Teen Guide to Student Activism Reviews

Teen Guide to Student Activism: ISBN 978-1-68282-541-9/ eBook: 978-1-68282-542-6
Booklist, March 1, 2019

Today's middle, high-school, and college students are increasingly being recognized as leaders in the activist causes they support; they (individually or collectively) see a need and start to address it. The rub for many youth activists, however, is that enthusiasm can trump practicality; and enthusiasm may wane before an issue or need is fully addressed. Kallen has created a guide for teens, and even that will help prepare them to tackle a problem and sustain momentum to persevere (even slog) through minutia they might not have considered. Using documented examples of student-led activism projects, interspersed with quotes from students themselves, he holds readers’ interest even as he collates critical advice from other sources on the topics of organization, balance between activist participation and daily life (including schoolwork and social life), and use of social media. The book’s format breaks what could be a text-heavy document into an appealing, readable one with quote and text boxes, short divisional headings, and colored photographs. Detailed source notes, a list and description of volunteer and activism organizations, resources for student activists, and an index round out this relevant reference title. — J. B. Petty


Teen Guide to Student Activism: ISBN 978-1-68282-541-9/ eBook: 978-1-68282-542-6
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2019

A thorough guide for the next generation of activists.

In 1963, images of policemen turning fire hoses and dogs on young black students hit the nightly news, and a nation was shamed into action. Generations later, teenagers are again mobilizing to challenge the status quo regarding everything from racism and gun violence to the environment. Armed with passion, impatience, and zeal, activists can reach hundreds of thousands of people through social media in the time it takes to fry an egg. Kallen (Trashing the Planet: Examining Our Global Garbage Glut, 2017, etc.) has tackled the multifaceted world of activism and civic engagement in a handbook filled with examples of young people who have identified causes that mattered and used dogged determination to bring about change. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and #NeverAgain have risen to national prominence, but the author gives attention to students who protested budget cuts in the Boston public school system or sewed clothing for homeless kids at the Los Angeles LBGT Center. Six chapters on a myriad of topics include advice for educating oneself and doing research about issues, the rights of protesters, and advice for dealing with setbacks and trolls. The diversity of the people highlighted in the book mirrors the makeup of a country still trying to move the noble ideals of democracy from platitudes to practice.

A handbook for successful activism. (source notes, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 14-19)