No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young American Making History

No Voice Too Small: 14 Young Americans Making History

Lindsay H. Metcalf and Keila V. Dawson, Editors

Jeanette Bradley, Editor/Illustrator

Charlesbridge, Nonfiction, Sep. 22, 2020

Suitable for ages: 6 – 11

Themes: Youth activism, Making a difference, Bullying, Clean Water, Climate Change, Gun Violence, Poetry

Publisher’s Synopsis:

“You’re never too young or too small to change the world.” – Mari Copeny

This all-star anthology covers fourteen youth activists calling for change and fighting for justice across the United States. These change-makers represent a wide range of life experiences and causes, including racial justice, clean water, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, and more, Beautifully illustrated poems by #ownvoices authors, plus secondary text, spotlight the efforts and achievements of such luminaries as Marley Dias, Jazz Jennings, and Mari Copeny, “Make Some Noise” tips will inspire readers to take concrete action for change, Back matter includes more information on the poetic forms used in the book.

Why I like this book:

No Voice Too Small will inspire and empower young readers, parents and teachers. This is my favorite kind of book to share with readers because there is an urgency among young people who see the injustice around them, are concerned that adults aren’t doing enough, and want to take action to improve their communities, country and world. They are brave and working for the rights of children in a peaceful manner.

Readers will hear from Nza-Ari Khepra, 16, who loses a friend to gun violence in Chicago and launches Project Orange Tree, which grows into the National Gun Violence Awareness Day celebrated every June. Meet Ziad Ahmed,14, who is treated unfairly in high school because he’s Muslim, and creates an online platform where students can share their stories and stop hate. Levi Draheim, 8, fears the loss of his Florida home to rising seas and joins 21 kids who sue the US government for failing to act on climate change. Jasilyn Charger, 19, protests the construction of a pipeline that threatens to leak oil into the Missouri River that provide water for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and many other people living downstream.

The book is beautifully designed. The #own voices authors and editors, Lindsay H. Metcalf and Keila V. Dawson, capture each child’s captivating story in an attractive double-page spread. The left side of every spread features a soulful poem with warm and appealing illustrations of each child by Jeanette Bradley. The text about the young person’s contribution is featured on the right, along with additional artwork by Bradley. Read their stories and you will be inspired.

Resources: The book is a resource for students to use in the classroom.  At the end of the book there is a section about each of the 14 poets who participated and a page of the poetry form used. This book will spark many lively discussions and encourage young people to identify a problem and think about what they may do alone or together to create change and improve their community, country and world.  What will you do?

Lindsay H. Metcalf is the author of Farmers Unite! Planting a Protest for Fair Prices. She has also been a reporter, editor, and columnist for the Kansas City Star and other news outlets.

Keila V. Dawson has been a community organizer and an early childhood special education teacher. She is the author of The King Cake Baby. 

Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in­-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. She is the author and illustrator of Love, Mama.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the MMGM link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy provided by the editors in exchange for a review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

27 thoughts on “No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young American Making History

  1. Love this! Thanks for featuring on today’s edition of MMGM. So many kids who are striving to make our world a better and safer place. I’m looking forward to giving it a read through. It will go well with a book I just finished authored by a student activist—Challenge Everything.


  2. As a longtime teacher of middle grades, I love books such as this. I’m retired now, but I know kids. Many want to contribute something positive to the world. Lots of kids will be inspired by reading this book.


  3. What an awesome book! Kids need to see that they actually can make a difference in this world (otherwise, they’ll become as cynical as the rest of us)! I love that the book uses poems and illustrations to tell these stories as well. Thanks for the wonderful review!


  4. I love, love, love books like this. This is the sort of book that will help change the world. I will be looking for this book. I hope tons and tons of kids read it and are inspired by it. Thanks for telling me about it.


    • I know how important this topic is to you in books. Kids are itchy to get involved and this book will certainly be of help. The editors have another book coming out in 2021 involving kids involved in climate change efforts.


  5. This sounds like such a powerful book! Youth activists are so powerful and important, and it’s good to have their stories told to other youth to show them how important they really are! You always find the coolest books to recommend. Thank you and happy new years!


    • I love to share stories about kids speaking up to make a difference. Glad you agree! Saw you’re blog, but no review of Keeper 8.5. But got some ideas of books for my great granddaughter (14 1/2). Have her hooked on Keeper. Am curious what you thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my gosh! That’s almost exactly my sister’s age! I haven’t finished 8.5 yet, and I’m not sure the review will be that favorable from what I have read so far 😦 Personally I’d say she might like Six of Crows! It is a little bit violent and deals with some heavier topics like human trafficking. I also loved the Cruel Prince, Truthwitch, the Story Thieves, Bone Gap, and the Magisterium series! (Sorry, I know that’s a lot but I tried to get some variety in there!)


  6. Pingback: Story Chat: “Out of Character,” A Cautionary Tale – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

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