by Laurie Ann Thompson
Simon Pulse/Beyond Words, 2014
The reviewers received copies of the book from Blue Slip Media.
Teens interested in making a difference in their communities (or even across the globe) will find Be a Changemaker inspiring and practical. Thompson has created an in-depth, step-by-step guide of how to identify a problem, develop a plan, form a team, and work towards a goal. Thompson shows kids how they can use technology and social media as tools to help meet their goals including Kickstarter, Prezi, and Google Drive. Stories of actual community projects and charities started by kids and teenagers are included in each chapter providing readers real life examples and ideas.
I enjoyed the inspirational quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I think teens who are interested in creating an organization or project to help others will find this book really helpful. Thompson breaks it down into smaller, manageable steps while helping teens stay focused on their goals. My favorite parts of the book were the stories about kids who have helped others. I was impressed by the work of Jessica Markowitz and her organization, Richard's Rwanda. The group began by organizing bake sales and fund raisers to support the education of girls in Rwanda.
I found this "how-to handbook" very useful. Thompson uses simple, direct language to explain how to take something you are passionate about and turn it into a reality. Readers will learn how to take that first spark of an idea and create a business plan to launching your idea to the world. I liked how in each chapter Thompson profiles some youth-led social organizations. For example, Project ORANGS is a new venture of two girls from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their idea was to convince the Girl Scouts of America to switch to deforestation-free and socially responsible sources of palm oil, a main ingredient in their cookies. I wish we could have seen some photos of the the teens and their projects.
Teen Librarian's Toolbox will have a free downloadable workshop guide for libraries and classrooms in late October. Visit Laurie Ann Thompson's website for more details.
Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour!
Be a Changemaker Blog Tour Dates
Sept. 8 Sally's Bookshelf
Sept. 9 Girl Scout Leader 101
Sept. 10 Unleashing Readers
Sept. 11 Teen Librarian's Toolbox
Sept. 12 Kirby's Lane
Sept. 13 The Styling Librarian
Sept. 15 NC Teacher Stuff
Sept. 16 The Hiding Spot
Sept. 17 Kid Lit Frenzy
Sept. 18 Green Bean Teen Queen
Sept. 19. A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Sept. 20 Elizabeth O. Dulemba