Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What good do do-good books do?

I just received a press release from HarperCollins for Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Vote. 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Why (Greenwillow, May), a compendium of essays about the importance of voting and civic participation by such allegedly teen-friendly names as Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Atoosa Rubinstein (a name I know only because Gawker makes fun of her); YA writers including Naomi Shihab Nye, Meg Cabot and Chris Crutcher; and NPR-friendly types like Norman Lear and the late Molly Ivins. Ugly Betty's America Ferrera is the "celebrity editor," a job I would kill for.

Published in association with the teen-voter registration organization Declare Yourself, the book supports a worthy cause and could, in fact, be a good book, although I always feel a certain degree of self-inflicted social blackmail when reviewing anything whose profits support a 501(c)3: be nice to this book or a dog will die. And while "it's for a good cause" has caused me to buy plenty, it's never gotten me to actually read anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this may be a case where the absence of response to the question in your lead is in itself an answer: "What good ...?" "Nothing!"