The Washington Post
Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Act. Vote. More than 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Whyby Declare Yourself, America Ferrera (Introduction), Norman Lear (Foreword by)
Celebrated Americans-from Adrian Grenier to Amber Tamblyn to Hayden Panettiere to Alice Walker- share their compelling perspectives on voting and civic involvement in this one-of-a-kind book. Guest edited by actress America Ferrera, this collection of more than fifty essays and unique pieces explores topics ranging from "The First Time I Voted" to "Why the Personal
Celebrated Americans-from Adrian Grenier to Amber Tamblyn to Hayden Panettiere to Alice Walker- share their compelling perspectives on voting and civic involvement in this one-of-a-kind book. Guest edited by actress America Ferrera, this collection of more than fifty essays and unique pieces explores topics ranging from "The First Time I Voted" to "Why the Personal is Political," all straight from the pens of public figures you know and admire. Read it-and then join them! Declare yourself.
The Washington Post
In his foreword to this collection of celebrity testimonials to the importance of voting, Lear explains that he and his wife bought one of the 25 known remaining copies of the Declaration of Independence in 2001 and sent it on a "road trip." Inspired by the success of its tour, they asked themselves what the Declaration "might wish us to do to help advance its vision" and decided to promote voter registration; designed to reach young people. their nonpartisan group Declare Yourself was born. Teens are likely to find at least several contributors whose voices interest them: media stars (Tyra Banks, Rob Riggle), athletes (Mike James, Sasha Cohen), musicians (the members of Maroon 5, L'il Romeo), authors (Maya Angelou, Chris Crutcher), etc. Many of the contributors say much the same thing-that every vote counts-and hold up the example of the 2000 presidential election to make their case. The most memorable draw on family history, as in Alice Walker's moving description of her father, who walked past armed white men to become the first black voter in the county. An appendix lists resources for further political engagement. Ages 14-up. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr 9 Up
From America Ferrera (of Ugly Betty fame) to the artists of Maroon Five, 50 Americans encourage young adults to make their voices heard. This collection, comprised of vignettes, essays, interviews, and poems, ranges from the humorous (an essay by the editors of The Onion ), to the sacred (an interview with Ryan J. Bingham, 25-year-old mayor of Torrington, CT, whose dedication to politics is almost religious), to the slightly profane (an expletive-filled diatribe from Adrian Grenier, star of TV's Entourage ). Though the contributors all take decidedly different tacks, their common goal is obvious: to persuade young people to research the candidates and cast their votes on Election Day. The supplemental materials at the end of the book are plentiful and pertinent, including instructions on how to register to vote, ways to get involved in one's community, a comprehensive glossary of election-related terms, and a general overview of the United States Government. Though this book is obviously more relevant for the 2008 election season, it would be a solid additional purchase for both high school and public libraries.-Kelly McGorray, Glenbard South High School Library, Glen Ellyn, IL
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- Age Range:
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Read an Excerpt
Declare Yourself Speak. Connect. Act. Vote. More Than 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Why
By Ricardo Declare Yourself
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2008 Ricardo Declare Yourself
All right reserved.
Why Voting Matters
One of the loneliest images I can bring to mind is that of a person without a country.
Americans at home and abroad are easily recognized because they walk, maybe even strut, with airs of confidence up and down the avenues of the world.
The attitude can be explained in the way Americans think.
"Yes, I can.
I am an American.
Yes, I can."
I believe that air comes from being able to vote. Each American feels that he or she has some authority over the laws and rules of our country.
We try to vote in the leadership we want, and to vote out those who displease us. Of course the majority will rule, which means there are winners and losers.Still, the voter who has not chosen the triumphant side knows that at least one vote has been cast for his or her choice.
The strength of the American would be drained from the proud shoulders, the lilt in the voices, and even the spring of the steps, without the right to vote. The citizen who does not vote weakens herself and her country, slights her ability to be an American citizen and a citizen of the world.I am proud to try to vote in the leaders I like and try to vote out those who do not earn my approval.
Watch me as I walk up anddown the streets of the world. Anyone who sees me must know that I am an American. I vote.
Maya Angelou is a writer, professor, and actor, perhaps best known for her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, as well as her poetry. Among her diverse accomplishments are her active role in the American civil rights movement, her writing and composing for television and film, and her reciting one of her poems at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration.
Excerpted from Declare Yourself by Ricardo Declare Yourself Copyright © 2008 by Ricardo Declare Yourself. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Fifty-five well-known actors, writers, athletes, musicians, political figures, entrepreneurs, and more came together to create this book, with the common goal of convincing every American between the ages of 18 and 29 to register, vote, and get involved in the political process. From all political viewpoints and all walks of life, their revealing contributions are introduced by guest editor America Ferrera, an award-winning screen and stage actor, and Norman Lear, a veteran producer and activist, who founded the Declare Yourself organization.
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