What if there was a magical book which could make you awesome at anything? Well, this book won’t instantly make you awesome at something, but it will give you the right mindset to do so. The author, Matthew Syed, says that he followed these very tips (that are mentioned in the book) to becoming a two-time Olympian at table tennis and also a bestselling author. The books have playful illustrations by Toby Triumph on almost every page. It is a non-fiction and self-help book, but has two characters: Kid Average and Kid Awesome, which show the differences between two mindsets. The writer encourages readers to think differently and adopt a ‘Growth Mindset’. A growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. For example, someone in a fixed mindset would say ‘I’m no good at that’, but someone in a growth mindset would say ‘I’m no good at that YET, but I can be much better at it if I try.’
What I like about this book is that it uses interesting techniques to put its point across. Like the ‘Famous Failure’ section where the writer looks at famous ‘failures’, such as Jay-Z, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling and tells us that these people were initially failures, but with success and determination, they managed to turn their lives around and even become world-famous. The writer talks about people like Serena Williams, Mozart, Shakuntala Devi and David Beckham. He shows readers that these people actually trained for hours on end to reach the positions that they reached, and debunks the myth that they were born talented. The writer also reflects on his own experiences, like the time he boarded the wrong bus and went to Bergen, Germany instead of Bergen, Norway or how he embarked on a Marginal Gains approach to beat his brother’s record on a running track.
The anecdotes in the book make it seem much shorter than it is. It costs Rs. 500 and is worth every rupee! It is a book every child should read and every adult should have read in their childhood. I recommend this book to everyone. After all, who would pass on a chance to become awesome?
Rating: Five out of Five
Aastha Nayak is twelve years old, lives in Pune, and loves to read and write.