Clinton Urges Kids to “Start Now” to Make a Difference

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Sidonie with author and activist Chelsea Clinton, whose new book is called Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference

Outrage and optimism were key themes at the sold-out first stop on Chelsea Clinton’s latest book tour. There is much political disagreement in the country, but a hope that people who have felt marginalized can make their voices heard.

That includes young people. Clinton’s new book, Start Now! You Can Make a Difference, is aimed at 7- to 9-year-olds. She launched the tour for her fifth book at her alma mater, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. More than 400 adults and kids attended the event, which was hosted by Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in the city.

Start Now emerged from questions that I was getting from 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds about what they could be doing, why they did they have to wait until they were older,” Clinton told me before the event. “You don’t have to wait until you’re older. You can absolutely engage now.”


Parents expressed concern about issues facing the world, too, and talked about how they’re teaching their children to make a difference. One mother of two daughters explained that she helps her children make a difference by picking up trash whenever they visit their local park.

Clinton said that she is teaching her own children to stand for what they believe in. “My kids are very small,” she said. “My daughter just turned four, and my son is only two. So right now, I’m doing all I can to help inform them. We talk about what’s going on in our city, our state, our country, and the world in hopes that they’ll just expect themselves to be informed and engaged when they’re old enough to do so.”


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Even if one person makes a positive difference, Chelsea Clinton said, “we’ll all be better for that.”


Start Now covers a range of issues—including bullying, climate change, and nutrition. The book includes real-life examples of young people who were passionate about an issue and took action.

Children in the audience expressed their own particular interests. “I care about animals because I like them,” said Sabine, 7.

Clinton is listening to kids like Sabine. “I was so inspired by the young people I met who wanted to make a difference,” Clinton said. “Even if one person will start changing the world, we’ll all be better for that.”

Photos courtesy of the author