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Get Real: What Kind of World are YOU Buying?
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Get Real: What Kind of World are YOU Buying?

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Can you change the world with your wallet?

You already do.
In this frank, teen-friendly manifesto, Mara Rockliff reveals what you’re really buying when you spend your money on a cell phone, a cheap t-shirt, or fast food—and shows the way to better choices, both for people and the planet.

Start seeing the world for real, and discover how you can make a difference. You’ve go
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Running Press Kids (first published 2010)
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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A great crash course for youth in the evils of corporate marketing. Rockliff breaks down the environmental and cultural destruction brought on by the manufacturing of everything from computers to jeans to McNuggets. The chapters on food were particularly disgusting and reminded me yet again why I am a vegetarian.

Rockliff also does a good job recommending places where kids can learn more. My only criticism of this book is that it did not go into enough detail. But with all the recommended websit
Martha Guarisco
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I hope this will make a great nonfiction text for my students. I love all the recommendations for learning more.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was a little bit harsh, but it did open my eyes to some of the things that go on to make certain products. I will be MUCH more careful about what I buy!
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is very informational. Makes you think twice before you go to the store and buy your groceries. I loved it!
Oct 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I agree with Rockliff's message, and think that this is a great idea for a YA book. Also, the design is fun: punchy graphics, compelling photos, and a funky red-green-aqua color palette.

In chapters like, "And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt," "Trash Talk" and "Sweeter Treats," Rockliff encourages teens to think before they buy - about where their products are coming from, who made them, what will happen to them when they're no longer wanted, and whether they really need them. "Buys in the Hood"
Tony Phan
Sep 05, 2013 is currently reading it
This is a good book because it told me what it takes and what goes into the product that people are purchasing. For example everyone loves chocolate, but they don’t know that kids in distant countries are slaves to these coco plants. They work under extreme conditions, working endless hours for no pay at all. These kids get pesticides every day. After reading this it really opened my eyes to how the world really works, it makes me grateful to be living in America where it has laws against stuff ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
'Get Real' is a nonfiction YA book about voting with your dollar, a subject that my mom believes quite strongly in. I spotted it while browsing the shelves at our school library, and thought "Hmm. May as well pick it up. It looks interesting.' That's how I find the majority of the books I read. So I checked it out and took it home.

First of all, this book is a fun read, but it's also quite frightening. Believe me, if you read it, you'll start to have serious doubts about whether or not you real
Julie Miller
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My daughter's teacher introduced this book at school, and she talked about it so much that I bought it. I'm glad I did; this is information that everyone should read- not just teens. But getting this information about how the world works is so important to understand at a young age. If you want your kids to grow up as wise consumers, they should read this book.

The book explores the dark side of products like coffee, chocolate, fast food and cheap clothes. There are real environmental and social
Sarah Noll
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mara Rockliff’s Get Real is a great informational book geared toward teenagers that discusses the harms that multi-national corporations can cause to the world, especially to the environment and living conditions of its workers. Albeit kind of preachy about the need to buy organic goods and not take the “easy” or cheaper way out by shopping at places like Wal-Mart, I found this book to be very informative about the world around me that I am kind of ignorant about, having grown up as an upper-mid ...more
Natalie Cheetham
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gstba-2012
This book was better than I thought it would be. It basically tells teens where their money is really going when they buy something, and how they can use their purchase power to maybe make a difference in the world. The cover and the illustrations spread throughout grab the readers attention. While there are a lot of facts, it's written and broken down in such a way that it's not overwhelming, and it was a pretty quick read. There's also a very good list of additional sources at the end, for tho ...more
Sandy Stiles
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Would everyone at my school please read this book? I mean it! And I will read it again, and this time I am going to take notes!! And check out all of the references she provides. It is another in a string of some of my faves, including Fast Food Nation, which have opened my eyes to ugly corporate practices. My personal problem is that I feel like I can only meet this book half way because it would require too much change on my part. I try to buy fair trade goods, and support local organic source ...more
Sydney Humphrey
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was wonderful! My sister teases me because of the Eco-friendly kicks I go on once or twice a year, but this book really hit me hard! It was relatively short and engaging despite the debatably boring subject matter. I actually read the whole second half of the book this afternoon. Although the facts seemed a little stretched at times (Can anyone verify that a cow actually poops 120 pounds every day?), the book was incredibly thought-provoking and eye-opening. I'll now be looking at ever ...more
Jennifer Lavoie
I thought this was a fantastic book that not only was an easy read for nonfiction, but shows readers how what they purchase affects the environment. Even before I finished reading the book I started to make changes. When I need to buy produce, I buy organic, if not local. I am planting my own organic garden. I make sure the meat I eat is free range if I can find it.

