Honouring the importance of discovery this International Youth Day

Friday 11 August 2023
Jack Peedell and nephew reading his book "I Don't Know, Lets Find Out"

This year, International Youth Day centres on the theme ‘Green Skills for Youth’. It is a day that is dedicated to celebrating the aspirations of young people, whilst also bringing attention to crucial challenges they face.

This year's focus on Green Skills underscores the importance of moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future. A perfect way to honour the necessary advancements required to support our ecological ambitions is by dedicating ourselves to continuous learning and development. As a tribute to this idea, we had a conversation with Jack Peedell, whose recent children’s book “I don’t know, let’s find out” promotes these very values.

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I understand the name of your book is “I don’t know, let’s find out”; can you tell us about the inspiration for your book?

“That’s right! I had previously written and thought a lot about the importance of being able to say “I don’t know”, and the opportunities that present themselves when we open ourselves up to explore those things. It seems like it has fallen out of our vocabulary to admit that we don’t know something, and instead there is a pressure to always have the answers. In reality, the most exciting experiences can come from situations where we don’t know everything.

Separately, I have a young nephew who adores his books. I started thinking about how cool it would be to read him a book I had written, and the idea launched from there.”

Jack Peedell, I don't Know Let's Find Out

What do you hope children will gain from reading your book?

“Firstly, it's OK that reading is just done for fun – so I hope it provides a fun story for children and grown-ups too!

The main message is that when you realise that you don't know something, firstly that's OK, as a lot of the time even grown-ups don't have the answers! Secondly, and more importantly, the fun is in the journey of finding out.

I hope anyone who reads the book will be left remembering that imagination and curiosity are far more important than having the answers to everything. It's the journey that matters.”

On Saturday, it is International Youth Day and the theme this year is Green Skills for Youth. How do you think the message in your book supports this theme?

"Green skills and the changes that are happening to make green skills necessary can be daunting and complicated. If we we're turned away by things that we don’t have the answers to, we would never try to solve big, complex problems.

Our leaders (and future leaders) need to be willing to say “I don’t know, let’s find out” when it comes to the best way to deal with the green transition. Some of the required solutions are, at best, still in the early stages or do not yet exist. We need to lean into the challenges and embrace what we don’t know instead of ignoring the problems, hoping that they disappear or are dealt with by a future generation."

What made you decide to raise money for Action for Children through the sales of your book?

"I wanted to raise money for a children's charity in the UK. The clarity in the mission of Action for Children made it evident that any money I raised would cut to the core of the issues they work on and make a genuine difference.

I wasn't sure of the response the book would get or how much money I would raise. As such, I wanted to be sure that any money I raised would have the maximum impact. The clarity of the programmes and services that Action for Children provides made it clear that the funds raised by the book would be put to good use, improving the lives of people who really need it."

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Finally, do you have a favourite section or quote from the book? And if so, why?

"Without spoiling it! Here are a couple of my personal favourite moments:

Near the beginning of the story, the young boy that the book is based on is upset that his dad doesn't have the answers to the questions he asks, to which his dad replies:

"There are lots of things I don't know… that's nothing to be sad about. It just means there are things to discover and find out!"

Later in the story, on one of the boys and his dad's adventures, they are faced with a challenging task:

“The pressure was on, and they had lots to do… but every step they completed took them closer to their goal."

I especially like this part because it emphasises the importance of teamwork, moving forward, and recognising progress – particularly when it's something new. (Also – the illustrations in this section are very cool!)"

We are thrilled that Jack has chosen to support Action For Children through his book, and as we approach International Youth Day, we hope that children all over the UK find inspiration and solace from it's very important message.

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