Change is difficult, especially if you are trying to right an injustice, but this manual helps readers past excuses.

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PUTTING PEACE FIRST

7 COMMITMENTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

A handbook encouraging young people to make a difference right now, no matter their ages.

Dawson, co-founder of the global nonprofit Peace First, which invests in young peacemakers’ ideas, knows about putting peace into action. He details the steps to be taken and emotional support needed on a peacemaker’s journey. The majority of the book describes the seven commitments that Dawson believes are essential to becoming a peacemaker. These lean heavily into one another, and they’re made distinct by individual examples of young peacemakers’ own stories of change. Issues of cyberbullying, gun violence, and attacks on immigrant students are ones that are faced in these pages and also every day in schools around the world. By internalizing the seven commitments, standing up, and taking action—choosing to put peace first—Dawson argues, the world could change, one student at a time. These anecdotes are inspirational, but Dawson also includes a practical starting guide for any readers who need concrete steps on how to begin to think and plan for change. Dawson is careful to point out (the seventh commitment is “Keep Trying,” and the epilogue is aptly named “Pending Disasters”) that nothing is perfect.

Change is difficult, especially if you are trying to right an injustice, but this manual helps readers past excuses. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-99733-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A slim volume big on historical information and insight.

COME ON IN, AMERICA

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR I

A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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UNDERSTANDING MYSELF

A KID'S GUIDE TO INTENSE EMOTIONS AND STRONG FEELINGS

Facile pop-psychology from a clinical psychologist with the credentials to know better. Assigning a chapter each to a select range of feelings—nearly all of them painful or negative ones, such as guilt, fear or anger, with but one shorter chapter allotted to the likes of love and joy—Lamia offers generalizations about what emotional responses look and feel like, typical circumstances that might cause them to arise and superficial insights (“Negative or worried thoughts spoil a good mood”). She also offers bland palliative suggestions (“Forgive yourself and move on”), self-quizzes, sound-bite comments in the margins from young people and, in colored boxes labeled “Psych Notes,” relevant research abstracts from cited but hard-to-obtain professional sources. Aside from a mildly discouraging view of “Infatuation,” she isn’t judgmental or prescriptive, but her overview is so cursory that she skips the stages of grief, makes no distinction between disgust and contempt and barely takes notice of depression. Teens and preteens might come away slightly more self-aware, but they won’t find either motivation or tools to help them cope with major upset. (Self-help. 12-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0890-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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