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What makes you the boss of me? What makes a king a king, or a queen a queen? Why can some people vote for their leaders, but other people can’t? Does having lots of money make you powerful? Why are there fewer female scientists, leaders, and artists than men in history books?
These are things that kids wonder about. The Power Book answers these and other questions in a relatable way for young people, including thought-provoking discussions on challenging topics, like war, bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia. You will gain an understanding of your place in your family, your school, and the world, and will discover ways in which you can use your own power to shape the future.
As you explore the many aspects of power, thinking points pose questions that spark self-reflection and quotes and stories from some of the greatest change-makers—such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, and Stephen Hawking—provide historical context and inspiration. Find more opportunities for learning at the back with a glossary of terms and suggestions for further reading.
Gain a greater understanding of how power works, then learn how to harness it for good with The Power Book.
From the Publisher
FOREWORD BY ROXANE GAY
It is important to understand power and the different ways in which power can shape our lives. It is important to understand what it means to have power and what it means to not have power. Sometimes power is used for good and sometimes it is used in terrible ways–but power, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad.
In this book, you will learn about power, what it means to have power, and what you can do with your power to create change for yourself and the people you care about. No matter who or how old you are, you can create change in this world we live in.
Roxane Gay is an author who writes about things that matter to her. Her books are read by thousands of people and her words can affect the way her readers think about important issues in society–this is an awesome form of power.
If a person has power, it means that they can make things happen in the way that they want.
Power is neither good nor bad; it totally depends on how it is used. It can be used well (like when your parents who love you ask you to stop eating all the marshmallows in the house and go to bed before 2 a. m.). It can be used badly (like when your so-called friend threatens to tell everyone your secret, unless you steal something from the store).
Many different people, from leaders to teachers to parents to you, have power. In this book, you can find out about all the different types of power people have, and why some people don’t have the power that others have. You’ll learn about some amazing people who tried to change their lives and the lives of others for the better by changing the rules of power.
By the end of this book, you’ll have built up a power-spotting visor that will allow you to see this invisible force. Maybe, you too can become a force for good when you learn about and use your own personal power!
Everyday power is all around you, all the time, although you might not always realize it’s there. It’s what influences your relationships with your friends, parents, and teachers, and it’s what determines how you spend your time. In this chapter we describe how everyday power affects our lives, so that you can learn to recognize it, understand it, and hopefully grow your own power.
World-changing power is the power that governs countries, starts wars and revolutions, spreads big ideas, and changes things from the top. In this chapter, we look at different examples of this awesome power, from royal rulers to radical rebels. By the end of it, you will be armed with some impressive knowledge to help you understand the world a bit better. Once you know more about how it works, you’ll discover ways to CHALLENGE power if you want to, and stand up for what you believe in.
WHAT AFFECTS A PERSON’S POWER?
Some people have more than other people. More money, more opportunity, more advantages– and this can give them more power than others.There are many reasons for this, and this chapter looks at some of them, including issues such as inequality and discrimination. You’ll discover what can affect your power, what your own privileges are, and be inspired to challenge injustice and EMPOWER yourself and others.
So far in this book, we’ve looked at different types of power, how it can be used well, and how it can be used badly. We’ve shared the stories of some inspiring and thought-provoking people who used, claimed, or challenged power. We’ve explored how power affects us all in tiny and huge ways. Now, in this chapter, it’s all about YOU!
Martin Luther King Jr.
Malala Yousafzai & Bill Gates
It’s all about YOU!