Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, an Fixing Almost Everything
Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, an Fixing Almost Everything
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Annotation: Discusses contemporary American problems such as LGBTQIA rights, climate change, immigration, and racial justice, and describes how young activists can make a difference right now.
Genre: Government
Catalog Number: #168125
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 212 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-451-47937-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-451-47937-2
Dewey: 320.0835
LCCN: 2017060705
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
As Styron writes in her introduction, this book is a way for her generation to "make amends," and indeed this text, while for any person, may be especially useful for parents looking for a way to address the current political climate through tangible positive action and activism. Styron mentions her hope that the next generation will not make the same mistakes as hers, because they are "tolerant, generous, [and] innovative," and she frames the book around America's history with social activism, from issues as far back as British taxes, slavery, and early women's protests to more recent movements around First Nations and LGBTQ rights. In addition to introducing extensive vocabulary words, the text discusses the how-tos of change, describing various ways (voting, volunteering, boycotting, social media activism) that readers can make a difference, and addresses methods to deal with the challenges that they may face along the way. A thorough, age-appropriate look at how to be the change you wish to see in the world.
Kirkus Reviews
Styron (Reading My Father, 2011, etc.) encourages teens to take change-making into their own hands in this engaging, approachable, and informative handbook.The book is broken down into four sections: The Why, The Who, The What, and The How. The second section highlights "a few great moments in US protest history" and "teenage rebels with a cause!" The book goes on to cover climate change, immigration, LGBTQIA rights, race, religion, women's rights, intersectionality, and (briefly) disabilities. Most of these topics in turn feature a short comic, an introduction to the subject matter (including brief background history and contemporary issues and actions), interviews with contemporary figures from the various movements, and a few spotlights on contemporary activists and organizations. The final section includes everything from how to be an ally and using social media for activism to how to stage a walkout or sit-in. Overall, the content is impressively intersectional, but the uncritical highlighting of some creators (e.g. an interview with Lena Dunham) and protests (e.g. the Boston Tea Party, which utilized cultural appropriation on occupied land) and scant attention paid to the history of disability rights and current concerns in an age of threatened health care as well as other content-related choices make it impossible to recommend this volume wholeheartedly. The best social justice guidebook we've seen in some time—but still disappointingly imperfect. (table of contents, glossary, resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
In this rousing call for activism in the Abbie Hoffman tradition, Styron provides a stimulating and comprehensive guide to advocating for progressive change. Tapping into the post-2016 election dismay and energy prevalent among -woke- teens, the chapters highlight issues of climate change, immigration, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, religious understanding, and women-s rights. Styron suggests ways that kids can become involved both at and outside school, while experts and trailblazers speak to their own experiences taking stands (or a knee) and facing injustice. Particularly valuable is Styron-s discussion of practical techniques for conducting walkouts and sit-ins, talking to elected representatives, protecting privacy when blogging, and boycotting. This highly topical, inspiring volume informs readers how to be creative and persistent. Fourteen-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes reinforces the message: -By incorporating... values into our lives, we will empower others to do the same. Together we will heal, and together we will make change.- Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up This beginner's guide to activism for progressive causes begins with a brief history of protest in U.S. history, before frankly laying out key problem areas for the United States in the Trump era: climate change, racism, Islamophobia, and attacks on the rights of women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and members of LGBTAI communities. Although the first two-thirds of the book may leave readers feeling impatient for more varied examples of ways to take action beyond starting clubs at school and contacting elected officials, the final section details various forms of protest, fundraising, and organizing, with useful tips capitalizing on individual interests and strengths and maximizing the impact of one's chosen actions. The intended audience can feel limited at times to students with disposable income, supportive parents, and responsive schools; the degree to which class, race, and gender affect how student protest is received (and often punished) is not fully accounted for. However, each chapter includes numerous interviews with a truly varied group of (mostly youngish) social justice leaders, such as Gavin Grimm, activist for transgender student rights, and Tokata Iron Eyes, anti-Dakota Access Pipeline organizer, pointing to ways visionaries have effected change. Sections on environmental racism and allyship are especially clear, with relevant and timely examples. Occasional comics by talented cartoonists like GB Tran, Nicole Georges, and Richie Pope offer more personal reflections on the issues. VERDICT A solid nonfiction purchase that's browseable and has potential for classroom use. Miriam DesHarnais, Towson University, MD
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Mon Oct 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Sat Sep 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Lexile: 1050L

A walk-the-walk, talk-the-talk, hands-on, say-it-loud handbook for activist kids who want to change the world!

Inspired by Abbie Hoffman's radical classic, Steal This Book, author Alexandra Styron's stirring call for resistance and citizen activism will be clearly heard by young people who don't accept "it is what it is," who want to make sure everybody gets an equal piece of the American pie, and who know that the future of the planet is now.

Styron's irreverent and informative primer on how to make a difference is organized into three sections: The Why, The What, and The How. The book opens with a personal essay and a historic look at civil disobedience and teenage activism in America. That's followed by a deep dive into several key issues: climate change, racial justice, women's rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigration, religious understanding, and intersectionality. Each chapter is introduced by an original full page comic and includes a summary of key questions, interviews with movers and shakers--from celebrities to youth activists--and spotlights on progressive organizations. The book's final section is packed with how-to advice on ways to engage, from group activities such as organizing, marching, rallying, and petitioning to individual actions like voting with your wallet, volunteering, talking with relatives with different viewpoints, and using social activism to get out a progressive message.

This is a perfect book for older middle-schoolers and teens who care about the planet, the people with whom they share it, and the future for us all.


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