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Get Real: What Kind of World are YOU Buying? Paperback – June 29, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762437456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762437450
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up–Rockliff outlines how mass consumerism is harming our planet, and specifically how teens can use their purchasing power to enact change. She cites examples of products that teens use frequently (high-tech electronics, clothing, junk food, etc.) and explains how their production often harms the people who make them, the environment, and, potentially, the end consumer. She explains that a chocolate bar was most likely made with cacao beans harvested by exploited workers, and that a cell phone contains enough heavy metals to seriously harm our groundwater. She covers (un)fair labor practices, environmental pillaging, factory farming, excessive marketing, local vs. corporate stores, and the pervasive throwaway mentality that drives the whole cycle. The author's in-your-face approach makes her points while still engaging readers–she is never didactic or overbearing. She encourages teens to make a difference in their world by making small changes to things they do already–buying fair-trade chocolate or saving up for an organic cotton T-shirt. The pop-art illustrations are clever and illustrative of many points. The impressive bibliography provides lists of documentaries, websites, books, articles, and other sources to help teens find out how their favorite products came to be (and came to be so cheap). Learning more about how these products are made just might make some teens think twice about their buying habits.Lisa Crandall, formerly at Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This sturdy paperback points out plenty of practical ways for kids to impact their world by making different choices about what food to eat, what clothes to wear, how often to replace a cell phone, and more. Chapter by chapter, this gives specifics on topics such as bottled water, sweatshops, and toxic chemicals leaching from discarded electronic equipment into landfills; offers suggestions on how to make a difference; and follows up with titles of related books and films. Rockliff also discusses the limitations of recycling and warns about corporate “greenwashing.” Nicely designed, the book has colorful graphic elements on many pages, including photographs and eye-catching digital images incorporating photos. The extensive back matter includes a lengthy list of sources as well as lists of recommended books, Internet sites, and films. A clearly written guide for readers who want to translate social and environmental awareness into action. Grades 6-9. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

Mara Rockliff's books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist and have appeared on the IndieNext and ALA Best New Books for the Classroom lists. Current titles include the picture books ME AND MOMMA AND BIG JOHN (winner of the Golden Kite Award, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book, and a Junior Library Guild selection) and MY HEART WILL NOT SIT DOWN (an Ezra Jack Keats Honor book), as well as her popular Milo & Jazz Mysteries chapter book series, published under the pen name Lewis B. Montgomery. Her buy-better manifesto GET REAL: WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE YOU BUYING? (Running Press Teens) was a Green Earth Book Awards honor book. Rockliff's public speaking experience includes TV and radio as well as bookstores, libraries, schools, children's museums, writing workshops, book festivals, and state and regional conferences for teachers and librarians. She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Visit her online at mararockliff.com.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Jackson on June 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I would give this book six stars if I could. GET REAL is not just a fun read. It fills a critical gap in the environmental literature. There are many, many suggestions about how all of us can use our purchasing power effectively. It discusses:

Reverse Trick-Or-Treating
Genetically Engineered Food
E-waste
Eco-fi, Lyocell and other eco-friendly textiles
The Counter Ad Contest

and much, much more. Not only great information, but bodacious back matter.

Ellen Jackson
[...]
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
GET REAL contains sometimes strongly worded and harsh info that is "in your face". But it is info that EVERYONE SHOULD READ. If you want your kids to grow up as wise and healthy consumers and progressive world citizens, they should read this book.

The book explores the dark side of yummy fast food and cheap t-shirts. There are real environmental and social justice implications of our desire for more cheap stuff. It also explains, in terms any middle-schooler could easily "get", why those cool ads for awesome stuff really work - and how to think about advertising to kids differently, among other topics.

Very cool book!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Hamilton on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
...and talk about it with their kids. Teach your kids to ask questions and do some research. Know where the products you are buying-- from coffee to chocolate to cell phones-- come from, what impact they have on the planet as well as the people who work to produce them.

The way we have been living is not sustainable, and our kids are going to have to face tough changes and choices in the future.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Black on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'd been looking for something like this for my niece. She's aware how much her buying choices affect others and wants to know more so she can do the 'right thing.' This book gave her that knowledge.

Recommended!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brigitte on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book not only for teenagers. Important information for a responsible future and very nice illustrations.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven Schnell on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
While our focus is often on larger-than-life events and political figures, our world is shaped at least as much, if not more, by the many small daily actions we take - what we eat, buy, and wear. But these impacts are often felt in places far distant from our own. Rockliff has written a fine introduction for teenagers about the very real impacts of existing in a Western, consumer society, and gives plentiful positive means for them to help re-shape the world they live in into a more humane and sustainable one.
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