________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 17 . . . . April 28, 2006


Super kids: Ordinary Kids Who Have Done Extraordinary Things.

Lisa Fitterman. Illustrated by Caren Scarpulla.
Irvington, NY: Hylas Publishing, 2005.
96 pp., cloth, $11.95.
ISBN 1-59258-136-6.

Subject Headings:
Children-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Bev Dunlop.

** /4


"Kids do the darndest things", or so the saying goes. This book signals a real change, because lots of kids do really amazing things. Don't read these stories and think: "I could never do that." Choose, instead, to be inspired, for you don't know what you can do - you'll never know until you just do it. So rise up. Be in control. Help others. Lead. (From the “Introduction.”)

Some of the kids in this chapter have faced down diseases such as Aids, Cancer and Diabetes, while others were born with serious conditions that could have made them outcasts.  However, every single one responded to these incredible challenges in ways that affected the people around them positively.  Read on. (From “Section 3:  Strength in the Face of Sickness.”)


Super kids introduces readers to 57 real children, both girls and boys, who have done amazing things - whether it be as musicians, community activists, athletes or courageous children who manage to keep a positive outlook even when confronted with catastrophic illnesses or situations. The book is divided into eight thematic sections. In turn, each section contains five to ten short entries, with each being only a page or two long and focusing on child "heroes" who, for example, "had an idea and ran with it" or "maintained their cool in a moment of crisis and helped save others." The children, who are from the United States and Canada, are as young as three and as old as 15. The stories about these children are easy to read, and their contents range in emotion from sad to heartwarming. The book does not contain photos of any of the child subjects. Instead, Scarpulla's black and white drawings appear about every two pages to break up the text.

     The book's eight sections, with an example from each, are as follows: 1. To the Rescue (A four-year-old boy from Calgary, Alberta calls 911 when his mother collapses.) 2. Smarties (A grade 7 girl from Pennsylvania is the world Scrabble champion.) 3. Strength in the Face of Sickness (Amanda, 15, from Oklahoma, who was paralyzed in a car accident, becomes a public speaker about car safety.) 4. Helping Hands (David, 12 and from Connecticut, begins an organization called "Kid Packs of America" which provides underprivileged kids with bags filled with five days worth of clothes, toiletries, school supplies and games.) 5. Lights! Camera? Artistic Expression! (Kaitlyn has been playing a 121-year-old German violin since she was nine. She practices in the bathroom where she feels the sound is better.) 6. Media Moguls and Sports Stars (Taylor, 12 and from California, runs a 26.2 mile marathon.) 7. The Gift of Giving  (Elizabeth, eight-years-old and from Tennessee, requests that, instead of people giving her presents for her birthday, they make donations to Make-a-Wish-Foundation.) 8. Beyond Borders  (Craig, 12 and from Ontario, starts Free-the-Children, an organization to stop child abuse and exploitation in every country.)

     The book closes with a page entitled "If You'd Like to Learn More" which directs readers to further information about a number of worthy organizations started by children.


Bev Dunlop, a Stay-at-Home-Mom, works very part-time at the Oakbank Elementary School in Oakbank, MB.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.