Monday, 11 March 2019

Stand Up for the Future

Stand Up for the Future by various authors (Puffin Books) HB RRP $29.99 ISBN 9780143794394

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Sub-titled ‘A Celebration of Inspirational Young Australians’, this is a substantial book of 195 pages which is targeted at readers 11+ years. Stand up in the title is to signal standing up for someone with whom you show solidarity and support. 

The contents pages show the names and activities of dozens of young Australians from Amelia Fox, inventor through to Zack Bryers, youth worker. The young people are engaged in many kinds of occupations including writing, sports, entrepreneurship, campaigner, acting, modelling advocates and more. Some are disabled achievers, some advocate for transgender people, the environment, disabilities and so on.

Just to mention a few… most know the conservationist Bindi Irwin, but lesser known is Amelia Telford, an indigenous youth who works with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, creating a support network for them and co-founding the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network to help young people advocate for the environment. 

Yumo Soerianto, a young iOS app developer has been the youngest attendee at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. He started to code at the age of six and, self-taught, he has created websites, browser games, applications and more. One app he created was a tip calculator for his parents to use during their stay in the US. He also manages his own YouTube channel, Anyone Can Code, publishing video tutorials.

Bassam Maaliki, born in Sydney and a Lebanese Muslim, is the founder of #uBelong, a project designed to help refugees and migrants feel welcome and supported in their new communities and to help generate a sense of belonging.

Each double-page spread features one young Australian and provides a blurb about them and their lives and projects. On the opposite page is an illustration of the featured person. One thing the blurb does not provide is the person’s birth date, so it is difficult to ascertain if these are young people now – or in the past. It is also disappointing that the book does not provide photographs of the subjects. It does provide a contents page, a glossary, pictures and names of the illustrators, a designer’s note and a page that says that all royalties from sales of the book will be donated to the Australian charity, the Smith Family, which helps in the education of young Australians. 

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