From the Orca Issues series , Vol. 6

A well-researched and emotionally impactful call to make choices that revitalize nature and our planet.

A call to action that is both sobering and hopeful.

Biologist and science writer Eriksson outlines the three major problems that contribute to the climate crisis: “global heating, ecological destruction, and inequality.” She conveys unvarnished facts about the climate crisis from reputable sources along with their causes and how societies can prepare for natural disasters, disruptions to the global food supply, mass population displacement, and armed conflicts. Eriksson makes an impassioned case for young people to take action to cultivate hope and fend off despair. Along the way, she shares inspirational stories and words of wisdom from interviews with activists and changemakers from around the world. The book concludes with eco-anxiety self-care suggestions. An intimate relationship between author and readers is created through the accessible first-person narrative that makes space for emotions as well as scientific facts and figures. The layout is crisp and inviting, with color photographs and graphic design illustrations with speech bubbles and bold color. Artwork and writing by youth from all over the world are spotlighted throughout. The disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations is emphasized, with the work of Indigenous activists and organizations being championed and the need to “unite with and learn from Indigenous peoples” cited as vitally important. Only solutions that meet the needs of both equity and ecology are presented as truly viable in the fight for climate justice.

A well-researched and emotionally impactful call to make choices that revitalize nature and our planet. (glossary, resources, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2632-8

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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