I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the November 2015 issue! The street and online version were just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE or you can read the whole story below (with some added pictures 😉 )!
Hope you enjoy the article!
Chelsea Clinton Appears at Children’s Book World
By Erik Weibel
I was excited to attend a book signing by former fist daughter, Chelsea Clinton. Ms. Clinton recently wrote a children’s book titled “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, & Get Going!” (Philomel Books, September 15, 2015) The book is a well-written guide on many of the issues facing our world today as well as providing motivation to get kids to do something about it.
The event took place at Children’s Book World, in Haverford PA. When asked about a having a figure like Ms. Clinton at the book store, owner Heather Hebert said that an event like this brings the store onto people’s radars. Hebert is appreciative of publishers like Penguin Books (publisher of Clinton’s new book) for continuing to send amazing authors to Children’s Book World. Since some people were coming just because Ms. Clinton was there, Hebert hoped that once in the doors of this gem of a bookstore, the people will become regular patrons. Hebert said, it is “exciting to get people from new places.”
There definitely were a lot of people at the event! By the time it started, the line to get into the store was down the block and around the corner. The estimated attendance was between 450-500 people. As I waited my turn in line, I got a chance to ask a few people how they came to hear about the event. Some were store patrons that received notification from the store’s email list. Heather Bickley, and her children Lily and Noah, were new to the store, and had heard about the event via social media. Some in line were already familiar with Ms. Clinton’s book, liked the message and wanted to show support for it. One woman said that her children were always interested in charity works, and another said that he liked the overall message and ideas in the book. Piper Martz had heard about the event from her political science teacher via email, and had told her friend Anne Clare. They admitted that they were skipping class, but thought that meeting Chelsea Clinton made up for it. Piper pointed out that the “academic value of meeting Chelsea Clinton is incomparable to studying in school”, (I feel I should point out that, if their teachers read this article, they were working on their studies while waiting in line).
Ms. Clinton draws on her experiences as first daughter in the book. As first daughter, she was in a position to see the world in a way not many have the opportunity to and it shaped the story for the book. The book is about inspiring children by teaching them with an overview of the world’s challenges, like poverty, poaching, homelessness, and environmental issues. She gives examples of what other kids were doing to help combat some of these problems. When I got my chance to meet Ms. Clinton, she agreed to talk with me a little about the book. I ask her about the enormity of the problems outlined in the book and said that, as just one kid, it all seemed way too big to even start to do anything. Ms. Clinton told me to “look at big problems as lots of little problems” and work on the little ones. As I was talking to her, she told me about the story of a boy named Alex, who wanted to tackle the problem of homelessness and poverty. Instead of starting with the almost impossible task of completely stopping these problems, he chose to work on one part of it. Alex realized he always had extra pieces in his LEGO sets after he was done building them. He thought of the kids who don’t have any LEGOs at all because of their life situation. He took action and started collecting LEGO sets for these kids. Alex ended up donating thousands of LEGO sets to kids who couldn’t afford them. Clinton says this is just one example of how kids can make a difference.
At the end of each chapter, Ms. Clinton has a page of suggestions that you can do to help with whatever the chapter’s topic is. The suggestions are simple things that you can do to slowly change your life to take action help others. I really liked the entire layout of the book, and recommend it to any kid interested in making the world a better place. The message in the book and the theme at the book signing is something kids can all get behind, “We all can do something” Ms. Clinton said.
To learn more about Children’s Book World, please visit ChildrensBookWorld.net
If you would like to read more about books and reading, please go to Thiskidreviewsbooks.com.
Categories: Newspaper Columns