Emma Watson has not followed the typical path of an international superstar. She has made millions of dollars for movie roles and dabbled in the fashion world, but higher education became her main focus after the Harry Potter films came to an end. Today, the work she is most passionate about is her role as an ambassador for UN Women, her advancement of girls’ education, and her involvement in HeForShe. HeForShe is a campaign that invites men and boys to join in the conversation and work toward gender equality. As she appears less frequently on the big screen, and devotes more of her time to working for women’s rights, Emma is proving herself an admirable role model for young women around the world.
Biographies are a very popular type of book as many of us like to peek into the lives of the famous, important or influential. This is as true for young readers as it is for adults. The “Superstars!” series by Crabtree Publishing Company includes titles of many young celebrities that will be of interest to young readers. Now Emma Watson has been added to this list. Although most people will always remember Emma as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter movies, there is much more to know about this graceful and elegant young woman who is making adult decisions on how to spend her adult life.
Emma Watson is divided into four main sections: early years, making the movies, life after the movies and current interests. To conclude, there is a timeline, glossary, sources and index. Every page has photographs spanning Emma’s career, and most pages have direct quotes from various sources. There is a pleasing range of personal facts and wider context covering all stages of Emma’s life. Did you know that, after finishing the Harry Potter movies, Emma earned a degree in English Literature from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island? And that she has both starred in, and played small parts in, several other movies?
The section “Life After Hermione” contains a fairly complete listing of the movies that Emma has done and an introduction to the many causes that she works for. Especially heartening is a description of why she refused the role of Cinderella while accepting the part of Beauty in the Disney live action production of their earlier animated version of Beauty and the Beast.
All of these may be the things you would expect to find in a biography of an acting superstar. Now for the surprise – Emma has become an activist for gender equality, reading and an ambassador for UN Women. It is obvious that Emma is someone who started as an actor, followed her dream of an education and has used all that she has learned to become a woman who has followed her ideals and wants to effect change in the world. The recommended books found at the end of the book are all other biographies while the websites are all related to the causes that Emma supports.
The author, Petrice Custance, remains in the background and allows Emma to shine through the text and photographs. The information is dense and varied enough to provide new tidbits to the particulars known by readers. Now that the Harry Potter movies are easily available and many youth will not have had access to all the hype in the teen and movie magazines, Emma Watson can provide good solid information about their hero and the child who portrayed her, now a completely worthy role model.
This biography is interesting and inspiring, a great read for anyone interested in Emma Watson, acting, activism or how lives can change. We can hope that Emma Watson will inspire as well as educate and entertain youth who are fulfilling homework assignments or are simply interested in reading about the lives of others.
Willow Moonbeam is a librarian living in Toronto, Ontario, with an interest in learning new things, knitting and practicing astrology when there is time.