The former first daughter’s book is not just long, it is also dense, with at least 51 charts, maps and graphs, including one illustrating the global elimination of the Guinea worm and another titled “Common Types of Cancer in the U.S., 2015.” Despite the peppy title (and that exclamation mark!), Clinton’s first book (surely there will be more, given her parents’ prodigious bibliographies) is packed with data, tiny black-and-white pictures and dire warnings.
Think of it as the literary version of a sad trombone.
In a section intriguingly titled “Climate Change and Fun,” we learn that beaches are eroding, that changing snow patterns mean less skiing, and that lower river levels spell an end to kayaking. “Climate change is definitely un-fun,” Clinton writes. Yep, sure is.
She makes an effort to come off as relatable (hey, she liked sugary cereals and Nancy Drew books as a kid, just like her readers!), but it seems she wrote a book for her younger self, the one who wrote an eighth-grade science report on the Madagascar periwinkle plant and, at age 5, wrote a letter to President Ronald Reagan opposing his visit to a Nazi cemetery in Germany. No one has ever accused the multiple-degreed daughter of former president Bill Clinton and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of being a lightweight — or much of a cut-up.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Clinton says the weighty tone was intentional — it’s what the kids really want, she thinks. Clinton says her conversations with young people have revealed “how much more engaged they are in the world than I think adults think they are, and how much kids really do want to be treated seriously, particularly when talking about what they recognize are serious issues.”