Yes, Tilly Smith deserves recognition as a hero for her alerting tourists on the beach of the impending tsunami that hit Phuket, Thailand in 2004. Because of her yelling about how the water was receding and about tsunamis that she had learned about in school, more than 100 tourists who were on the beach were able to make it to safety.
Tilly Smith reacted swiftly and smartly and helped to save the lives of hundreds of tourists, people who would have perished in the tsunami had it not been for her. She should certainly be considered a hero for what she did, and it is especially great that she was such a young girl when she did this.
Yes, Tilly Smith should be rewarded for her part in saving hundreds from potential death. Juvenile delinquency seems to be the order of the day. We are constantly bombarded by the media with images of minors, especially celebrities, getting in trouble with the law or having a night out with their latest prospective love interest. It's good for kids to read stories about children putting others ahead of their own interests.
Using knowledge in a real-world, life and death situation to save others and give them a chance to survive a catastrophic event is not something everybody does. When the moment came, she kept her head and communicated what she knew. That makes her a hero, regardless of the actual number of lives saved.