Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters” as Want to Read:
Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
* A Junior Library Guild selection
* Winner of a Parents' Choice Recommended Award
* Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Members' Choice Award
* A 2014 Cybils Award finalist

We've had the civil rights movement and the women's movement—now it's time for the youth movement.

When Divine Bradley was seventeen, he just wanted a safe place to hang out away from gangs and violence, and T
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Simon Pulse/Beyond Words (first published September 9th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Be a Changemaker, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Be a Changemaker

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya, nonfiction
I learned so, so much from reading this book, and am absolutely of the amount of research and effort that Laurie Thompson clearly put into creating it!

This book is the perfect mix of nuts-and-bolts advice, profiles of successful teen changemakers, and personal anecdotes. I always felt engaged with the content, and finished every chapter feeling both inspired and enabled.

Any teen (or adult!) who feels the calling to make a difference in the world but isn't sure where to start will find the perf
Ana Calabresi
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
There’s no time when we most want to change the world than in our youth years. Laurie Ann Thompson speaks clearly to young people who want to make a difference in their surroundings, doing their part to make the world a better place. Thompson explains that no matter how small a good idea may seem, it may be just a tiny seed for something that will grow and affect other people’s lives in a positive way.

What I most like about the book is that the author breaks down complex concepts of project mana
The Styling Librarian
roud to be a stop on the book tour celebrating: Be A Changemaker: How to start something that matters by Laurie Ann Thompson – Release: Sept. 9th, 2014 – What an inspiring book! I’d already read through another book called The Teen Guide to Global Action- How to Connect with Others (Near and Far) to Create Social Change by Barbara A. Lewis. What I appreciated about Be A Changemaker was that Laurie Ann Thompson organized numerous things that were necessary for students who are serious about creat ...more
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
My favorite aspect of this book is the way it is organized. The chapters and headings are very clear, and it moves in a fluent, understandable manner. Thompson provides very informative, necessary lessons about honing and fine-tuning leadership skills. Some of the sections I liked most were the tips about leading meetings (from standard operating procedures to icebreaker activities), the sample business plan with budgetary advice, the ways to make money (with grants and marketing tips), and the ...more
Megan Shields
This book dives into the ways that young people can make a big change in our world today. The one message is this: little voices can be powerful, if only they are used. While reading this book I would do multiple versions of the "Why" activity from Kelly Gallager. I would give students current statistics from every topic imaginable, and then have them pose the question, "Why is our world like this?" After journalling many days about trying to answer "why" our world looks the way it does, student ...more
Penny Klostermann
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You may be wondering how one book can offer all this:
- Research ideas
- Build a strong and passionate team
- Create a business plan
- Enlist a savvy adult
- Plan events
- Work with the media
- And more!

Well, Laurie Thompson’s book does. I read it early on and was amazed, not only with the information, but with the way in which Laurie presented it.

When the publisher says, “You’ll find the tools you need right here—”, they mean it. And Laurie Thompson presents the information with a simplicity that isn
Joshua McCune
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book for anybody with even an inkling of an idea or desire to make their community and this world a better place. BE A CHANGEMAKER delineates numerous ways to effect change through numerous and varied real-world examples, team-building ideas, the author's personal experiences, and some very apt inspirational quotes by renowned politicians, philosophers, authors, etc.

BAC: HTSSTM is aimed at teens (and pre-teens), but most of the ideas and methods covered in this thorough compe
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Be A Changemaker: Start Something That Matters, author Laurie Ann Thompson encourages youth to engage the world by connecting with their passion and doing something productive with it, in this case, launching a social venture aimed at changing the world in some way. Love it!

The strength of this book is that it clearly communicates a positive message to youth. That message is twofold: your voice matters and your participation in creating a more just and positive world matters. The author guide
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Full review at:

I was blown away by how much this book impacted me as I read it. I want to do something right now, so I know that this book will impact young readers. Like Ricki, I was fond of how it was organized. It is ultimately a step-by-step book for leadership, planning, and making a difference in the world.

What I liked the most about the book, though, was the “Profile” sections where actual groups started by kids were highlighted. This really connec
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was really excited by the premise and the promise of this book, and Laurie Ann Thompson absolutely delivered. I love the examples of teen changemakers presented, the author's own personal experiences, the quotes and advice from both teens and adults--the whole thing is just presented so carefully and practically, but also in such an engaging manner. What an important book for teens as well as those who seek to inspire them!
Jennifer Bertman
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of BE A CHANGEMAKER. I wish this book existed when I was a teen. (Although I think it is a wonderful resource for anybody who wants to make a difference but isn't sure how to go about it, or where to start.) This book is inspirational and motivating without trying too hard to be that way. Lots of straightforward advice, and I love both the changemaker profiles and "In my experience" anecdotes from the author. Highly recommend.
Katja Berger
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The strength of this book is that it clearly communicates a positive message to youth. It was so inspiring to read about these young people changing their lives and do a difference in the world. Maybe not the biggest changes but even the small things counts and for anybody with even an inkling of an idea or desire to make their community a better place it was a great read!
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is written for teenagers who want to change the world for the better. It includes step by step ideas on how to organize and lead a social venture. It is kind of like How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas for kids. ;) It talks about finding your passion and identifying the problem you want to solve, building your team, finding a mentor, running meetings, creating a business plan, leading, managing finances, marketing, planning events, managing risks, ...more
Aaron Maurer
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Such a great read. This is the book I have trying to write. She beat me to it and did a much better job than I would have done. What is so great about this book is not the message. Follow your passion is nothing new and often when reading this book I felt like she took a lot of stuff from Angela Maiers. However, what makes this book different is that it provides context in terms of how to actually act on your passion. It provides ideas, tips, reminders, and starting points to get going.

