The inspiration for See What You Can Be: Explore Careers That Could Be For You! came when Diane’s best college friend, Liz, was driving her daughter Emma home from a particularly intense gymnastics meet. Emma, in tears, was stumped by the question: “If I can’t be an Olympic gymnast, what can I be?” Liz called Diane up and they decided to make a book that would showcase some of the many things their daughters, and all girls, can be when they grow up.
To gather the interviews for their book, Diane and Liz spoke with nearly fifty women with a diversity of careers, from Aerospace Engineer to Fashion Designer. Each woman told her own inspiring story, sharing all about their job, how they chose it and more. See What You Can Be was selected as a 2008 Children’s Choice Book and as one of the three official books of “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day 2008.”
Diane obtained her law degree from Georgetown University and practiced law for over ten years. She also owns a party planning business and volunteers for charitable organizations. She has two teenage daughters and an adorable White Highland Terrier named Pearl.
See What You Can Be: Explore Careers that Could Be for You!
Diane Heiman and Liz Suneby
Illustrated by Tracey Wood
It is amazing that kids are so woefully unaware of all the jobs that are available in the American economy. Of the 45,000 jobs that exist, they usually can name only 20. This cute little book aims to fix that problem, at least for girls (as you might expect from American Girl). The graphic design is super-jazzy with colored pages, photo-collage portraits of successful women in various job categories, and an easy-to read-typeface. While the text is aimed squarely at girls, the content is certainly wide-ranging enough to engage boys who might be lucky enough to find this in their libraries. First, an interest inventory quiz helps the reader zero in on her personality profile and propensities. The ensuing eight chapters expand on the possibilities, providing information about careers that tie to each of the personality types. Chapters are divided according to readers’ likes of animals, food & cooking, math & puzzles, sports & fitness, art & music, computers, reading & writing, and science & nature; many examples jobs are provided in each category. Every page has a “Your Turn” activity to extend the learning with hands-on tasks kids will enjoy. If every school counselor in the country had a copy of this and every high school kid had access to a copy, chances are we would see a lot more enthusiasm for getting into the workplace to fulfill your destiny and make the world a better place, rather than just raking in those almighty dollars. There are similar high-school-aimed titles tied to the Occupational Handbook, which lists all the 45,000 jobs that exist, but none are as attractive and informative as this title. One caveat: This book is spiral-bound, so I am not sure how long its shelf life would be. Buy a couple of copies. You will be glad you did. 2007, American Girl Publishing, $9.95. Ages 10 to 18. Gwynne Spencer (Children’s Literature).
For Diane’s program, she can speak with young teens about her book, the creative process and how to get started in writing. She has participated in book fairs and in the classroom.
She can also hold dynamic workshops, where each child has a copy of the book, and the group will collectively brainstorm about how hobbies and interests can lead to future careers. It is an interactive and engaging session.
Diane’s fee for a one day program is $250. If travel is required her fee is $450 plus all travel expenses.