An upbeat guide that encourages young people to meet all sorts of community folks. Filled with strategies for meeting everyone from actors and politicians to police officers and librarians, this book will help anyone prepare to meet and interview the “movers and shakers, heroes and hotshots” of the subtitle. Each chapter suggests a type of person to meet and includes strategies for finding the person, questions to ask and websites to explore. Often, the author includes an interview of his own. Teachers who want a new project to try with their older elementary students will find inspiration here. It is easy to picture a class newsletter or collaborative movie project in which each student interviews someone. The links provided will help students prepare ahead of time, and the suggested questions should keep the project focused. Adults and children alike may be surprised at the breadth of careers and activities on display. We all know what a chef or a teacher is, but how many know what an “alternative transporter” is? And, if you want to meet a historical re-enactor, Rhatigan has suggestions for how to find one, even in a small town. The overenthusiastic use of exclamation marks in the titles of each chapter and the “gotta” in the title should be forgiven, as this is far above the usual fare about community helpers and careers.
Future journalists, go forth.
Rhatigan hopes to convince young readers that heroes don’t have to be famous actors, athletes, or musicians. Using a clearly defined set of strategies, he encourages children to find role models in their own community. Whether the motivation is to write an article for a school newspaper, to complete a class assignment, or simply to satisfy a kid’s own curiosity, the book offers straightforward tips on arranging shadowing opportunities and interviewing people about their professional endeavors. A heavy emphasis is placed on how to properly converse with adults, and readers are encouraged to take initiative in making contact with people in their communities. Librarians, doctors, farmers, and entrepreneurs are just some of the professionals mentioned. Each visually dynamic section provides examples of notable archetypes of each profession and gives a list of web resources for further reading. By redefining the idea of role models, this book challenges kids to be effective communicators as well as active and engaged members of their own neighborhoods.