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Friday, January 21, 2011

Yes You Can! Written by Jane Drake and Ann Love. Tundra, 2010. $14.99 ages 13 and up

"Imagine a world were global warming
has stopped; every child goes to bed well
nourished; forests grow back faster than
they are being cut down; people are
respectful to each other; torture and war
have disappeared; there are no prisoners of
conscience anywhere; everyone enjoys
health care, education, clean water and
fresh air - the possibilities are endless.
Daydreams or future realities? Go for it!"

Now there is an invitation to action for each of us....because we can all make a difference in small ways. As we learned from Janet Wilson's book Our World earlier this week, it can only take ONE person!

This powerful book is written for an older teen audience and 'divides the process of change into nine steps'. Begin with the first...determine how you can take what irks you and makes you negative, and turn it into positive action. Once that first step is taken, the rest may become easier. The steps described are sequential but may vary depending on the direction taken. Start small and make a difference. That will make a bigger step the logical follow-up.

Each step is given its own chapter. I really like the way the authors have set them up, starting with an account of something important historically.  A story follows which tells readers about an action taken.  The strategies and skills sections are useful to those wanting to move forward with making a change. Useful skills include brief writing, meeting protocol, talkimg with the media, finances and advertising. Activists and their projects concern human and civil rights, children, the environment, and volunteering globally. Pretty amazing stuff!

The timelines show clearly the work that has been done in each project over the years, from early times right up to the present. Most of those described are North American, in deference to the intended audience. Finally, the authors show how to use the nine steps in a real project, providing a checklist to help determine the course and progess being made.

This book would be very helpful in a classroom, or with a group, wanting to make a difference in their world. A teacher might use it as a guide to help students set a course for action and follow it through to its natural end.

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