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HAVEN JACOBS SAVES THE PLANET

A powerful depiction of the impact of climate change on a young activist’s mental health.

A young person learns how to turn eco-anxiety into action.

Seventh grader Haven has climate change anxiety. Symptoms include doomscrolling, nail-biting, nightmares, and difficulty concentrating. Afraid of being seen as overly sensitive and emotional, Haven keeps her fears private. One spring day, she has a panic attack and runs out of science class while watching a video of melting glaciers in Antarctica. Motivated by her anxiety, Haven starts talking about environmental issues with her friends, family, and teachers. When Haven and her classmates begin studying the local Belmont River, they discover the water is acidic. Haven rallies her community to advocate for an investigation into who’s polluting the river. What happened to the frogs? Is Gemba, the new glass factory that recently came to their town, involved in the contamination? Will Haven face her fears and speak out in public against climate change? Her desire to get to the bottom of the story is complicated by the fact that her father, who was unemployed for over two years, now works at Gemba, and the company is infusing money into the community. Dee explores the growing pains of a thoughtful and aware tween navigating everything from large-scale matters to jealousy to crushes. Her timely middle-grade novel is a sound character study with a conventional activism arc. Haven and her family are assumed White; the supporting cast is racially diverse.

A powerful depiction of the impact of climate change on a young activist’s mental health. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-8983-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner


  • National Book Award Winner


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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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