I don’t tend to read a huge amount of non-fiction work. Some people adore non-fiction, and then some of us prefer fiction. But there are times when not only are non-fiction books important, but are also amazing reads. This is one of those times.
Todd Hasak-Lowy has created a wonderful book with We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World. The concept behind the book is to show young adults that our history is more than battles and tragedies. Our history is also built on normal people deciding that something needed to change and making those changes.
This book grabbed me from the very beginning and I had to share it with people I talked to. Each chapter is a minibiography of someone who made a difference in the world. Stories that I’m not certain get taught anymore. But even the concepts for each chapter grabbed me:
- Nonviolence is how to resist when you refuse to submit or take up arms.
- Nonviolence is how to fight when everyone thinks you’re weak.
- Nonviolence is how to fight when your opponent really hates you.
- Nonviolence is how to grow your side (so you can win the fight).
- Nonviolence is how to create a true democracy out of its exact opposite.
- Conclusion: Nonviolence is how to fight today for a livable tomorrow.
Hasak-Lowy captivates as he tells of people who have done the unthinkable. From Ghandi to Greta Thunberg, there is a sense of hope, that making a difference isn’t impossible.
The only thing that I noticed that seemed a little odd to me was that there were no notations of when something was quoted or a specific fact was noted. This is the librarian in me. All sources were included, they were just noted by page in the back of the book. I guess on some levels this makes it more readable, but I’m always concerned about students reading something like this and being able to discern truth from fiction.
The world of nonfiction for middle and high school students has definitely changed since I was a kid, but books like these can make a difference. We Are Power is a great book coming at just the right time.
*Note – I received a copy of this from the publisher. All opinions are my own.