Troublemakers and Superpowers

Troublemakers and Superpowers

29 Stories of People Who Turned Childhood Struggles into Strengths
by Keely Grand; Illustrated by Ragon Dickard

This unique and hopeful biography collection explores the lives of 29 individuals from diverse backgrounds who turned their childhood struggles – their personal “troublemakers” – into strengths that enabled them to live their lives to the fullest.

Troublemakers and Superpowers is filled with hopeful stories that explore the lives of individuals from diverse backgrounds who have had to navigate a “troublemaker” in their childhood, such as trauma, depression, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, or dyslexia. Each of these individuals had a turning point in their life that enabled them to understand not only their struggles but also their strengths and ultimately learn how to use them to go after their dreams.

Did you know…

  • Greta Thunberg used the strengths she discovered with her Asperger’s Syndrome to start a climate revolution.
  • Jonathan Van Ness’s (JVN) struggle with childhood trauma and depression pushed him to learn self-love.
  • Ed Sheeran overcame a stutter with the help of music. 
  • Emma Stone struggles with anxiety and discovered acting helps her manage her condition.
  • Trevor Noah grew up in South Africa navigating the strict rules of apartheid, the inflexible traditions of catholic school, and being a kid with undiagnosed ADHD. Discovering stand-up enabled him to turn his fascinating life story into comedy. 
  • Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock struggled with dyslexia then discovered the benefits of her condition – good 3D spatial awareness – were ideal for a career as a space scientist.   

Each profile includes a full-page illustrated portrait and three pages devoted to the subject’s inspiring story, which is interwoven with vibrant, playful art and illustrated quotes that highlight significant moments in each subject’s story.  

The book also includes: 

  • A foreword for kids and an afterword for adults written by a licensed therapist to provide mental health context for readers.
  • Definitions of the variety of conditions, disorders, and traumas covered in the book, vetted by mental health experts.
  • A list of resources on topics covered in the book.  

The incredible stories of the individuals in this book are filled with hope and inspiration for kids, ages 8 and up, who are struggling with challenges in their lives, as well as for kids who love biographies. All readers will have a better understanding of what it’s like to grow up with “troublemakers” and how they can be seen as “superpowers.”

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