September 05, 2019

Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action

Written and illustrated by Janet Wilson
Second Story Press
32 pp.
Ages 7-12
September 2019
Together, we want to show that everyone can do something for our future and that together, as a world family, we can solve these problems.
With that hopeful message, Janet Wilson begins her latest non-fiction book about young activists who are working to make a difference.

In each double-spread, Janet Wilson dedicates original art and story to one warrior for world justice and then also mentions two other influencers who have taken on a similar cause. In the breathtaking mixed media technique of hot wax painting–applying layers of hot beeswax mixed with resin and oil colour–Janet Wilson depicts young activists in rich landscapes of place and triumphs. Her art is deep in texture and colour, luxuriant in its content and in its composition. 
From Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action by Janet Wilson
Canada's Autumn Peltier from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island is profiled for her advocacy for clean drinking water for her community which supported the work of her aunt, Water Walker Josephine-ba Mandamin.  Stella Bowes and Marcus Deans are also showcased for their work to ensure water quality in Canada and elsewhere.

American Jaelun Parkerson encouraged his youth football team to emulate Colin Kaepernick's taking of the knee to protest racism and police brutality while Hebh Jamal organized protests against Islamophobia and Claudette Colvin's actions in 1955 helped end bus segregation in Alabama.

In Indonesia, sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen organized themselves to get plastic bags banned where they live, and Edgar Edmund Tarimo and Hannah Testa have both taken action to combat plastic pollution at home and globally.
We youth may only be 25 percent of the world's population but we are 100 percent of the future. 
(Melati and Isabel Wijsen, pg. 11)
From Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action by Janet Wilson
Jesse Thompson fought against discrimination leveled against him as a transgender hockey player and Ke'Shon Newman has spoken out against the prevalence of gun violence in America.
"Our voices are LOUD. Our voices are CLEAR. And, our voices are about to change HISTORY."
(Ke'Shon Newman, pg. 25)
From Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action by Janet Wilson
These are young leaders who are fighting against pollution, climate change, against cruelty to animals, in support of those struggling in war-torn countries and seeking refuge. They are fighting gun violence, bullying and supporting mental health. They live in Canada and the U.S. as well as in Kenya, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia, Colombia and elsewhere. Their stories are as diverse as their issues of concern and their homelands. It becomes evident that there is much in our world that needs fixing and that there are many young people around the globe who are willing to step up and take action.

With Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action, Janet Wilson has added new stories to her impressive series (see other titles in this series below) regarding laudable young people who recognize their obligation to do something to make the world a better place than the one they have inherited. Kudos to them for putting themselves out there and encouraging others to do the same, and to Janet Wilson for shining a light on their extraordinary efforts.

Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet (2010)
Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World (2013)
Our Heroes: How Kids are Making a Difference (2014)
Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action (2019)

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