If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It: How 25 inspiring individuals found their dream jobs

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If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It: How 25 inspiring individuals found their dream jobs

By Colleen Nelson Kathie MacIsaac
Illustrated by Scot Ritchie
Juvenile Nonfiction Ages 8–12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-228-8
List Price: $24.95 CAD / $19.95 USD
Trim Size: 7.5 x 9.75 inches / 19.05 x 24.7 cm
Pages: 64

Publication Date: October 25, 2022

Distributed in the US by Ingram Publisher Services

Rights Available: World ex. North America

 There is no single path to the job of your dreams. 

What does it take to become a stuntperson? How does a mathematician spend her days? When does a barber become the center of a community? In this refreshing take on a careers book, meet twenty-five individuals of different backgrounds, genders, and abilities who have found their careers through a wide range of experience, education, intention, and inspiration. From Joshua Jones, who built a business where he could thrive as a Deaf interior designer, to Teresa Tam, whose hunger for knowledge led her to the position of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, each of these dreamers found ways to dig deep into their passion, to gain experience and knowledge, and to turn that into a job. 

In If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It, Colleen Nelson, middle-school teacher and award-winning author of The Harvey Stories and The Undercover Book List, teams up with children’s librarian and literacy advocate Kathie MacIsaac to show young readers that there are many paths to a dream job. Education may come from university, college, trade school, apprenticeship, specialized training, or simply asking questions and getting involved. Your career may be something you’re already dreaming about or something you’ve never even heard of. No matter what, success means feeling happy with the work you do. 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It includes full-color photographs and illustrations, informative sidebars, tips for trying out a field of interest, a glossary, and an index. Spotlight features on children and youth who are already gaining experience for their own dream jobs round out this inspirational resource. 

Awards and Honours: 

2022 Kirkus ReviewsBig Jobs, Big Dreams” Feature

Quill & Quire2022 Fall Preview: Books for Young People – Nonfiction” Feature


Readers will delight in learning more about the range of professions available, and adults looking for a career change may be tempted to pick up the book as well. Will inspire readers to find—and follow—their dreams.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Colleen Nelson and Kathie [MacIsaac]…created a book where 25 people of a wide range of occupations explain precisely how they got those jobs in the first place. How cool is that? … It actually looks like something a kid would get a kick out of reading. This is so cool.”—School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“Extremely engaging, the stories in If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It are not only inspiring but will, perhaps, spark some readers to explore unique professions and, above all, to follow their dreams. Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

In this well-formatted collective biography, nicely illustrated with Scot Ritche’s full color, exuberant page decorations, we meet a variety of people who set out to pursue jobs from farming to teaching to writing books… In addition to being a good book to have for career studies, this book can offer a lot of scope for the imagination and open up the world of career opportunities.”—YA Books Central

“[T]he perfect book for anyone who wants to be inspired and learn more about a host of different career opportunities. The book lays out each person’s story very nicely, not only telling each person’s individual background and career aspirations, but also tips for how to work toward that job… Definitely a must read…Overall rating: 5.”—Beth Rodgers, YA Books Central

“[A] dynamic resource that will appeal to middle grade readers…There are many opportunities throughout this book for ALL readers to see themselves reflected through the biographies of those featured…with incredible inspiration from those featured in the book and Kathie and Colleen’s excellent way of bringing their stories to life, this book can provide a little bit of guidance.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“This book illuminates a pile of modern careers and professions in a way that’s diverse and accessible for young readers. Each job is described with just the right amount of detail… This is all enhanced with photos and vibrant illustrations…Every reader will find themselves in this book.”—Marsha Skyrpuch (Goodreads)

The layout is attractive and easy to follow, text features provide strong organization, and additional snippets of information in catchy categories will make If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It a popular choice for young and old audiences.”—Bit About Books