How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps

Tanglewood. Oct. 2021. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781939100542.
K-Gr 3–The simplicity of the 12 easy steps in this book is disarming and deeply moving. Tierney quietly introduces matter-of-fact instructions that have the lived veracity of a wise old soul: “Did you know you have the power to change the world? It’s easier than you think. Start small. Make your bed and tidy your room.” It moves to more complicated moments of social interaction: “If you see someone who needs help, volunteer to help them. Is someone being bullied? Stand up to the bully with them. But don’t bully the bully.” After the revelation of these 12 steps, accompanied by friendly, almost folkloric scenes of cityscapes and playgrounds, an extended author’s note reveals the source of these gentle insights. Eva Kor survived a concentration camp when her family did not. She found that she was happier when she chose to forgive the people responsible for this tragedy, and developed her map of how to be human. There are admonishments woven in, to forgive but remain distant from people who have caused harm and may cause harm again, for example. Children are told to hang on to their dreams and be their best selves, and the world, it seems, will be better, too.
VERDICT This no-fuss guide counts on children’s humanity for its force, rather than spirituality or any whiff of religious thought, and in doing so, its impact is immense.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing