Yes You Can!: Your Guide to Becoming an Activist

Overview

Every time our society takes steps forward, segregation becomes illegal, child labor is exposed, and companies that poison our air are called to account. Behind those steps are people who identified problems, worked together, and created change. Lifelong environmental activists, Jane Drake and Ann Love present the nine steps to social change and much more. From fascinating accounts about the founding of organizations such as Amnesty International, Pollution Probe, and Greenpeace to the nuts and bolts of how to ...
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Yes You Can!: Your Guide to Becoming an Activist

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Overview

Every time our society takes steps forward, segregation becomes illegal, child labor is exposed, and companies that poison our air are called to account. Behind those steps are people who identified problems, worked together, and created change. Lifelong environmental activists, Jane Drake and Ann Love present the nine steps to social change and much more. From fascinating accounts about the founding of organizations such as Amnesty International, Pollution Probe, and Greenpeace to the nuts and bolts of how to run an effective meeting or write a petition, to words of inspiration, Yes You Can! Your Guide to Changing the World is great reading and encouragement for every person who wants to make the world a better place.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
One of the most appealing aspects of teenagers is their conviction that they can change the world. This book can help them focus their energy and commitment toward concrete, attainable goals for doing so. The book is divided into nine concrete steps that teens can follow to make changes in their world. Each chapter opens with an anecdote about the very humble beginnings of a world—or history-changing movement, ranging from environmental activism to human rights, illustrating how big changes happen when one individual has an idea and is committed to implementing it. The chapter then offers strategies and skills that are vital to completing each step, ranging from the most effective way to run a meeting to how to address bad publicity. The book does not sugarcoat the challenges that face activists; at the end of each chapter there is a timeline of milestones and setbacks for particular movements, showing readers that the road to change is never an easy or smooth one. This book is a terrific resource not only for readers who have ideas for change but are not quite sure how to implement them, but also for anyone interested in how particular movements began and grew. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Young people who want to effect change are guided by a sequence of nine steps and inspirational examples of grassroots activism. Step one, "I'm fed up," describes the story of Peter Benenson, an Englishman whose outrage at hearing Portuguese college students had been jailed for drinking a toast to liberty in public ultimately led to the formation of Amnesty International. The story is followed by checklists that ask readers to choose behaviors to help define their own ethical self-portrait. Other steps cover summarizing a problem, finding support, being heard, setting goals, and overcoming obstacles. Each step, or chapter, includes a story, strategies, skills, and a time line of milestones and setbacks. Well-known historical activism, such as Rosa Parks's defiance of the segregation laws and Mohandas Gandhi's demonstrations of nonviolent civil disobedience alternate with anecdotes of smaller-scale activism, such as a teen who helped identify a phosphate problem in her hometown lake. The style is conversational and the tone offers realistic encouragement to teens looking to solve problems. Teachers will approve of the focus on the importance of developing writing and speaking skills, being mindful of one's online reputation, and learning how to evaluate project efforts. This title will primarily serve as a how-to, although the time lines, an accessible index, and factual information about anti-smoking campaigns, recycling, and children's rights make it a useful historical perspective of activism.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887769429
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JANE DRAKE and ANN LOVE, sisters and coauthors, have written many award-winning books for young readers, including Cool Woods: A Trip around the World's Boreal Forest; Snow Amazing: Cool Facts and Warm Tales; Trash Action: A Fresh Look at Garbage; Sweet! The Delicious Story of Candy; Alien Invaders: Species That Threaten Our World; and Talking Tails: The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets. They share a lifelong interest in the environment and the wild, travel extensively, and, through their books and presentations, inspire children to be more observant of the world around them. Jane Drake and Ann Love live in the Toronto area.
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Table of Contents

Step Right Up! 1

Step 1 I'm Fed Up 4

From Outrage to Change: The Amnesty International Story 5

Your Cause, Your Choice 7

Walking the Talk: Drawing Your Ethical Self-Portrait 8

Milestones and Setbacks - Human Rights 11

Step 2 What's Wrong? 15

Do It! The Founding of Pollution Probe 16

Comebacks to Put-Downs 20

The Long and the Short of It: Writing a Brief 21

Milestones and Setbacks - Air and Water Pollution 23

Step 3 Great Minds Think Alike 27

Minding Both the Forest and the Trees: The Boreal Partnership 28

Walking a Mile in Your Opponent's Shoes 31

Two Heads Are Better than One: Running a Good Meeting 34

Milestones and Setbacks - Forest Stewardship 39

Step 4 Good Plans, Good Luck 41

Actions Speak Louder than Words: The Rosa Parks Story 43

Seize the Moment 46

Preparing to Face the Media 47

Milestones and Setbacks - American Civil Rights 50

Step 5 Baby Steps, Giant Leaps 53

Smoking vs. Nonsmoking: A Seesaw Battle of Rights 54

Gandhi: Non-Violent Change - One Step at a Time 59

The Elements of a Good Poster/Posting 61

Milestones and Setbacks - Tobacco and Nonsmokers' Rights 64

Step 6 Butting Heads 67

Greenpeace vs. the American Military 69

Burnout 73

Sharpening Your Tongue 74

Milestones and Setbacks - Earth Rights 77

Step 7 When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going 80

Eglantyne and Dorothy Jebb: Founders of Save the Children 81

The Power of Petition: Children's Rights Club, Makari, Haiti 84

Finding the Fundraiser in You 86

Milestones and Setbacks - Women and Children's Rights 91

Step 8 Getting Heard 94

Being Heard at the Labrador Creative Arts Festival 96

Use Theater/Be Heard 98

Keeping Squeaky-Clean 101

Milestones and Setbacks - The Medium for the Message 102

Step 9 Life after Change 105

The Right to Play: The Ins and Outs of International Volunteerism 108

Prepare to Participate: The Red Cross Story 112

Measuring Personal Change 113

Milestones and Setbacks - Games for Change 115

Your Chance To Be The Change 118

The Recycling Blue Box Story 124

Future Steps 128

Milestones and Setbacks - Climate Change 131

Index 134

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