As an adu
Lindsey Lane
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What's even more amazing than the book itself is the fact that no one had written such a book already. Thanks goodness Laurie Thompson had the gumption and vision and perseverance to sit down and get it done. I read it in nearly one sitting, captivated as much by the stories of the changemakers as well as Laurie's own personal experiences. Consider giving this book not only to young people with vision but parents who want to understand how to help their young people achieve their bid ideas. This ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Wow! This book takes you from the inspirational all the way down to the nitty-gritty of how to get things done! Perfect for both the kids who know they can change the world as well as kids who could use some very practical advice to show them what's possible. Easy to envision all sorts of clubs and organizations (Scouts, YMCA/YWCA, churches, etc...) turning to this as their how-to manual for making positive change in the world.
Annie Oosterwyk
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
This was a great book for young people who have an idea that will make a difference in the world. It has short, quick chapters with good advice about how to go about fundraising, generating interest, making the most of your skill set, finding mentors, creating a business plan and budget, giving speeches, etc. It is very comprehensive and invaluable for any school that requires a senior project.
A resonating that making a change kind of sense. Needs to be read gradually and re-read for more note taking and learning. Liked the quotes throughout the book and the stories.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great presentation on teen activism.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, ya
As a Teen librarian interested in engaging teens in social justice activism, I have been on a mission to find resources that can guide teens in how to start their own campaign to make change in the world. So far, what I've found is that there are lots of books for inspiration for taking action but nothing really on how to take action. This book is one of the few books to attempt to give a how-to and it does so fairly successfully, in terms of laying out clear steps in a language accessible to te ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book provides 18 chapters that profile how young people became change makers and made a difference. There are dozens of very practical strategies in this book that will be useful to individuals of any age whether you want to make positive change happen or not. What follows are two examples.

In the chapter titled Pairing Up for Perfect Partnerships, the mind mapping approach is described. It is a way to "organize your brainstorming and associate related ideas together." This technique is a po
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I sincerely hope that this book inspires young adults to make positive changes in this world.
Amy Finnegan
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of this book and it is EXCELLENT! For all the teens and college-aged students out there hoping to make a difference in the world -- but not quite sure what steps to take to get there -- this is the perfect book for you. Big goals seem a lot less intimidating with a step-by-step plan, and this is exactly what you get in BE A CHANGEMAKER. I was honestly blown away by the wealth of information in these pages.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent How To book that combines inspiring stories of real young activists with practical step by step instructions on how to get things done. I think it's useful for college students and young professionals as well as teenagers.
Barefoot Danger
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Is it good? I dunno, I'm not a kid trying to help people. Seems good enough though. Politically I feel that advocating neoliberalism as a way to change the world is not a healthy choice, but, hey, what can you do? This is America, after all.
Apr 16, 2016 added it
Shelves: rdng-648, nonfiction
This book combines true stories of entrepreneurial kids with how-to tips. It encourages students to create the future they want to live in. This could make for a great unit, or just a great study of nonfiction text structures.
Christine Hayes
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such an inspiring, well-organized, and helpful guide to making a difference in the world at any age!
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2017
rated it it was ok
Mar 14, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
ARC Giveaway on now 1 4 Aug 08, 2014 02:24PM  
  • Because They Marched: The People's Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America
  • Roots of Empathy: Changing the World, Child by Child
  • Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines
  • Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama
  • Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won!
  • A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery
  • A Random Book About the Power of Anyone
  • The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra
  • Pure Grit: How WWII Nurses in the Pacific Survived Combat and Prison Camp
  • Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know(r)
  • Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-Or-Break Moment
  • Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound
  • Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
  • The Freedom Summer Murders
  • Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved "Blue Babies" and Changed Medicine Forever
  • The Making of a Navy SEAL: My Story of Surviving the Toughest Challenge and Training the Best
  • Breakaway: Beyond the Goal
  • Tommy: The Gun That Changed America
Laurie writes for children of all ages. She is dedicated to inspiring and empowering young readers through nonfiction and fiction that educates as well as entertains.
More about Laurie Ann Thompson

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Dog Years
    $13.74 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex Object
    $9.74 $2.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Arctic Dreams
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
    $19.99 $1.99
  • Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Moving Beyond Words: Essays on Age, Rage, Sex, Power, Money, Muscles: Breaking the Boundaries of Gender
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99