Friday, September 11, 2015

Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome by Brad Montague and Robby Novak

Today is the National Day of Service.  So, how am I going to tie that in to a silly YouTube book?  By tying it in to a silly YouTube book that is also inspiring and dedicated to promoting helping others and “making the world more awesome.”

Kid President is a wildly popular YouTube channel, TV show, and…well…kid.  Kid President is Robby Novak, a young boy from Tennessee who makes videos with the help of his brother-in-law, Brad Montague.  Robby’s videos have an infectious enthusiasm and positivity that is impossible to deny.  Here, go watch his “Pep Talk” video.  Seriously, even if you’re already one of the more than 36 million views, go watch it again.  Wasn’t that great?  Do you have a lump in your throat?  Don’t worry, so did I.  If you think that video is remarkable and want more, there are many more videos on YouTube and the TV show and now a book!
Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome was written by Brad and Robby and it encapsulates their positive outlook perfectly.  It consists of stories from their own lives (like how Robby has a condition that has resulted in many broken bones and more surgeries than anyone should have to endure) and stories about kids and adults all over the world who are working to make the world more awesome.  My favorite part might be the little snippets of actual conversations Brad and Robby had about the book as they were working on it, for instance Robby lobbied hard to make sure the book includes the time he kissed Beyoncé.  There are interviews with celebrities but part of what is so incredible about this book is that the interviews with “ordinary” people are even more interesting because of how much good they are doing in the world.

Normally, this is the part of the review where I tell you why you might like the book but if the video and the description don’t do it, I’m at a loss.  This book is in the Youth area of your library but any person of any age can find something wonderful in its pages.  Guide to Being Awesome doesn’t make you feel guilty by showcasing single-digit aged kids who have started international charities; it leaves you in awe of the human spirit, at least that’s what it did for me.

If you would like to read another book about a positive YouTube personality, you can check out In Real Life by Joey Graceffa from the Virginia Beach Public Library or you can watch that pep talk again and fill in the blank that Robby offers to almost everyone he interviews:  The world would be more awesome if _________.

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