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

School Library Journal

“How does a person find a job that they enjoy doing? This inspiring book helps readers do just that. Nelson and MacIsaac profile 25 people of diverse backgrounds who love their jobs….This is a wonderful compilation sure to interest students….A solid choice for a library needing middle grade nonfiction about careers.”

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Kirkus Reviews

“When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life!

The professional lives of 25 diverse individuals are documented in this fascinating title that will spur readers to consider how their own passions may shape their futures…All individuals profiled express pride and fulfillment with their careers. Each entry spans a double-page spread with added bubbles of additional information, such as “Fun Facts,” “Spin-Off Jobs,” or a brief summary of a similar individual in a connected field. Photos of the subjects are included; Ritchie’s graceful illustrations of the individuals in action round out the book…the authors use measured vocabulary that does not assign a hierarchical value to any of these paths…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.”

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School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“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.”

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CM Magazine

“Some people know from a young age what it is they want to be when they grow up while others find their passion purely by accident. What the 25 individuals featured in If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It have in common is that, through hard work and overcoming obstacles, they have found success and fulfilment in meaningful professions…The book has many strengths. Firstly, the jobs featured cover a wide range of professions, many of them quite unusual…Secondly, the individuals hail from different parts of the globe and are representative of different races, genders, cultures, physical abilities and sexual orientation. Thirdly, women are often featured in non-traditional jobs. Finally, the text boxes not only add visual interest but also provide motivational stories and tips for readers…Illustrations consist of colour photographs of the 25 featured individuals and the youth who are up-and-comers in their fields and cartoon-like drawings, all of which are presented in an attractive, eye-catching layout.

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

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Metroland Media

“Have you ever wondered how Theresa Tam became the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada? Or, how people make a career out of playing video games? You will find these answers and much more in If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It….Whether you want to learn about Martha the Smokejumper, Blake the NHL Scout or Ismail the Documentary Photographer, this book contains several common and less heard of jobs. Which career will entice you?”

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YA Books Central

“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. There are common jobs that young readers may see in their every day lives, as well as more exotic occupations like stuntperson, clothing designers and mathematicians, as well as the holy grail of middle school careers, professional video game player! Each biography includes basic information about what encouraged the person to go into a particular field, “pro tips” on how to get into the field as well as tangential areas, “spin-off jobs” that are similar, and a short biography of a younger person who has already started the path to a similar career. I especially liked the “Why Not Try?” feature that might suggest a web site to visit, opportunities young people might avail themselves of, or activities to try to see if they have an interest in a topic. There are also fun facts and information about inspiring individuals and how they fought through challenges, like Dav Pilkey.

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Beth Rodgers, 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 on one’s own, and also “spin-off jobs” that use similar skills, but are not quite the same as what the main person does.

It’s nice how the book provides practical tips and thoughts to encourage readers to delve deeper and learn not only about the people whose stories are told in the book, but about others who had similar dreams to learn how they were encouraged as well to pursue their interests…Definitely a must read…Overall rating: 5.0″

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Storytime with Stephanie

“I love this book! Kathie MacIsaac and Colleen Nelson have created a dynamic resource that will appeal to middle grade readers right now as well as in the future as jobs and work evolve. There are many things to like about this book not the least being that they have sought out diverse people in diverse careers to inspire young readers today…The authors also sought out people who perhaps would not traditionally hold such jobs, especially women in male dominated fields and vice versa. There are many opportunities throughout this book for ALL readers to see themselves reflected through the biographies of those featured…I often find that books about inspiring people are very narrowly focused. I love that this book provides readers with a very broad understanding of just what kinds of jobs are out there and the different people who are successful in their fields…It can be a difficult thing, figuring out what you want to be when you grow up, but 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.”

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The International Educator

“[A]n inspiring, in-depth look at how specific people came to their profession….This book features 25 individuals with a wide variety of interesting jobs and what it takes to get there. Complete with variations and examples. A great resource for ‘career day’.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

“The completeness of this collection will be a worthwhile reference for career counsellors and kids thinking about where their passions may lead them, but it’s also just a well-organized collective biography that informs and celebrates. From info boxes and a glossary, as well as a listing of types of skills needed as a foundation for those jobs, Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIsaac cover all the bases in a comprehensive and captivating format…with Scot Ritchie’s playful cartoons reflecting the diversity and abundance of people and jobs showcased….With a little bit of everything and everyone, Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIsaac, with Scot Ritchie’s illustrative additions, take us into the studios, schools, labs, and outdoors to meet the doers who endeavoured to find their dream jobs and now enrich our world in countless ways.”

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Marsha Skyrpuch (Goodreads)

“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, and then on the same page spread, there are bullets about related jobs, plus interesting anecdotes. This is all enhanced with photos and vibrant illustrations…Every reader will find themselves in this book.”

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Bit About Books

“If anything was going to get me out of this blogging funk, it was Kathie’s (and Colleen Nelson’s) upcoming release If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.   I am so proud of Kathie and her debut book, and I know that many of you are just as excited and eager to read. You will NOT be disappointed.

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It is not your every day “Here is what you can do when you grow up” book. Instead, the authors highlight more unfamiliar jobs such as a smokejumper, a video game player, and an NHL Scout. Yes, some jobs that people may consider typical such as a carpenter or a teacher, are in the book, but the authors have put their own spin on that by ensuring it is someone you may not first envision. As a reader, I appreciated the diversity and representation of all genders when reading about the imaginative and what I would say are “cool careers.”

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Ms. Yingling Reads

“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….Each biography includes basic information about what encouraged the person to go into a particular field, “pro tips” on how to get into the field as well as tangential areas, “spin-off jobs” that are similar, and a short biography of a younger person who has already started the path to a similar career. I especially liked the “Why Not Try?” feature that might suggest a web site to visit, opportunities young people might avail themselves of, or activities to try to see if they have an interest in a topic….There is also additional information about the different paths of education that can be taken to end up in a career, so that readers can understand that college is not necessary for everyone….The overview of skill sets that are useful for most jobs should be something that all students are required to read….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.”

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