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Sunday 22 September 2019

Stormzy and Ariana Grande among children’s bravery inspirations

The list was topped by Greta Thunberg.

Stormzy (Lesley Martin/PA)
Stormzy (Lesley Martin/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Stormzy, Ariana Grande and Harry Potter are among children’s top examples of modern day bravery, a new study has said.

The music stars and JK Rowling’s fictional boy wizard all made the top 10 in the bravery poll, which had teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg at number one.

The study of 1,500 British children, aged seven to 16, was commissioned by the Roald Dahl Story Company to celebrate Roald Dahl Day on September 13.

Findings shone a light on how children define modern day bravery, with “standing up for what I believe in”, “always being myself” and “standing up to bullies” being the top defining characteristics.

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Ariana Grande (Ian West/PA)

The children were also asked to name people, or fictional characters, who embodied such bravery.

Greta was in first place, while Dahl’s character Matilda, who stands up to her bullying headteacher, was in second, and human rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai was third.

Grande, who organised a benefit concert in Manchester less than a month after the terror attack during her concert there, was fourth, followed by Harry Potter, tennis player Andy Murray, The Hunger Games character Katniss Evergreen, former US president Barack Obama, Stranger Things’ Dustin and Stormzy.

Others who made the top 20 included Spiderman, the Duchess of Sussex, Emma Watson and Simba from The Lion King.

The research also suggested that children value bravery more than traits like intelligence and popularity, with seven in 10 British children stating that bravery is the most important attribute to have.

Young people also believed bravery was imperative in the face of the challenges of the world in 2019, with 88% of children saying that being brave and speaking your mind could help tackle issues like climate change.

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Greta Thunberg (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Bernie Hall, brand director at The Roald Dahl Story Company, said: “It’s great to see that kids today place such a high value on bravery and standing up for what they believe in.

“We are thrilled to have Matilda take her place alongside real-life inspirations Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai as well as fellow fictional powerhouses like Katniss Evergreen as a modern-day example of bravery.

“Of course, we feel that Matilda embodies some of the most important attributes of bravery; she’s selfless, stands up for her friends and is fearless in the face of the tyrannical Miss Trunchbull.

“Matilda’s character and story serve us a powerful reminder that even the smallest people have the power to make a big change in the world around them.”

In the run up to Roald Dahl Day, the Roald Dahl Story Company will also be releasing Matilda’s How To Be Brave book.

The interactive book aims to inspire children to “be more Matilda”.

Four thousand copies will also be given away for free via The National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers Programme.

Matilda’s How To Be Brave is available in all major retailers for £1.

PA Media

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