Released in September 2020, Even More Fantastic Failures explores the lives of admirable and courageous people from Joan of Arc to Ayanna Pressley to Grace Hopper to Ryan Coogler to Emma Gonzalez AND MANY MORE AMAZING PEOPLE who have struggled, failed, and been rejected but nonetheless have found ways to keep pushing forward to make themselves and their world better and more just.
Some reviews and commentary on the original Fantastic Failures…
In this hybrid of collective biography and self-help, Reynolds hammers home the message that everyone fails, and failure can be used as a source of enlightenment, insight, and inspiration. Thirty-four people and one horse (Seabiscuit) are held up as examples of those who achieved success despite numerous adversities and setbacks. Many of the six- to eight-page profiles are of well-known figures, such as J.K. Rowling, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, and Frida Kahlo. Among the lesser known is Ilhan Omar, who came to America with her family from Somalia as a refugee and recently became the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected a national lawmaker. Luis Fernando Cruz, raised in Honduras with little access to computer science education, nevertheless channeled his passion into inventing accessible technologies for computer users with disabilities. Om Prakash Gurjar, once a child laborer, is a children’s rights activist protecting children from slavery, trafficking, and forced marriage. Intermixed with the profiles are brief highlights of additional figures. Each profile includes inspirational words from Reynolds that are similar to what one might see on posters in a school guidance office: “Nobody gets to tell you who you are—that’s your job, and yours alone,” for example. Reynolds concludes with 100 questions about failure and success to prompt reflection and inspiration. An upbeat, reassuring showcase of notable, successful people who refused to let adversities and setbacks stand in their way. (bibliography) (Collective biography. 8-12) (Kirkus 7/15/18)
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:
This collection highlights the times when high achievers either failed outright or faced drastic setbacks in achieving their goals. Each chapter opens with the idyllic and humorous story of a particular person’s road to success. This book communicates well that failure is an important part of growth and achievement. The breadth of different people and fields of study covered is a positive. Readers will connect to the challenges of Duke Kahanamoku, a champion swimmer and actor who popularized the sport of surfing in the 1930s and 19402; Om Prakash Gurjar was forced into helping his parents pay back his debts at the age of five. He went on to advocate for children forced into labor and eventually won the International Children’s Peace Prize. These stories serve as a model and send the message that success is rare at first attempt and failure is necessary to succeed. The text is well written and engaging. VERDICT: An entertaining pick for biopgraphy collections. (Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD, School Library Journal (August 2018)