You Can Change the World by Margaret Rooke

You can Change the World! is an award-winning book, written to inspire today’s teenagers. In a world is so often obsessed with celebrities, shopping and self-promotion, this book of interviews proves the true power and potential of today’s teens.

Author Margaret Rooke asks more than fifty teenagers from across the globe to share their experiences of being volunteers, fundraisers and campaigners, online and beyond. These inspirational teens include Amika George, who helped persuade the government to change the law on ‘period poverty’ in schools, and Lucy Gavaghan, who at 14 successfully led the campaign to persuade Tesco and other supermarkets to stop stocking eggs from caged birds.

The teens explain how they raise awareness of the issues they care about and how they’ve improved their own lives and the lives of others. They talk about upcycling clothes for the homeless, dealing with bullying at school, preserving Britain’s beaches, running a football team for children with disabilities, and supporting Fairtrade.

Zainab thought she’d always be the class clown but now channels her energy into helping rebellious kids as a youth worker at her old school, while Amarni stepped away from the fringes of gang violence and now inspires a group of other teens to focus on their love of music.

Everyone knows that teens are strongly influenced by their friends, and this is often presumed to be a bad thing. The truth is it can be a good thing too. The influence can be positive, with friends encouraging each other to behave with compassion and generosity. That’s where this book comes in: it showcases fantastic teenage role models for them to follow.

In a recent poll, the Royal Society of the Arts found that, when asked to pick words from a list to describe teenagers, adults most commonly chose ‘selfish’, ‘lazy’ and ‘antisocial’, reinforcing young people’s negative self-image. However, the RSA also found that 84% of young people want to help others and 68% have done so through social action and volunteering.*

Sian Griffiths, Education and Families Editor of the Sunday Times says about the book: “I am fed up with hearing about Generation Snowflake. Here at last is a book that disproves that label. I loved reading these stories of 50 teenagers who have literally changed the world for the better through their efforts. Hurrah for the next generation – Generation Sunshine!”

You Can Change the World! was awarded a gold medal in the USA’s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for multicultural nonfiction.

Margaret Rooke is an author and writer. This book follows the huge success of Dyslexia is my Superpower (Most of the Time), interviews with children and teens with dyslexia written to inspire others. Margaret’s first book was Creative, Successful, Dyslexic, a book of interviews with well-known people with dyslexia, from Dame Darcey Bussell, to Sir Richard Branson, Zoe Wanamaker CBE, Marcus Brigstocke, Benjamin Zephaniah, and many more, revealing how dyslexia both hindered and helped them on their life’s journey.


I am an author and writer with decades of experience in books, magazines, newspapers and writing for charities. My current book ‘You can Change the World! Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everywhere,’ was written to inspire teenagers to make the changes they want to see in their own lives and in the world around them (see photo of some of the contributors above – there are boys in the book too!)

My previous books, ‘Dyslexia is my Superpower (Most of the Time)’ and ‘Creative, Successful, Dyslexic. 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories,’ were written to show people with dyslexia that, no matter the label they are given, with the right support, focus and hard work they don’t need to let anything hold them back. I have also written books about child safety, the menopause and stress, with Dr Mike Smith when he was the BBC Radio two medical expert.

For half of the week I work for the charity Independent Age, interviewing fascinating older people to help support the charity’s many areas of work. In a previous life, I have been a columnist on the Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Contributing Editor at Options magazine and Senior Feature s Writer on Woman’s Own.

Most of my working days are spent listening to others and helping them tell their stories. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

Homes expert and TV presenter Aggie MacKenzie, who I worked with on a recent project, says, “Margaret is highly professional, hugely experienced, extremely adaptable, fast and accurate. She has an intelligent, enquiring approach to everything, is invariably bursting with brilliant, workable ideas and is always current in her thinking. Margaret has a natural understanding about what people really want to read.”

I helped Harriet Lamb CBE, when CEO of Fairtrade International update her book, ‘Fighting the Banana Wars and other Fairtrade Battles’. Harriet says: “Margaret gives her full commitment to every piece of work she carries out. She has a natural ability to engage people in her writing, always understanding the ‘bigger picture’ objectives of a piece of work while having extraordinary attention to detail. She is completely reliable, works on her own initiative – and is always an utter joy to work with.”

You can Contact Margaret on Instagram and Twitter: @margsrooke.

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Her books can be bought at Waterstones, local bookstores, and online in all outlets including Amazon, Hive, and Bookshop!

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