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Inspiring the Next Generation of Engaged Citizens with "Politics for Young Minds"

I am a politico, a civic nerd, and I am passionate about convincing young people to be, too. They are the leaders of tomorrow, after all. So, I am very proud to announce my latest book, Politics for Young Minds (12+).

And given that political polarisation and fake news are destabilising democratic governments and political parties worldwide today, young people are more important than ever to be grounded in the essential principles of how governments and political systems operate. Politics for Young Minds covers all the fundamental bases, from the origins of politics in ancient civilisations to the role played by political parties, elections, legislatures and more.

This book delves much more profoundly than listing facts. By using a funny writing style, incorporating real-life examples and lots of questions, and using them and their families to help children relate to the subject, I’ve tried to make these topics enjoyable to read about. After all, when did learning by rote ever ignite genuine curiosity?

The thing to which I am perhaps most attached in the book is the deliberate way in which I lay out two sides of an issue fraught with controversy. I wanted to avoid the sort of dogma that can be preached to young people, or anything that persuasively makes a case for one simplified view of an issue, and instead encourage kids to create their shades of grey through their own mind’s eye once they encounter a spectrum of information. I think it’s so valuable for them to see these multiple views of things: to source fact, to have nuanced arguments, to hear what people have to say and to be able to listen respectfully to alternative viewpoints.

A book about the importance of both technology and social media? A book about the role of race, sexuality and gender in politics? One that considers how you can be a good citizen, even when it seems everyone is shouting at each other? It’s not exactly a series that fits into a college catalogue! But I would hope that, just as they’ve built up a foundation of political knowledge, students would also build up a lifelong interest in being an informed citizens.

As the saying goes, ‘the children are the future’ – but I would say they are also very much the present. Young people’s voices and perspectives must be listened to and included in policy-making because they are integral members of society and deserve a say. The earlier we encourage political literacy and engagement among young people, the sooner they will grow up to demand a better world.

Thus, I recommend Politics for Young Minds to any teen readers who think they can be ‘the change they want to see in the world’, parents wanting to encourage their children’s political engagement, or teachers seeking a new pedagogical stimulus. Let’s create a generation of politically astute, activist-minded citizens who can lead us into a better world.

What’s your first memory of politics or government affecting your life? I’d love to hear your stories! Contact me by any possible means. I always reply to my readers, especially the young ones. For more information on the book, go to Amazon!

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