Stand Up! Speak Up!: A Story Inspired by the Climate Change Revolution

Random/Schwartz & Wade. Oct. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593301586.
Gr 2-4–Everyday is Earth Day and young people around the world are using their voices to demand attention to climate change. In this seemingly simple introduction to activism, Joyner captures the enthusiasm, anxiety, and action of a young activist in digitally rendered illustrations with a limited color palette that has a retro feel. The young person, who is white with side ponytails, joins a large and diverse group of other marchers; but her work doesn’t stop when the march is over. When she watches the news on television with her family, her worries prompt her to further action, which takes many forms, including speaking up at Town Hall and community organizing. Back matter includes profiles of 14 young people from around the world who have taken action to speak out on issues of environmental concern. Even the jacket is a potential tool for a marcher; instructions direct readers to remove the jacket and use the underside—where it reads “Marching for My Future”—as a sign. This title would be appropriate for young activists to prepare for their first demonstration but it also could serve older readers as a discussion on the full scope of activist work. This title provides a plethora of suggestions for the “what next?” question that often comes after an energizing march with a call for policy work, community organizing, and much more.
VERDICT Highly recommended, this book could change lives, and maybe the world.

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