The "Get Involved!" series encourages children to participate in social activities, while at the same time identifying practical resources for understanding productive methods. All of the books in this series are similarly formatted with bright fonts and text boxes. Others in the series are Environmental Activist, Human Rights Activist and Animal Rights Activist. There is a table of contents, a glossary and an index, as well as a descriptive list of web sites. Readers will find terminology explained, stories about specific leaders and their causes, statistics presented in a clear manner, and history illustrated in colorful photographs. Most significantly, "Get Active!" segments highlight circumstances around the world where help is needed and suggestions for how children might contribute effectively. Individuals have personal responsibilities, but we also have collective responsibilities for the greater good of those around us. Titles of chapters include: "What is social justice?", "What is an activist?", "A just society," "Truth and rights," "Fighting inequality," "Gender inequality," "Fighting racism," "Fighting poverty," "Fighting homelessness," "Culture of peace," "Environmental justice," "In the trenches," and "What you can do." The topics flow smoothly so that students progress through issues on their own level of understanding. Certainly it is one thing to discuss critical issues of our time, but then we must affect change for the better. Integrating vocabulary within the researching of possibilities might be a stumbling block for some students. Social activism may not be interesting to others. However, the call to "Get Involved!" can trigger untapped emotions,and this section incorporates several content areas while teaching students about their fellow man as educators facilitate instructional opportunities. Books in the series provide a suitable guide for young people to volunteer, lead and collaborate as they are introduced to difficult challenges that, unfortunately, have no geographic boundaries. Some topics could be too sensitive for young audiences, so adult supervision is recommended for content during reading and for web sites that may be viewed during further study. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—These books offer readers an important opportunity to become acquainted with a variety of social causes and to learn how to make a difference. In each volume, the first chapter spread defines the concept of being an activist, with reference to a specific cause. Animal Rights Activist discusses the differences between animal welfare and animal rights activists, related history, and such topics as vegetarianism, cruelty, and factory farming. Environmental Activist follows a similar format and, as in the other books, includes a chapter on noted members of the field, such as Al Gore, and student activists. In Human Rights Activist, the rights to life, freedom, and equality without regard to race, gender, religion, ability, age, or political opinion are discussed. There is no mention of discrimination with regard to sexual orientation. The central issue in Social Justice Activist is the concept of a society in which everyone is equal and receives fair treatment. Gender, race, poverty, homelessness, peace, and environmental issues are specific subjects considered. Each volume includes a short list of suggested Web sites that is introduced by a warning that they should be pre-screened by an adult—an unrealistic expectation and probably unnecessary with sites such as the World Wildlife Fund or the Sierra Club. Students researching animal rights may come across PETA's site anyway. These valuable works introduce new concepts and possible plans of action to students, but their presentation is for a younger audience than is realistic for the ideas discussed.—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY