Young Heroes in World History
This book of biographical profiles and stories chronicles the astonishing courage and imagination of young people. The lives of the seventeen young men and women profiled here, who range in age from twelve to twenty-three at the time of their heroic deeds, spread across oceans and continents, cultures, races, and ethnic groups throughout 250 years. Each of their lives offers testimony to the human capacity to endure, overcome incredible obstacles, and choose honor, integrity, compassion, and service. The stories of many are told here for the first time. Among the lives depicted here are those of Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the first African American students to attempt to integrate a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock in 1957; Vladimir Bukovsky, a teenager whose activities on behalf of the human rights movement in the Soviet Union landed him in prison; Marianne Cohn, who paid the ultimate price for her courage as a resistance fighter in World War II France; Charles Eastman, raised as a Sioux, who was thrust at age fourteen into an alien white world and who later returned to his people as a physician and saved many lives at Wounded Knee; Olaudah Equino, a West African sold into slavery in the eighteenth century whose autobiography offers an unflinching portrayal of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade; and Chai Ling, a slip of a girl who assumed leadership of the student rebellion in China’s Tiananmen Square. The heroes profiled in this book represent ten nations-Africa, China, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Pakistan, Soviet Union, Thailand, and the United States. Each profile concludes with a bibliography for further reading. These engagingly written stories of young people’s courage will inspire and instruct.