Last weekend, I read a few book recommendations in the newspaper. One of the books was titled – You Are Awesome. Immediately, that caught my attention. I had not heard about the author earlier so there was no question of knowing about his works. Yet the short review of the book was enough for me to order it from Amazon.
The short review said, that this book was for children to gain confidence and dare to be brilliant at anything. Lately, I was finding Mishti low in confidence which reflected in her academic performance and her enthusiasm to pursue swimming as well.
I always have a continuous and open communication with her coach and teachers and they have the same feedback every time I speak with them about Mishti. They mention that though she is aware of her strengths but doesn’t put in her best efforts. She can certainly do much better than this. Let me just tell you here, that they do not put undue pressure on her to improve her performance in terms of marks or medals but they are concerned about her attitude towards any task that she takes up. These were enough reasons for me to order the book and I was not disappointed.
I have chanced upon a goldmine. This is the book I needed Mishti to read. And this is also a book which I would have definitely loved to read as a child or my growing up years. Nevertheless, I read it now along with Mishti and have helped me a lot analyse my strengths and try and change my belief to certain notions that I had. Many myths were busted. Parenting became easy. The things that I was trying to explain Mishti, became so much easier by reading the book to her.
Though my introduction, clearly states why I loved the book so much, here is a bit about the author and the book review.
About The Author:
Matthew Syed is a leading columnist and feature writer for The Times and a broadcaster. Prior to his journalistic career, Syed competed as an English table tennis international and was the English number one for many years. He was three times the men’s singles champion at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships (in 1997, 2000 and 2001), and also competed for Great Britain in two Olympic Games, at Barcelona in 1992 and at Sydney in 2000. (Source: Wikipedia). Matthew Syed’s first book, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. His second, Black Box Thinking, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller.
About The Book:
You Are Awesome is a fantastic book to help children to dream and pursue their dreams with grit and determination. And the author specifies in the book that by dreaming he doesn’t imply to dream to get an Oscar or win an Olympic medal or to be awarded the Noble prize. To dream is to work hard to get a role in the school play, to practice to perform better in the next game or to try and score better than you did in your previous class test. It focuses on guiding children to be the best version of themselves.
You Are Awesome has tips, strategies on changing mindsets; overcoming fears and anxieties. He stresses the importance of having a growth mindset. He mentions in the book that the stories about being god gifted are myths. With the right mindset, determination and many hours of hard work and practice, one can develop his talent.
What I Liked:
Everything about the book superseded my expectations. But when it’s a non-fiction, self-help children’s book the most important aspect should be the writing style. And Matthew Syed has aced it. The book is written in a witty manner, stating his real-life experiences as a table tennis player and author. Also, he shares examples of highly recognisable successful people like Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and JK Rowling, all of whom have made lots of mistakes along their path to success.
The chapters are titled as ‘From Kid Average To Kid Awesome’, ‘What’s holding me back’, ‘Practice Makes Awesome’ which are catchy and grabs the child’s interest. It motivates children to think positively and deal with initial hurdles that they face when they take up any activity.
The book is ideal for children over 9 years of age, for self-reading. However, for younger children, I would recommend from my personal experience of reading it out to them and making it a fun reading session.
Click on the image or link to buy the book from Amazon.
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