Our Future: How Kids Are Taking Action

Second Story. (Kids Activist: Bk. 4). Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772601039.
Gr 4-7–This slim, impactful volume spotlights stories about young activists from around the world. All are involved in a range of causes, from advocating for the rights of Indigenous people to preventing bullying and protesting police brutality. Profiled activists largely come from North America, with a solid balance between Canada and the States that gives U.S. readers a valuable (if relatively brief) perspective on causes outside their immediate world. Another strength is the emphasis on Indigenous activists such as Autumn Peltier, Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, and Ta’Kaiya Blaney. Bright, crisp color photos are a standout feature, along with the mixed-media encaustic illustrations. Layout issues hinder the book’s effectiveness in places, primarily the large chunks of unbroken text that accompany each activist profile. This type of book faces challenges given its nature—many of these individuals and their causes may no longer be in the public eye in the near future, and the text does not especially focus on the issues’ root causes. Sociopolitical situations can change quickly, therefore rendering books like this obsolete. For instance, the author only devotes a short blub to Greta Thunberg toward the end of the book, and now she is arguably one of the most visible young activists of the past several years.
VERDICT A compact, illustrated book covering young activists and their causes. Recommended for larger collections with a need to supplement nonfiction social justice and activism materials.

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