Book review:

Hope is a Verb by Emily Ehlers

Oct 25, 2021

Got a teen who carries the weight of our global issues on their shoulders? This is for you x

This wasn’t meant to be my next book review, but due to its abundantly beautiful use of colour, illustrations and positivity, I couldn’t help flying through it. It also struck me how much I wanted to recommend this book to my clients, because this book speaks to the massive overwhelm that so many feel about the Big Issues that are happening on a global scale. You know, the ones that we adults struggle to support them with because we feel the weight of them too. So because I have already started recommending this to anyone who will listen, I bring you my book review on Hope is a Verb by the incredibly talented Emily Ehlers of @ecowithem_.

You may have heard of Emily Ehlers already. She has a massive platform on social media, where she shares her messages of hope and environmentalism via her gorgeous illustrations that are always peppered with wisdom. Emily’s book captures her ethos and delivers it in a readable, upbeat and hopeful package that is bound to help anyone (from teen to adult) feel a little more empowered and capable of initiating change in a sometimes scary world. 

Split into six steps (Stop Freaking Out / Change the Story / Set Your Inner Compass / Own Your Power / Just Start / Find Your People), Emily takes the reader by the hand and weaves a cheerful path along the journey of caring about things bigger than ourselves. There are so many points along the way that feel familiar, from trying to do ‘all the things’ and ending up burnt out, to feeling overwhelmed by all the issues the world faces and getting stuck in freeze mode. Emily thoughtfully considers where self-care fits in all of this (reminding us that our responses to global crises are actually pretty understandable), and she provides the tools to work through and keep going. Community plays a big part, as does knowing yourself and working with your unique talents and interests to take sustainable action. Emily walks us through it all, and the journey feels light and promising. 

The reason I am so pumped about this book for my clients is that it’s often hard to know where to start when you’re young and passionate about climate change / anti-racism / human rights / political corruption (insert endless worthy causes here). It is a real generator of anxiety and depression for young people. Some of the kids I work with have shared how hopeless they feel and how hopeless their futures feel to them because of such issues. This horrifies me, because as teens they have enough on their plates, let alone feeling like they need to shoulder the burdens of the world they’ve inherited from us adults! Hope is a Verb speaks to this burden and offers a lighter path. I love the optimism, the courage, the realness and the practicality of this little firecracker of a book, and I could not recommend it more for a young person in your life (or yourself!) that cares deeply about the state of the world and humanity.

Love & sparkles, Bec x

One of my favourite reads this year ♡


Bec is the human behind Rebel Starseeds. She loves being outside, avocados and anything to do with the ocean. She also likes to write a lot, especially about things to do with wellbeing for girls + women, in the hope that she can find help others empowerment and joy from within themselves with a little reconnection, rewilding and rebelling (where necessary!)

About the author.