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No Small Plans is a graphic novel that follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago's past, present and future as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need and deserve.

Chapter 1: The Past, 1928. Bernard, a young Chicagoan with a passion for engineering, makes his way from the Austin neighborhood to the intersection of State and Madison streets to meet up with his friends, Reggie and Elsa.

The book was inspired by the 1911 Wacker’s Manual, which was once used in classrooms to explain Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and divided into three chapters set in the years 1928, 2017 and 2211. Each chapter ends with a map and a short interlude about Burnham, to give readers insight into the creation of the 1909 Plan and other urban planning challenges.

No Small Plans was launched in conjunction with CAC’s 50th anniversary and our new “Meet Your City” initiative, which aims to foster civic engagement. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Public Library, CAC aspires to distribute 30,000 copies of No Small Plans for free to Chicago teens over the next three years.

We launched a Kickstarter campaign at the end of March to raise funds for No Small Plans and hit our $20,000 goal in just 10 days. By the end of April, we surpassed $65,000, which will result in the distribution of at least 5,000 free copies of the novel to students by the end of 2017.

To further explore the themes, characters and settings featured in No Small Plans, view our reader’s toolkit. The toolkit includes a page-by-page annotated guide for each chapter, teaching resources and an interactive map.

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