Middle school is a time of change, when things begin to look different and assumptions start to be questioned, and today more than ever it's tough to know what to believe.
This unique and timely book won't tell you what to think—that's up to you!—but it will show you how to think more deeply about your own life and current events. Covering a wide range of subjects affecting the world today, including human and animal rights, social media, cyber bullying, the refugee crisis, and more, THINK FOR YOURSELF will help you to learn how to ask questions, analyze evidence, and use logic to draw conclusions, so you can solve problems and make smart decisions.
Each chapter of the book covers one key step in the critical thinking process, and includes a real-world example to help convey the importance and relevance of every step:
Ask Questions: If you want to be a critical thinker, it helps to be curious. It's normal to wonder about the world around us. Some questions are big, and some are small. Sometimes questions can spark debate and argument. All critical thinking starts with at least one question.
Gather Evidence: First, find information—from making observations to interviewing experts to researching a topic online or in books. Then make connections and draw conclusions.
Evaluating Evidence: Smart thinkers evaluate the importance, accuracy and relevancy of the information they gather.
Getting Curious: Consider other points of view, examine your own point of view, understand the power of emotion, and practice empathy.
Draw Conclusions: The final step in the critical thinking process, this is based on reason and evidence. Revisit your original question, review the evidence and what you've learned, and consider your values. And remember: critical thinking doesn't stop when you've reached a decision. Learn how to discuss and debate other points of view. Then keep growing. Sometimes you might change your mind—that's OK, too!
Featuring profiles of real-life inspiring young critical thinkers from around the world, checklists, quizzes, and activities, THINK FOR YOURSELF is a clever and fun illustrated guide that teaches middle schoolers that even young people can make a difference in the world just by thinking smart and understanding.
- Your Turn: activities to help connect ideas to readers' lives
- Profiles of inspiring young critical thinkers
- A Reading List for Young Thinkers
- Teacher's guides
- Plus a table of contents, index, and glossary for easy searching
About the Author
Andrea Debbink is an award-winning writer and editor who's been writing for children for the past decade. As a former editor at American Girl, she specialized in creating content that helped young readers explore their creative potential including crafts, recipes, and biographies. Andrea lives and writes in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information on her work visit andreadebbink.com.
Aaron Meshon illustrates and designs for magazines, advertisements, children's products, murals, food trucks, and books that can be found all over the world. Aaron's first children's book: Take Me out to the Yakyu was an Ezra Jack Keats Book Honor Winner. When not making books or drawing, Aaron teaches illustration at The School of Visual Arts. Someday, Aaron would like to sell his products from a small sweet potato truck in rural Japan. Currently Aaron lives with his wife, son and their French Bulldog, Chubu, in Brooklyn, New York.
"The book features a very comprehensible and clear narrative. Entertaining illustrations accompany the text so that it doesn’t look like a standard textbook. A great tool for young readers who take information found online at face value. Educators and librarians could easily use excerpts of this book to teach research and information literacy skills." —School Library Journal