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

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It: How 25 inspiring individuals found their dream jobs
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 25, 2022
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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, an index, and an interactive quiz. Spotlight features on children and youth who are already gaining experience for their own dream jobs round out this inspirational resource.  

Editor review

1 review
Inspiring Career Biopgraphies
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
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.

The people profiled are not necessarily all that well know, but are all involved in pursuits that suit their passions. There are many young people included, such as Amoy Antunet, who became interested in neuroscience at a young age, and Jessica Walker, who has saved many animals from horrific situations.
Good Points
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 list of future jobs was interesting but did not include Jet Pack Repairer, which was disappointing! The world will definitely need AI specialists, sustainable energy technicians, and urban agriculture specialists, as well as many jobs we can't begin to imagine! The overview of skill sets that are useful for most jobs should be something that all students are required to read; I don't know how one can teach adaptability, but we have all certainly needed that skill the last few years!

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. Include this exciting new title along with books like Dennenberg's 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet!, Bell's You Can Change the World: The Kids' Guide to a Better Planet, Kyi and Kyi's Better Connected: How Girls Are Using Social Media for Good, and Li's Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories.
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