Marcus Rashford, writing with Carl Anka, garnered much praise for his first book for children, You Are a Champion, providing young readers with positive strategies to help achieve their dreams and develop a healthy mindset. You Can Do It: How to Find Your Voice and Make a Difference takes as its premise the power of kindness and understanding that the smallest changes can have the biggest impact.
As a famous professional footballer, Marcus used his own childhood experiences to highlight the issue of child food poverty during the lockdown of 2020. His campaigning led to the government committing to support vulnerable children during this time and he continues to work on this issue. This experience forms the backbone of the book, as he uses it as the example of how everyone can make a difference. He also talks about being kind to yourself, accepting and embracing difference, resilience and being part of a team, using, in an age-appropriate way, incidents and lessons learned from his life and career.
The book is accessible, readable and appealing to children of 9+. Each chapter concludes with an action points section, explaining the theme being discussed, then offering actions and written activities young people can work through to help develop their thinking. Offering a positive and inspiring message, You Can Do It, is designed to be read solo, but I think it has a place in the classroom, perhaps as part of PSHE, with the benefit of discussion and explanation, especially with the younger end of the intended readership. After all, the book does talk about working together to achieve its aims of social justice! Children have a strong sense of fairness and this book will help further develop and build on this foundation.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards Children’s Fiction Book of the Year 2023.
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