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Know Before You Grow: 100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up

100 things to know100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up, by Lisa M. Gerry, (March 2016, NatGeo Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9781426323164

Recommended for ages 8-12

It’s a NatGeo week this week, because their publicists were kind enough to send me a bunch of books to check out for my blog (and, by extension, my library collection). Today, I’m looking at one of the latest in their 100 Things series, 100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up, by Lisa M. Gerry. Think of it as a life skills primer: there are icons coding each of the 100 things, related to attitude (curiosity, responsibility, empowerment), skills (observation, communication, collaboration, problem-solving), and knowledge (our human story, our living planet, critical species, and new frontiers). Together, all of these things help readers become well-rounded, responsible teens and, eventually, adults.

There are fun skills, like making snow ice cream, how to fold origami, and how to create papier mâché; practical skills, like pumping gas, doing laundry, and writing checks, personal growth explorations like being tolerant, resolving conflict peacefully, and apologizing. Whether you see this as a summer challenge for your kids or patrons (complete any five skills for a prize this summer!), a bucket list for your pre-adolescence, or just a good guide to being the best person you can be, there are some great tips in here, combined with beautiful photos and interesting facts.

100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up is a good grad gift for elementary and middle schoolers, and it’s a good add to tween collections.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

2 thoughts on “Know Before You Grow: 100 Things to Know Before You Grow Up

  1. I like how the book mixes fun with practicality, concrete skills with more abstract ones like tolerance. I would’ve loved flipping through this book, growing up. But then, I never did master the art of origami, so it’s never too late to check it out, right?

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