I have often written, in this blog, of empowering kids, and of real-life success stories of young people. Often, I've compared those real-life stories to some of my fiction stories, to talk about what young people are capable of. Occasionally, but fortunately not often, a reviewer of one of my books will complain that the characters are too young, and could not possibly do what I've had them doing. Of course, I vehemently say that young people are way more capable than most of the adults around them think, and I write that into my books.
Now, I celebrate another real-life story. Laura Dekker, a 16-year old Dutch/New Zealander (and there's a story behind that), has completed a round-the-world sailing journey.
Laura maintained a blog, in which she vividly describes her experiences at sea. She also describes her battles with the child protection authorities back in Holland, and about how those battles have left her with nightmares far worse than anything she anything she experienced battling the oceans of the world in Guppy, her 38-foot sailboat.
So, today, I cheer her success, and I’ll close by sharing with you the entry I left on her guestbook:
Laura: You have shown, a very real way, what young people are capable of. As a sailor, I applaud your extraordinary achievement. As an author of Young Adult fiction, I celebrate your perseverance, determination, tenacity and courage. A story better than anything I could write. My sincere congratulations.