Monday, September 8, 2014

Guest Post: Laurie Ann Thompson - Author of Be A Changemaker

I was super honored to receive an advance copy of Be A Changemaker by Laurie Ann Thompson a few months back. I have really enjoyed reading the book and thinking of ways to incorporate it into my Cadette troops Silver Award journey. I feel the book is inspiring to young women (and men...) to take hold of the talent they have and realize they CAN and ARE making a difference in the world. 

Laurie is on a blog tour this week and was gracious enough to supply me with a guest post, so without further ado... Laurie Ann Thompson's words about Be A Changemaker. Did I mention you can win a free copy of the book? You can.... read through Laurie's words and then leave a comment (more information below).

Thanks for having me here today, Lora! My book, Be a Changemaker, is for teens who want to make a difference in their own communities or around the world. It features profiles of young changemaker and the organizations they founded, practical how-to advice and tips, hands-on activities, and motivational quotes. I wrote Be a Changemaker because I believe young people can be not only the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today. I wanted the book to empower young people to make the changes they want to see, which is exactly what the Girl Scouts organization does for today’s girls. As a former Girl Scout, volunteer, and leader myself, I see many natural parallels between the Be a Changemaker message and the mission of the Girl Scouts. 
In fact, one of the teams I profile in the book (chapter 4, Researching Your Big Ideas) came
together because of their Girl Scout Bronze Award, and these girls ended up changing the Girl Scouts organization itself! Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, decided to work together toward their award. They knew they wanted to do something that helped animals, so they started by looking on Dr. Jane Goodall’s website at That led them to research about endangered animals, where they soon learned about the plight of orangutans due to the destruction of their natural habitat for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is a common ingredient in many processed foods, so Rhiannon and Madison started reading labels and trying to avoid products that used palm oil. Imagine
their surprise when they noticed that the Girl Scout cookies they had been selling since they were little girls had palm oil in the list of ingredients!
The pair changed their focus and launched a venture called Project O.R.A.N.G.S. (Orangutans Really Appreciate and Need Girl Scouts), and they starting working to convince the Girl Scouts of the United States to remedy the situation. In 2011, they succeeded, and GSUSA adopted a sustainable palm oil policy for its cookies. Since then, they’ve expanded to take on the palm oil industry itself and have worked with other established organizations like Orangutan Outreach, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Climate Advisors. 
What started out as a simple poster board by two Girl Scouts working on their Bronze Award has grown into a powerful organization doing real good in the world and launched two young women on their way to being lifelong changemakers. I hope every Girl Scout can have that same kind of experience, whether they start something small that happens only once or they continue to build on it and see what develops over time. I wrote Be a Changemaker to help them do just that.
For more information about the book, please visit my website at If you subscribe to my newsletter while you’re there, I’ll even send you a link to download an excerpt so you can check it out for yourself. 

Yes... I promised a chance to win a free copy, right?

Teen Librarian's Toolbox is creating a free downloadable workshop guide for libraries and classrooms for the book that will be available on Laurie Thompson's website in late October.


One lucky winner will receive a copy of BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Ann Thompson (U.S. addresses). Leave a comment below before 6PM Central on September 19th and your name will be entered into a drawing for a FREE copy of the book!!!


  1. What a great idea! Reading about others' accomplishments can be very inspiring. It's great to see a book geared especially towards youngsters.

  2. Thank you so much, Lora! I hope you find the book useful with your Cadette troop. I'd love to hear about their experiences with their Silver Award! And, if they have any questions along the way for me or for other young changemakers, they're welcome to post them on my Q&A website: Cheers!

  3. your blog looks like it will be a big help! i'm a new junior leader. thanks!

  4. Excited to find your blog and if I don't win the book I'll sure be purchasing a copy!

  5. Great story I can share with my girls. It's always nice to share a story about girls their age changing the world...or at least one corporate entity. Your blogs are a great help to leaders, by the way.

  6. This is great. I am a Service Unit manager for Older Girls and am on the Gold Award Committee. I would love to do a workshop around this book for the girls.

  7. I want to share this with my 15 year old grand daughter. I believe that kids need to be inspired and motivated to push beyond their comfort zone and not be afraid to try and even fail. Lori. ..i will be a new follower of your blog as well. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing

  8. Looking forward to sharing this book with my daughter.

  9. Be a Changemaker will be a great book to share with my teen group at the library. We're always looking for projects with a purpose, and what better purpose than to make a real change?!

    1. YOU WON!!!!! Email me your address by 9/26/14 in order to claim the book. :)

  10. I am so glad I found this site there's some awesome information on here

  11. I am so glad I found this site there's some awesome information on here

  12. I'm thankful I found this site. It will make this year much smoother.



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