The Premise: Award-winning journalist Sue Turton explains the political system that rules our daily lives while also pointing out its flaws – and empowers readers to change the status quo. Disrupt the system from within by joining political parties or inspire change through protest. Either way, this guide shows you how to avoid fake news, triumph in debates and grab the spotlight so your campaign can change the world.
Thoughts: a short but informative read, This Book Will (Help You) Change the World takes its reader through a range of useful primers on British politics and how the system works, from voting registration to the ‘first past the post’ principle to lobbying, with a shedload of detail along the way. Turton explains a lot of reasonably complex information in an accessible way; there were a few explanations which I found a little confusing (and I’m a 34 year old with a borderline obsessive interest in politics) but, having had many political discussions with teenagers over the past two year, I feel confident in saying this book will prove a useful tool in helping young people to become better informed before casting their own votes. Turton is relatively neutral, giving an overview of the system rather than specific policy, although, overall, I would say the book is more left-leaning, which fits with what we’re led to believe about voter habits in the UK in 2017.
From how the system works, Turton moves on to establishing how an individual can effect change, from joining a political party to starting petitions or lobbying an MP. Again, it’s stuff a politically-engaged adult would know, but invaluable for a teenager who has, perhaps, become more engaged with recent events in UK politics.
One last note; according to the blurb, the finished book will feature “hilarious tongue-in-cheek illustrations from activist-illustrator Alice Skinner;” disappointingly, these weren’t included in the e-ARC I read but it’s a great idea to include visual breaks in a non-fiction book for young people, so I’ll be on the look-out for a finished copy of the book to check these out.
In Conclusion: a whistle-stop tour through the UK political system and how it can be changed and improved, this is a really good read for any teenager with an interest in politics, or even an adult reader lacking the background knowledge to engage fully with current events. It’s a short read too, providing just enough information to spark or develop an interest.