Resolutely partisan but perspicacious in spots, from an author who’s been there.



A call to action aimed at young nonvoters willing to join efforts to end “the Trump nightmare.”

Plouffe, former campaign manager and White House senior adviser for Barack Obama, readily admits his partisanship. Still, along with slamming the current administration’s tactics (“distorting the truth to confuse people is the strategy”), he does offer several basic ways for readers who won’t be voting in 2020 or, probably, the 2022 midterms to take active roles in promoting candidates and persuading reluctant or undecided adults to go to the polls. The design punctuating his simply phrased narrative with exhortations in much larger type, the book offers, besides vague suggestions about creating videos or using social media, reasonably effective activities, such as various forms of nagging parents and other grown-ups to volunteer and vote—or, better yet, going door to door (not alone), because people are more likely to remember engaging with a child canvasser come Election Day. Frankly noting that modern national elections aren’t “national” at all but actually decided in just six to eight “battleground” states, the author also explains in general how campaigns are conducted and how the Electoral College system works. He doesn’t spare much attention for local election campaigns or primaries but much of his advice would likely be applicable (though, it may be worth noting, his current gig is with the company that created the now-infamous Iowa caucus app). Much of it he also lays out for older audiences in the co-published A Citizens Guide to Beating Donald Trump (2020).

Resolutely partisan but perspicacious in spots, from an author who’s been there. (websites, reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25975-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

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This inspiring book will encourage activism.



Marching for the rights of all—children, Black people, women, Indigenous people, DREAMers, the LGBTQ+ community, disabled individuals, and many others—is explored in this history.

From the children who walked with Mother Jones from Pennsylvania to New York in 1903 to speak for better youth labor laws to the worldwide Youth Climate Strike in March 2019, all kinds of marches—many linked to children and youth—are described in lively language and illustrated with bright cartoons that emphasize diversity among participants and illustrate the banners and posters carried. Each two-page spread contains a short history of each march and the actions taken, set in dense type, along with one or two quotes from organizers. Some, like the Longest Walk, a 1978 march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., undertaken by Indigenous people to bring attention to 11 Congressional bills that threatened sovereignty, were weeks or months long. Widely known events like the recent Women’s March in January 2017 and actions known only to a few historians, like the 1943 march of Bulgarian Jews against the Holocaust, receive equal treatment. Connections among marches and themes repeated due to unchanging social and political conditions are pointed out and are one of the book’s strengths. The visually appealing last spread shows a timeline of each event placed on a long winding road. There is neither a table of contents nor an index, but the information presented is accessible and should really be read straight through for greatest impact. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 27.3% of actual size.)

This inspiring book will encourage activism. (sources, further reading) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4270-2

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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As in their previous collaborations (Colors of Freedom, Voices of Rape, not reviewed), Bode and Mack portray an issue through the voices of children and adults affected by it. Bode (recently deceased) interviewed preteens, their parents, and adult experts, and organized their responses into parts "For Girls and Boys" and "For Parents." In sections with titles like "Public Recognition" or "What's in Your Heart," her text, addressed directly to the reader, synthesizes many of the responses in a way that should comfort and challenge young and adult readers. At least half of the book is comprised of responses she gathered from her survey, some of which are illustrated in strips by Mack. The result is an engagingly designed book, with questions and topics in bold type so that readers can browse for the recognition they may be looking for. They will need to browse, as there is no index, and young readers will certainly be tempted by the "For Parents" section, and vice versa. A bibliography (with two Spanish titles) and list of Web resources (with mostly live links) will help them seek out more information. They may well have other questions—especially having to do with parents' sexuality—which they don't find answered here, but this is a fine and encouraging place to start. (print and on-line resources) (Non-fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-81945-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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