Children don't see the world as adults do. They have a ruthless logic, free of shades of grey, which often leaves them frustrated by messy adult behaviour. They wish they had the power to step in and put things right. Some children do make a difference, by dint of circumstances, ability, willpower or sheer force of personality.
The Barefoot Book of Heroic Children by Rebecca Hazell, illustrated by Helen Cann (Barefoot Books pound;14.99) provides young readers with a sense of empowerment they can relish. Hazels heroic tableau is wide and subtle. She draws from historical and mythical events from around the world and through the ages: from David, slayer of Goliath (pictured, left), to Anne Frank; Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and teacher of the deaf; Fanny Mendelssohn, sister of the great composer and a gifted composer in her own right. The format of these stories, in the first person with historical context to follow, makes them compelling as well as highly revealing and informative.