Sunday, June 19, 2016

You Got This! Unleash your awesomeness, find your path, and change your world, by Maya Penn (ages 11-16)

If you want to fuel your teens and tweens' creative fires or you need a pep talk yourself, you'll want to read or listen to Maya Penn's inspirational debut. I especially enjoyed the audiobook, which Maya narrates herself.

Maya is a sixteen-year-old entrepreneur (see Maya's Ideas) who talks directly from her heart, encouraging other teens to find their passions and follow their dreams. Her TED talks have been watched by millions, and this inspirational self-help drew me in right away.
You Got This!
Unleash your awesomeness, find your path, and change your world

by Maya S. Penn
North Star Way / Simon & Schuster, 2016
Your local library
ages 11-16
Curious, enthusiastic and genuine are words that immediately come to mind when I think about Maya Penn. At eight years old, she started her own company by selling headbands that she created. She's also really interested in animation, so she taught herself how to create her own films. In this inspirational self-help book, she shares about her own experiences to encourage other teens to develop their own passions and create plans to change the world.

Tweens and teens enjoy Maya's upbeat, casual tone as she starts by talking about her process. She encourages readers to use a dream board to brainstorm ideas and identify what creates sparks they might use to ignite their plans. I especially liked the way she helps kids understand different thinking styles and ways to keep yourself motivated.
watch Maya Penn on The View talk about her business
The length and detail make this best suited for middle and high schoolers, although several fifth graders were drawn to it. I'd love to see some more of Maya's terrific ideas illustrated for the tween audience--much like an American Girl book. Hand this to creative teens and see what dreams they build, or recommend it to families as a great audiobook for summer listening.

Library friends, I'm excited that Maya will be speaking at ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 25th at 3:30pm.

Many thanks to the publisher Simon & Schuster for sharing review copies--I've also purchased several copies for local schools and summer reading projects. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. What a great post! Would you be interested in linking up with the Diverse Children's Books Link-up? You can find it at Thanks!

  2. I bought this book! Maya is incredible and this is one of the best books I have read this year so far. It is great for ALL ages. A must read!