How To Be Extraordinary by Rashmi Sirdeshpande & Annabel Tempest


Welcome to a glorious new nonfiction tome covering 15 absolutely true stories of incredible human beings, each of whom are extraordinary – not by luck, but by sheer tenacity and hard work.

Each double page spread focuses on one person. Rashmi Sirdeshpande’s clear and engaging narrative takes us through their lifestory, whilst Annabel Tempest’s detailed illustrations whisk the reader into their world, and even go some way to help us understand particle physics!

With the climate crisis in much of the media at the moment, it seems wonderfully fitting that Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Annabel Tempest’s book opens with Sir David Attenborough. Who knew that his lifelong love of animals began when he was gifted a salamander at 8?

I found Aeham Ahmad’s story fascinating; it really brought a lump to my throat. The power of music, the power of others to reach out a hand to help, and a powerful message about the very human face of refugees.

The determination of Dr Sau Lan Wu is quite the tale! She born into severe poverty, applied to college against her father’s wishes and then got herself onto a ship from Hong Kong to USA with just $40 to her name… she’s now a world-famous particle physicist!

Sirdeshpande and Tempest really have stuck to the book’s premise – these are true life stories that truly inspire. These are fifteen people who have worked hard, even when the universe appears to have conspired against them. I loved that I met both familiar and unfamiliar faces with the pages, each one with a remarkable story to tell.

What great role models for young readers!

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