Stephen Stafford is like any other college student, except for one small difference: He’s only 13. But he’s not the first — and probably not the last — kid genius.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career.He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had re focused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
The real Doogie? Akrit Jaswal performed surgery when he was only 7 and is said to be working on a cure for cancer. (He even made an appearance on “Oprah” with other whiz kids.)

Akrit Jaswal (born April 23, 1993) is a Indian adolescent who has been hailed as a child prodigy who has gained fame in his native India as a physician.
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Role model: This 18th-century Italian prodigy became the first female mathematician and university math professor.
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (May 16, 1718 – January 9, 1799) was an Italian linguist, mathematician, and philosopher.
Head of the class: Adora Svitak wrote her first book at the age of 7 and now offers writing tips to teachers around the country.
SEATTLE – Her feet don’t even touch the floor, and yet Adora Svitak can do what few her age can do!
“We’re very proud of her achievement,” says Joyce Svitak, Adora’s mom.
Adora Svitak, who is just 7 years old, can type 60 words a minute. But it’s not the typing that makes Adora so remarkable.
It’s what she’s typing. Short stories that she’s written… one after another.
I asked her: “You can’t stop writing, can you?”
“Probably not,” says Adora.
Adora has written almost 300 short stories. She’s written “Julie and her Magic,” “Abigail,” “Naomi and Angela,” and right now she’s working on “Stephanie and Amanda.”
“I can just pour my ideas on paper,” says Adora.
This girl from Redmond has been an author half her life. For her, writing is like breathing. And the writing is punchy.
Opening lines that draw you in. Simple stories with universal themes. Friendship, trust, kindness.
“A lot of times you just get an idea, and I know what to type next because it’s in my head,” says Adora Svitak.
In her head, are grown up words, like “wincing”. Some words her mother doesn’t even understand.
“Especially because English is my second language,” says Joyce Svitak.
Even though she isn’t a published author yet, maybe she will be, by the time her feet touch the floor.
Promoting peace: Gregory Smith had been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize by age 14.
Musical boy genius: Did you know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began composing when he was 5 years old?
Musical girl genius: Singer and pianist Tori Amos was the youngest student ever accepted to this music school.
Fictional smart kids: “Matilda,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “Magnolia” all revolve around child geniuses.

December Book Club: “Matilda”

The December 4th meeting of the Ashburn Kids Book Club will feature the book, “Matilda” by Roald Dahl. This wonderful book is about an extraordinarily gifted young girl named Matilda. Matilda’s parents are neglectful and self-centered and do not recognize or appreciate Matilda’s brilliance. Fortunately, there are other adults—a librarian and Matilda’s beloved teacher, Miss Honey—who take an interest in Matilda and nurture her amazing intelligence. But Matilda is more than just super-smart. She also possesses the power of telekinesis, or the ability to make objects move just by using her mental energy. This power is put to good use on her evil school headmistress who has tormented children for years and also cheated Miss Honey, her niece, out of her rightful inheritance.
The author, Roald Dahl, is considered one of the most beloved writers of children’s literature. Although he died in 1990, his books continue to be widely read by children. Some of his most famous books are: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, The Witches, and The Twits.
In 1997, a movie version of Matilda was released. We will be watching this movie for our book club event on December 4. It will be fun to compare the movie to the book and see which one we like best. Since the movie is 98 minutes long, we will start it promptly at 7 pm and will be finished around 8:30 pm. Feel free to bring your pillows and blankets to spread out on the floor. Families are also invited to join us for this fun event.
Doogie Howser:
As children, it was tough to see beyond our own narrow worldview. If the world didn’t revolve around us, then at least we must have had a fair portion of gravitational pull. In turn, our flawed perspective-taking led us to believe that every child’s life was pretty much just like our own. Unless evidence to the contrary presented itself, we all seemed relatively assured that our childhood was the prototype.
Until, of course, we heard of a youngster named Doogie Howser. Though technically a fictional character, his divergence from our limited expectations of childhood and adolescence was enough to secure our interest and engage our imaginations. Just think, a mere kid, a kid just like you or me, living a double life. No, not in the exciting superhero manner we were accustomed to, but rather on the basis of his academic achievements alone. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief from nerdy kids that there existed a route to exceptionality that precluded athleticism.
Doogie was renowned for his geekiness, and the uncool amongst us savored this fact. Though seriously ill as a child, Doogie managed to beat society’s odds not only through a recovery to good health but also on the academic front. At the tender age of six he aced the SAT, achieving a perfect score. In a couple of months, he had breezed through high school and found himself accepted to the prestigious Princeton University at the age of ten. After a few years of medical school, our Doogie was well on his way to becoming a full-fledged doctor.
Of course, all of this happened before we ever laid eyes on our hero. We met Doogie at the slightly riper age of 16, already elbow-deep (sometimes literally, or at least surgically) into his medical residency. In the first episode, Doogie is taking his driver’s license road test and drives recklessly to step in at the scene of a nearby accident. When a cop tries to apprehend him by asking “Do you want to go to jail?”, Doogie bad-assedly retorts “No, you’ll be the one going to jail…for criminal negligence!” Oh, burn! His mother looks on dreamily and remarks, “That’s my son…the doctor!”