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>What good do do-good books do?

>I just received a press release from HarperCollins for Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Vote. 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Why (Greenwillow, May), a compendium of essays about the importance of voting and civic participation by such allegedly teen-friendly names as Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Atoosa Rubinstein (a name I know only because Gawker makes fun of her); YA writers including Naomi Shihab Nye, Meg Cabot and Chris Crutcher; and NPR-friendly types like Norman Lear and the late Molly Ivins. Ugly Betty‘s America Ferrera is the “celebrity editor,” a job I would kill for.

Published in association with the teen-voter registration organization Declare Yourself, the book supports a worthy cause and could, in fact, be a good book, although I always feel a certain degree of self-inflicted social blackmail when reviewing anything whose profits support a 501(c)3: be nice to this book or a dog will die. And while “it’s for a good cause” has caused me to buy plenty, it’s never gotten me to actually read anything.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >this may be a case where the absence of response to the question in your lead is in itself an answer: “What good …?” “Nothing!”

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