Written By: Aileen Weintraub
Illustrated by: Laura Horton
For Ages: 8-12 years
Topics Covered: Activism, Environmental Conservation, STEM, Philanthropy, Global Community, Historical Figures.
This week for #sweetsandsocialjustice I’m so excited to share this book, and these baked cinnamon sugar donuts! Never Too Young gives an upbeat and global look at young people who made history before the age of 18. I really liked how the individuals profiled were throughout history, and a lot that are still doing great work right now! The kids run the gambit of professions-scientists, philanthropists, activists, and musicians. Role models for young people can and should be other young people! And these past and present child activists like Marley Dias, Nkosi Johnson, and Nicholas Lowinger are at the forefront of a myriad of fantastic causes.
The book has a large drawing of the person profiled, and a one-page summary of their life and work. More well-known activists like Ruby Bridges, Claudette Colvin, and Malala Yousafzai are featured with people new to me personally, like inventor Margaret Knight, Om Prakash Gurjar, and young reporter Rene Silva. I could have done without the line saying that Jazz Jennings was “born a boy”, and instead use phrasing about her being assigned male at birth, or being misidentified as a boy. The book also doesn’t mention Helen Keller’s affiliation with the eugenics movement, but that’s an incredibly complicated topic to cover in just a few paragraphs. Otherwise, I think the book is very well done. It’s so important that kids have books to empower them, and that readers know they can make a positive difference in the world at any age. This book gives a small taste of a huge number of causes and passions that individuals pursue, which is great for sparking a passion of one’s own.
This book was kindly sent to us by Sterling Children’s Books, but all opinions are our own.
Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts:
2c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2t ground gloves
1/2 t kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2T unsalted butter, melted
2 vanilla extract
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Makes about 16 donuts.
Aileen Weintraub is an award-winning author and editor who has written more than fifty children’s books with companies including Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, and Sterling. Never Too Young: 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference, won a 2018 Parents’ Choice Award. Secrets of the American Museum of Natural History released in 2019. Her next children’s book, We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World, is forthcoming from Hachette in Nov. 2020.
Aileen has also written numerous essays and articles for The Washington Post, Huff Post, AARP, Glamour, Kveller, and other publications. Her essay “This Is What No One Tells Women About What Happens to Your Body in Your 40s,” in Huff Post garnered over 2 million hits and was discussed on The View.
Her latest project is a comedic memoir about her experience as a Brooklyn girl who moves to the country, gets married, and finds herself living in a rickety farmhouse, knocked up, and faced with the prospect of bed rest. What ensues is a laugh-out-loud, emotionally charged story of one woman’s unexpected path to authenticity.
Aileen lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.
Laura K. Horton is a freelance illustrator that has always had a passion for family, creativity, and imagination.
“In 2014 I earned my B.F.A. in illustration & animation from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I have been featured in juried exhibitions and competitions, including the 2014 Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Exhibition and the MIAD Senior Juried Exhibition.
When I’m not working, I can be found drinking tea, reading, and game designing. Currently, I am living in Espoo, Finland, to obtain an M.A. degree in game design and production.”