By: Andy Andrews
Illustrated by: Philip Hurst
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: October 1, 2010
The Boy Who Changed The World is actually about several boys and how their actions affected the lives of so many. The tale begins with Norman Borlaug, who lived on a farm in Iowa. Norman loved playing hide-and-seek in the cornfields of his family farm. His father had told him how lucky they were to have so much corn because there are some people who didn't have enough food to eat. Norman wondered, "What would it be like to be hungry all the time?" Right then and there, we're told, "Norman decided to change the world."
This is a thoughtful tale about how one determined person can do something that will have profound effects on other people, living all over the world. It is also a story about the "butterfly effect," which says that, "every time something happens, something else happens." We see how Norman was helped by Vice President Henry Wallace, who gained insight from George Washington Carver who was rescued by Moses Carter from outlaws. If Moses had not saved young George Washington Carver, then those seeds Norman developed might never have been discovered.
The publisher lists the reading level for this title as 4 to 8 year olds. I doubt that very many 4, 5 or even 6 year olds would sit still through this tale. While the historical facts are interesting, the story jumps from one young boy to another, and is a bit disjointed at times. Young readers will likely have difficulty following the timeline. Older children, however, may enjoy learning about the boys in the book and it might even be a good starting point for doing a school project about Norman Borlaug.
Quill says: A good book for older children to learn about what they can do to change the world.