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May 20, 2015 09:10 AM

When Chelsea Clinton was in elementary school, she used to cut up the plastic rings on six packs of soda in an effort to make the world a safer place for dolphins and other marine life.

Now she’s hoping to inspire a new generation of boys and girls to help save the planet, with her first book, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going.

In the book, Clinton breaks down issues like poverty, homelessness and climate change, and shares stories of kids and teens who are making an impact in their own communities and around the world. The book, due out on Sept. 15, 2015, is for children ages 10 to 14.

“That’s the age when I started tuning in more to issues I cared about and trying to make a difference,” Clinton, 35, tells PEOPLE. “I loved the book 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and remember wishing there were books like that on other issues I cared about. This book is my attempt to do that for kids today.”

Courtesy Chelsea Clinton

Clinton says she started thinking about the project before she knew she was pregnant, but it was knowing that Charlotte, her 7-month-old daughter with husband Marc Mezvinsky, was on the way that got Clinton actually writing.

“I wanted my daughter to grow up in a world where kids are informed about what’s happening, feel empowered to make a difference and ultimately take action on issues they care about,” the former first daughter explains. “Now, being a mom, somehow I care even more intensely about trying to make that happen.”

(Baby Charlotte already has a head start on staying informed. In fact, Clinton and her family members read to Charlotte so much that grandmother Hillary Clinton joked her first words might be, “Enough with the reading.”)

Thankfully, Charlotte is a “great napper” and has been sleeping through the night since the age of three months, which allowed her mom plenty of time to work on her book, Clinton tells PEOPLE.

It’s Your World was edited by Jill Santopolo, the executive editor at Philomel Books, who got in touch with Clinton after seeing her speak eloquently about father Bill Clinton‘s heart surgery during an appearance on The Daily Show in September 2013.

“She was a storyteller. Soon after, I reached out to her, asking if she’d be interested in writing a book for kids,” Santopolo says in a statement to PEOPLE. “It was a shot in the dark, I thought, but the answer came back and was a resounding yes.”

Clinton, who plans a book tour of elementary and middle schools in the fall, will be donating proceeds from the book to several charities. (And no, she has no plans to write a memoir.)

She’s come a long way from her plastic ring campaign days, but “more than two decades later, I still feel the same way,” she writes in a letter to the reader. “I want to do my part to make a difference – and that’s why I wrote this book.”

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