From an activist who sent a protest letter to President Ronald Reagan when she was 5, a tally of urgent worldwide concerns and issues, with pointed calls to get the lead out.
Clinton traces her lifelong involvement in social and environmental causes to family and to the classic 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth (1989). She intersperses carefully researched factual surveys and admiring profiles of other (mostly) young activists with her own experiences and opinions. Though these personal notes are fairly engaging, overall the nine topical chapters make dry reading: “Poverty and stunting are deeply intertwined. Parents living in extreme poverty are more likely to have children who suffer from stunting. Children who are stunted generally grow up less physically and mentally strong…,” etc. She also sidesteps complexity by, for instance, not mentioning complaints about Heifer International’s deceptive donation model or ever, despite discussion of human trafficking, using the words “rape” or (except in the section on HIV/AIDS) “sex.” Nor does she make it easy for young people patient enough to stay the course to strike out on their own. Though the many contact URLs that are buried in the narrative are at least repeated at the ends of their respective chapters, they come in bulleted lists of suggestions that tend toward either repetitive boilerplate (“Talk to your family and at least three friends…”) or generalities like “Stay away from secondhand smoke.” Still, everything here is, or had better be, of compelling concern to young people, and her concluding “It’s better to get caught trying” is inarguable if not exactly electric.
Another voice in the chorus of calls to action—earnest and on target but more likely to be bought than read. (map, charts, infographics, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)