Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

230p. chart. further reading. illus. websites. S. & S./Simon Pulse. 2014. LC 2013044580.
Gr 7 Up—Teens with an entrepreneurial and charitable bent will find this book a trove. Each chapter covers a specific aspect of starting a social change campaign: identifying a social passion, finding a mentor, managing money, recruiting other teens to help, and more. Entries begin with a real-life story of teens whose projects had a positive impact. Not only are the accounts inspiring, they shed light on practical matters, such as how to make your project stand out from others. For instance, Zach, a young man who paired his passion for baking with raising funds to fight breast cancer, used the same pink signage and the same pink tablecloth at every bake sale to set himself apart. Other accounts relate pitfalls of spearheading social change. Teens Rhiannon and Madison, who founded Project ORANGS (Orangutans Really Appreciate and Need Girl Scouts), describe how they dealt with critics. The author balances the upbeat, can-do tone with a thread of decorum and caution ("In some states, there are even laws about silly things like riding streetcars after eating garlic. Crazy! And when it comes to youth or business, you can be sure there are laws involved."). The only downside is that there are just a handful of thumbnail drawings for illustrations and no photos of the teens mentioned. Overall, though, this is a fine resource.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

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