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START NOW! by Chelsea Clinton Kirkus Star


You Can Make a Difference

by Chelsea Clinton ; illustrated by Siobhán Gallagher

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-51436-7
Publisher: Philomel

How does a preteen become a voice of change for their community? (Hint: Start by reading this book!)

Clinton (and her editing team) knows how to speak to the middle-grade crowd, hitting all the right notes in this useful and enjoyable guide to activism. A wide range of hot-topic issues is covered, including climate change, health and fitness, and even bullying and friendships. Each roughly 20-page chapter introduces readers to a topic with an overview, a precise bit of history, and a few real-world examples to enforce the idea that no goal is too lofty or unmanageable. Gallagher’s line illustrations are intermixed with photographs of kids who’ve made a difference. The children discussed are inclusive of many ages, races, and genders, allowing a diverse range of readers to find personal connections to the text. The language is simple but never simplistic. When reach words or unfamiliar terms are used, they are defined, explained, and often spelled phonetically. Each chapter ends with a bulleted “Start now!” list that offers helpful suggestions for involvement, balancing advice kids can give to parents and activities they can do themselves. In most cases, writing to an elected official is included, reminding children to reach out and let their voices be heard. The backmatter includes an index but, sadly, not a bibliography for further reading.

A must-have title for school and public libraries as well as young activists’ home collections.

(Nonfiction. 9-13)