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Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change

Courageous Actions Around the World


Inspire kids and teens to personal, community, and social action with this book of thirty true stories of young people overcoming adversity to achieve great things and make a difference around the world. Compelling, funny, inspiring, and poignant, the book features kids and teens who used their heads, their hearts, their character, their courage, and sometimes their stubbornness to help others and do amazing things. You’ll find examples of kids volunteering, kids making a difference, and young people initiating community and social action to change their world.

What makes these kids so special?

Eleven-year-old Tilly saved the lives of 100 people in Thailand because she knew the warning signs of a tsunami. Ten-year-old Jean-Dominic won a battle against pesticides—and the cancer they caused in his body. Fifteen-year-old Malika fought against segregation in her Alabama town. Six-year-old Ryan raised over $1 million to drill water wells in Africa. And thirteen-year-old Bethany, a competitive surfer, lost her left arm (and almost her life) to a shark, but got back on her surfboard.

As young readers meet these boys and girls from around the globe, they may wonder, “What kind of hero lives inside of me?” Teachers, use this engaging resource for service learning, character education, and social studies.

Part of Self-Help for Kids®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support children’s social-emotional health.
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Paperback $10.99 23500 Paperback 23500 $10.99

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ISBN: 978-1-57542-350-0
Reading Level: Grade 5
Interest Level: Ages 9–13
Guided Reading Level: U
Lexile Measure: 980L
Trim Size: 5.25" x 7.5"
Illustrated: two-color, photos
Page Count: 176

Praise for Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change
“Should be in all libraries!”—Noelle D., army wife and mommy blogger, Jumpin Beans blog

“Reviewer’s Choice.”—Midwest Book Review

“These true stories of children making significant change in their communities and countries will convince your students that one person can make a difference. The short chapters, which make excellent read alouds, tell of an eight-year-old who walked hundreds of miles to protest rain forest destruction in Mexico, a child with cancer who petitioned to stop the use of pesticides in Canada, and a young Taiwanese girl who fought for workers’ rights.”—Curriculum Connections

“Sit back and enjoy these 30 incredible human interest stories all about children who have faced extraordinary odds and accomplished near miracles.”—Skipping Stones Magazine

“Fabulous! This book is exciting, inspirational, and best of all, completely true!”—T.A. Barron, author of The Hero’s Trail

“A one-of-a-kind book that uses real-life examples to teach young people everywhere that they can make a positive difference.”—Midwest Book Review

“A treasure chest, rich with hope, heavily laden with motivating stories.”—Warren McLaren,

“This collection of tales about real kids doing amazing things is inspiring.”—Washington Post

Help young readers get the most out of Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change and Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Character.

  • Common Core State Standards


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User Reviews

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January 20, 2016 / Kristi - Colorado
Engaging stories that inspire

These stories are wonderful to read in those spare minutes at the end of a class or spend a bit longer and discuss the issues. I am always amazed by the insights the kids offer.


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