Monday 23 May 2022

New Non-Fiction: You Don't Have To Be Loud-A Quiet Kid's Guide to Being Heard


Published by: Wren & Rook, Hachette, April 2022

If ever there was a book I needed as a child, this is it. In fact, being quiet and struggling with conversation is something that has followed me into adulthood. It's a part of my personality I've learnt to accept and sometimes over compensate for, but if I'd have had access to a book like this during secondary school, it could have saved me a whole world of pain.

Do you feel afraid of talking in front of people? Or saying the wrong thing? Does everyone around you seem loud and confident? Well, newsflash! Being quiet doesn't make you strange or boring and it often means you have the invaluable skills of empathy, kindness and being able to listen. 
As Ben Brooks introduces us to some famous people who have used their quietness to achieve great things, he encourages us to embrace and be proud of being shy. Because you don't have to be loud to be liked and you don't have to be loud to make an impact.

Published in an easily accessible format, with two-tone illustrations by Nigel Baines, this non-fiction guide offers explanations and advice around shyness; what it is and how we can deal with it. I particularly liked the advice to start small when setting goals and the explanation that, in many cultures and situations, silence is welcomed. There's a great chapter about spending time online and being aware of seeking refuge in solitary activities, with gentle challenges to ensure the reader is living life to the full rather than hiding away. Plus, there's even a section on stammering. 

Weaving examples of famous people who are shy into the text adds an extra dimension to this book, allowing young readers to relate and connect their own struggles to someone well-known, who has achieved incredible things. For example, did you know Elvis Presley had a stammer? Or that Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, found an outlet for his shyness through acting? In the words of Stephen Hawking, "Quiet people have the loudest minds," and it's about finding a way to harness that power. 

So, if you want to feel more comfortable with the fact you are a quieter person or if you trying to find ways to build confidence in communicating, then why not give this book a go. And remember, there's lots of quiet people out there making a difference...

A big thanks to Hachette for sending me a review copy. 

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