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Children's Nonfiction Social Activism & Volunteering

You Can Be an Activist

How to Use Your Strengths and Passions to Make a Difference

by (author) Charlene Rocha & Mary Beth Leatherdale

illustrated by Drew Shannon

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2024
Social Activism & Volunteering, Values & Virtues, Civil & Human Rights
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 14
  • Grade: 5 to 9
  • Reading age: 10 to 14


Everything you need to know about making the world better from a real-life youth activist.

Here's the definitive handbook for young activists who want to make a difference but don't know where to begin. It covers everything from choosing a cause and doing the research, to deciding on a goal, and then making a plan to get it done. Along the way, readers will encounter loads of practical tips on handling specific tasks, like creating a petition, and larger responsibilities, like leading a team. There are also important discussion about essential topics such as intersectionality, privilege and allyship. Written in the encouraging, friendly tone of a peer, this book is sure to inform and inspire budding activists - and open their eyes to what's possible!

Written by youth activist Charlene Rocha and award-winning author Mary Beth Leatherdale, this guide demystifies activism for budding social justice campaigners and climate advocates, and encourages readers to bring their own passions and interests to their work. Drew Shannon's illustrations bring a sense of fun to the topic, and the comprehensive text is presented in chunks and sidebars, with engaging quizzes, prompts, lists, templates, profiles and interviews throughout. The book supports young readers in learning more about issues such as queer rights, feminism and Black Lives Matter. The back matter includes an extensive list of resources, a checklist of next steps, a glossary and an index. Part of the CitizenKid collection, this book aligns with the themes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the authors

Charlene Rocha is an activist and software engineering student at the University of Waterloo. She combines her passions for computer science and activism by creating coding projects for a more sustainable future. Active in campaigns for a number of causes, Charlene has spoken at a TEDx event and was featured in the docuseries CitizenKid: Earth Comes First.

Charlene Rocha's profile page

Mary Beth Leatherdale is a seasoned veteran of children’s publishing, having written, edited, and consulted on children’s books, magazines, and educational resources for more than twenty-five years. She was a founding editor of Chirp, Canada’s first pre-school magazine, and the editor of OWL magazine. As Editorial Director at Owlkids, Mary Beth oversaw the publishing program for Chirp, chickaDEE,and OWL, as well as the development of a number of award-winning books. She was the Senior Acquisitions Editor for McGraw-Hill Ryerson’s iLit Digital Collection, developing an online bank of original works by leading Canadian authors for high school English students. Recently, she edited Legends, Icons & Rebels by Grammy-award winner Robbie Robertson and music industry veterans Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson, and Jared Levine.Mary Beth’s interest in Indigenous issues developed early while attending Howard Harwich Moravian Public School (now called the N

Mary Beth Leatherdale's profile page

Drew Shannon is an illustrator who lives in Toronto. Drew earned a bachelor of arts at Sheridan College and has worked with many different clients, including CBC, VICE Media, UNICEF, The Washington Post and NPR. He is the illustrator of Extreme Battlefields: When War Meets the Forces of Nature and Out of the Ice: How Climate Change is Revealing the Past.


Drew Shannon's profile page

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