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Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters
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Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  37 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)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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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
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I was interested in this book upon hearing about a high school's policies that were not conducive to learning or the well-being of the students, and I thought this book might have ideas for the students to advocate for themselves: researching, presenting, petitioning.

That is not what this book does. It really focuses on setting up organizations following a venture capital model, but for doing good. It is not bad at doing that - though I don't love the writing style - but it kind of feels like t
Kellee Moye
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
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.
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!
K.L. 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
Tina Hoggatt
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a sorely needed primer for young people who want to make a difference, to be change makers. With clearly stated outlines and tools for making plans and following through, this book can be used in a wide range of endeavors and lets the young reader know that they can realize the change they can envision.
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: ya, non-fiction
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
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you can’t tell by the cover picture, this is written for teens who want to make change either through beginning a nonprofit service, club, or social profitable venture. The technical instructions are thorough and easy to digest, and it’s extremely motivating. When you read about elementary school executive directors who have already done something incredible in their sphere of influence, you begin to think any of your own ideas are possible. Highly recommend getting a physical copy for any yo ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Unit 3 of our curriculum deals with changemakers. I found this book on Amazon and thought it fit the bill.

It does. I especially like the profiles. But the book is dry. I'm not sure how students will respond to it. I'm going to pass this along to other Unit 3 teachers.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So what can young people do? Anything they set their minds to. And if they can do it, so can you."

This is a great book for young adults who are looking for a way to make a difference in their community or the larger world. Each chapter covers different aspects of putting together a program or group to make a change. Steps are covered such as figuring out your skills, your passion, and how to put that together into a plan of action. Within every chapter there is also a profile of a group or indi
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
it is about a care and helpfull things
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m three words: practical. Inspiring. Grounded.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think About BE A CHANGEMAKER it was an amazing book and how you learn to do good or change your life.
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.
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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.

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