- The premise is empowering. Children know their vulnerabilities. They wonder how they will ever learn to cope with the adult world. Many of them are aware of problems and feel that they are not competent enough or old enough to take action and effect change. Clinton shows them how. Every chapter ends with check lists that are resources for young readers to address issues and problems that are now obvious to everyone.
- Chelsea Clinton has done her homework. She defines 5 serious problems with a well-researched chapter on each: clean water, conservation and endangered species, health, nutrition and hunger, and bullying. Her work is accurate and has obviously been vetted.
- The information is embellished with interesting anecdotes. She writes of seven-year-old Isiah, who lived in Virginia, and started a campaign to raise money for hand sanitizers for the children of Flint Michigan; of Haile, who learned how to make nutritious foods for her diabetic father and created You-Tube videos to share what she learned; of Christian, who helped spread the idea of a "buddy bench" where a classmate who suffered from bullying could sit and someone would soon join him/her. There are also brief historic stories, including the cure for scurvy, the discovery of vaccines, and more. Such stories are engaging, concrete evidence for children.
- The writing has "voice." Clinton's tone is accessible and informal. She is not preachy; she includes humor often, and occasionally refers to herself by using the personal pronoun "I." She assumes little or no prior knowledge of issues and concepts on the part of the reader without sounding patronizing. She has skillfully woven big ideas to individual actions.
In Start Now: You Can Make a Difference, Chelsea Clinton has introduced a very broad scope of issues and concepts with many particulars of how a child can make a difference. This is no easy task. Her voice is a welcome addition to the world of upcoming children's nonfiction authors.