Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters

Posted on Jun 6, 2016 in BR Library

9781582704647By Laurie Ann Thompson
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Beyond Words
Pages: 240
Lexile: 1130L
Age Range: 12 – 17 Years

Empower yourself in today’s highly connected, socially conscious world as you learn how to wield your passions, digital tools, and the principles of social entrepreneurship to affect real change in your schools, communities, and beyond.

At age eleven, Jessica Markowitz learned that girls in Rwanda are often not allowed to attend school, and Richards Rwanda took shape.

During his sophomore year of high school, Zach Steinfeld put his love of baking to good use and started the Baking for Breast Cancer Club.

Do you wish you could make a difference in your community or even the world? Are you one of the millions of high school teens with a service-learning requirement? Either way, Be a Changemaker will empower you with the confidence and knowledge you need to affect real change. You’ll find all the tools you need right here—through engaging youth profiles, step-by-step exercises, and practical tips, you can start making a difference today.

This inspiring guide will teach you how to research ideas, build a team, recruit supportive adults, fundraise, host events, work the media, and, most importantly, create lasting positive change. Apply lessons from the business world to problems that need solving and become a savvy activist with valuable skills that will benefit you for a lifetime!


“Young people everywhere are rising up and directly creating the changes they want to see in their communities and around the world—right now.” Bolstered by numerous examples of real-life activism, debut author Thompson outlines ways that children and teens can become involved in their communities. Lists and bullet points offer pointers and direction (starting a “venture journal” to gather ideas is an early suggestion), and profiles of youth-founded organizations and young activists appear throughout, along with musings based on Thompson’s own nonprofit work and experience. From discovering potential causes and passions to creating business plans, soliciting donations, and being aware of legal and financial pitfalls, Thompson offers thorough, encouraging advice for the next generation of activists.
Ages 12–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly

“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.”
—Ana Calabresi

“This book is packed with practical advice and inspiration for anyone who has a yearning to build a better world.”
—David Bornstein

“[Be a Changemaker] is a book that forces readers to not only think realistically but also to think big.”