What better way to talk about change than through a story?  The narrative arc of a story usually takes us from a problem all the way to a solution.  As one way for the young people who are part of the HOPE coalition in Worcester to think about what they care about, what they would like to change in the city and how the coalition can work together to accomplish that change, they created books. Each book has eight pages and the pages of each book begin with the same phrases, but each person’s stories are unique and the books that hold them are unique.

Each person began with a storyboard where they laid out the eight pages of their story.


They then transferred what was in each box of the storyboard onto a piece of colored tagboard. They added drawings, photos and any other decorations that they wanted to add.

Then they chose paper to cover the cardboard that would be come their book covers,


glued a strip of white paper folded into an accordion into the covers, and glued a tagbooard page onto each section of the accordion.  IMG_6480

They each chose a ribbon to tie the book closed.


The beauty of using accordion books is that they can be read page by page or can be stood on a table so that all of the pages can be viewed at once.  As each person stood up to read their book to the group, some held the books in their hands, some spread them out in the air and some stood their creation on the table so that we could see the whole thing.  If they decide to display the books in the community as a way to strengthen their action plan, they can stand them on shelves or lay them in a display case.




This project took quite a lot of materials testing and preparation (boy are my hands sore from cutting cardboard rectangles!)  but the final products look like real books.