Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear by Carl Hiassen, illustrated by Roz Chast, 39 pages
Carl Hiassen assumes that he'll never be asked to give a commencement speech. And if this book is any indication, he's probably right — Assume the Worst is about as far from traditional hopeful, cheerful graduation fodder as you can get.
But you know what else he's probably right about? The stuff he says in this book. Yes, the world is screwed up, but no, you can't fix it all by yourself — but you can make a difference to somebody. And no, you can't be whatever you want (as evidenced by the fact that he's not the next Mickey Mantle) — but you have something you're good at, so do your best to be really good at it. Just because you have a diploma, that doesn't mean you're a genius — but there's a big difference between genius and idiot, so just try not to be the latter.
I loved this, and I wish I'd been so lucky as to have Hiassen speak at one of my commencement ceremonies. But then I would have missed out on Chast's fantastic illustrations. (Unless he did a Powerpoint presentation. Hmm...)