People You Gotta Meet Before You Grow Up, by Joe Rhatigan

ImageThis colorful volume teaches kids—in fun, bite-sized lessons—how to look the CEO in the eye , shake her hand, and carry on a meaningful conversation. The subtitle is: Get to Know the Movers and Shakers, Heroes and Hotshots in Your Home Town. It could be: Get Away from the Video Games and Meet Some Real People, for Heaven’s Sake.

The short introduction gives basic information about the best way to conduct an interview, from the social rules above to methods of creating videos and effective ways to ask questions. After mastering these techniques, kids and teens can move on to choose from the many professions and walks of life listed in the table of contents. These are not just the usual suspects! Here is just a small sampling:

  • Farmer
  • Judge
  • Entrepreneur
  • Chef
  • Immigrant
  • Someone from a Different Religion
  • Activist
  • Politician
  • Librarian!
  • Actor
  • Historical Reenactor
  • Journalist
  • Architect
  • Volunteer
  • Cartoonist
  • Animal Rescuer
  • Firefighter
  • Musician

For each of these types of people, there are three or four pages giving the reader a bit of an explanation of the vocation, a short strategy for the interview, sample appropriate questions for this person, a few famous people in this category, websites (there have to be screens!) for more information, and a summary or extra fun facts.

The target audience for this friendly guide is upper elementary to early high school. If kids were to conduct even a few of these interviews, they would be sure to gain poise and confidence in their interactions with adults. Think of the advantage they would have in college and career interviews in the future! Furthermore, their eyes would be opened to the many interesting and vibrant people all around them in their communities. Who knows? Your son may discover that what he really wants to be is a cartoonist, after all!

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