental, and definitely inspiring. Written at a time when the world needs more activists for the environment, women’s rights, education, and at least a dozen other needs, this is the perfect time to expose kids to these legends.

Included in Kid Activists are six activists all kids should know, nine many will not know or immediately recognize, and finally, one activist kids may be surprised to find labeled an activist. Divided into four parts, each part includes four legends. At the end of each legend’s story is a small story of a related activist from the same period and involved in the same activity.

Alexander Hamilton and Deborah Samson is one such pair. Hamilton joined a voluntary militia and fought against the British in the Revolutionary War. Samson, posing as a boy, also fought the British, she for three years. Hamilton’s main story is one of sheer hard luck, but through hard work, he went on to become this nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.

The one activist a great majority of kids should know, but not of her activism, is Emma Watson. She of Harry Potter fame became interested in women’s rights. While in Africa at age nineteen, Emma noticed the different lives led between women who worked in fair trade factories and those working in the factories of multinational—and wealthy—companies. This began her activism. Just five years ago, in 2014, Emma became a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, focusing on women’s rights and gender equality.

Like the previous Kid Legends (Presidents (reviewed here), Athletes (reviewed here), Artists, Authors, and Scientists), Kid Activists can help kids understand more about The United States’ history and the people who have stood out. As a kid, I hated social studies, history, and government. Give me math and science, please. If this Kid Legends Series had been available way back then, I would not have disliked and avoided those subjects.

It is easy to see the value of the Kid Legends Series. The author and illustrator may have changed for this version, but the look and feel of the book has not changed. With the short length of each legend’s story and the shorter extra pieces, the series is perfect for reluctant readers. I’ve found the Kid Activists is like a certain potato chip—you cannot read just one story, it’s not possible.

Kid Activists with its accessible, lively stories will inspire those who read its pages. Today, more than ever, we need activists.

Back Matter

Back matter includes further reading for each legend and an index.

Available at Amazon

Kid Activists:  True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change. Text Copyright © 2019 by Robin Stevenson. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Allison Steinfeld. Published by Quirk Books, Philadelphia, PA.

Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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