Defining Change

February 21, 2020
FROM LEFT: DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD, BY CHARLES WATERS AND IRENE LATHAM, ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEHRDOKHT AMINI © 2020 BY CAROLRHODA BOOKS, A DIVISION OF LERNER PUBLISHING GROUP; STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS; KIM-JULIE HANSEN; 205 PHOTOGRAPHY

In Dictionary for a Better World, words are defined and organized in alphabetical order. But that’s the end of the similarities between this new book and a traditional dictionary. This one’s filled with art, poems, stories, and quotes from famous people. They focus on one question: How can we make the world a better place? “There’s something for everybody in the book, regardless of their politics, their color, or their gender,” Charles Waters told TIME for Kids. He’s one of the book’s two authors.

The book defines big ideas like peace, equality, and justice. But it also suggests small things readers can do to improve the world. For example: Smile at someone new. Send a thank-you note to someone you respect. Make a vision board of your goals and hang it where you’ll see it every day. “Whether we’re shy or outgoing, in a rural area or a big city, we can all do really personal things to be better people,” says coauthor Irene Latham. “And if we do that, we’re making the world better.”