Students are clamoring for this book as well, which shows how interested they are in protecting the evironment as well. My current
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'd give it 3.5 stars. Lots of great information and facts about the reality of how America spends and consumes. Motivated me to make a few small changes, although I already feel like we live more simply than just about everyone we know! Overall message: Buy less, consume less, recycle more. I'm passionate about healthy eating and supporting the "real" farmers. Hope I'm making a small bit of difference in this crazy world!!
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is the starting point for readers to reflect upon their purchases and habits. Additional books, websites and videos are included to dig deeper. The parts that stick with me include that water bottles are a huge mess and cell phones are not always recycled as we think and there is e-waste. The sections are listed very cleverly, particularly "Trash Talk: your cell phone's secret life" and "Buys in the Hood: Burst out of that big box."
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My daughter just finished this book and can't stop talking about it. It focuses on all the lessons we have taught her during her 10 short years on earth thus far: brand names, advertising, upstream manufacturing processes, sweatshops, the environment (and that's just the 2 chapters I've read already). Written in clear understandable language. Everyone that buys *anything* should read this book.
Ms. Campbell
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nicely illustrated nonfiction book about the ugly truths behind what we buy. Covers topics like clothing, food, and cell phones/other technology. Appreciate the sources listed in the back, although it would be great to have some of those citations within the text, or at least at the end of each chapter.

Recommend if you:
*are looking for a quick nonfiction read
*are interested in environmental issues
Dave Vyas
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an AMAZING book! I recommend it to any and all pre-teens. Mara Rockliff writes in an engaging way that draws the reader into the book, and she includes many fun resources, such as movies and other books, that can educate the reader further. The topic is great, the writer is great, and it's just a grat book. 5 stars, all the way.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction for teens to the world of consumerism--where all our stuff really comes from, who handles it along the way, and where it ends up once we toss it. Packed with interesting (and sometimes horrifying) facts and stories, this book will have its readers thinking twice before they make their next purchase. A quick and enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought it was interesting, but felt like it was a lot of propaganda. It got me thinking about what I buy and if I need it, what I could do without. So, it probably fulfilled its purpose. I am curious to compare it to other books to see what partial truths were exaggerated. It has some content that I think I could use for an Inquiry unit on media.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-nonfiction
Definitely a great book to use with teens to start a critical discussion on what we buy in America. Would be a good book club choice for a social action kind of club. Lots of possibilities for kid-led projects that can make a difference. Loved the layout of the book and thought the author provided an excellent reference list and suggestions for further reading and viewing.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I loved this book because each idea is supported with statistic, examples, and other sources to find out more information. It also gives realistic ways to be a smart consumer and ways that you can make a difference. I am extremely happy that our lit. teacher is having our 7th graders read this book. What a great find.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Super comprehensive book on all the positive steps you can take to being a better consumer. Loses a star for the overly militant/snarky tone, but I dunno, it's entirely possible that sarcastic young adults will like that, so don't just take my word for it -- you should definitely read it too.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
"Can you really change the world with your wallet?" This book is geared for teenagers but can be valuable for anyone who wants to shop with a conscience.

Read my full review here:
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ignorance is bliss. I hated reading this book, but I'm also glad I did. I'm going to make a concise effort to try and research more of my purchases before I buy.
Kriss Ibis
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I liked the first chapter.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone should read this book for a little dose of reality.
Jul 07, 2012 marked it as unfinished
So, i left this book on a plane to Europe. i dont think i can finish it...
Y174 ROC
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
utterly amazing
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Mara Rockliff is the author of many lively historical books for children, including Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, winner of the Cook Prize and an Orbis Pictus Honor book.

Her newest titles are Lights! Camera! Alice! The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker and Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz. Other recent books includ