An inspiring, sometimes frightening, always richly thought-provoking exploration of our shared home.




While satellite photographs of Earth may seem like an everyday sight, this collection, adapted from Grant’s Overview: A New Perspective of Earth (2016), is far from mundane.

The images are rich in saturated color and even more impressive in their tantalizing diversity, including artificial structures that range from an immense parking lot beside a Montgomery, Alabama, car factory to a stunning image of Palm Jumeirah (human-crafted islands in Dubai)—and before-and-after images of wildfire damage to a suburb in California. Photos of the natural world are even more remarkable. Even from space, Niagara Falls is immense and powerful. Mount Fuji rises above the landscape with its gaping, snow-filled crater. River deltas in their intricate tracery, the drought-ravaged landscape of South Africa, and tulip fields of the Netherlands in full bloom—each image inspires thoughtful examination. While numerous landscapes are included for their pure beauty, many more illustrate powerful lessons on the changes humankind has wrought on the face of the Earth: They are vivid admonitions on climate change, deforestation, and pollution. At times the fairly small text is presented on a dark background that’s dramatic in appearance but challenging to read, but this is a small quibble. Fine backmatter includes an index that provides map coordinates for each illustrated site. Using these, readers can travel via Google to more detailed information.

An inspiring, sometimes frightening, always richly thought-provoking exploration of our shared home. (Nonfiction. 8-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-3202-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The author of Cod (1997) successfully provides readers with a frightening look at the looming destruction of the oceans. Brief sections in graphic-novel format follow a young girl, Ailat, and her father over a couple of decades as the condition of the ocean grows increasingly dire, eventually an orange, slimy mess mostly occupied by jellyfish and leatherback turtles. At the end, Ailat’s young daughter doesn’t even know what the word fish means. This is juxtaposed against nonfiction chapters with topics including types of fishing equipment and the damage each causes, a history of the destruction of the cod and its consequences, the international politics of the fishing industry and the effects of pollution and global warming. The final chapter lists of some actions readers could take to attempt to reverse the damage: not eating certain types of fish, joining environmental groups, writing to government officials, picketing seafood stores that sell endangered fish, etc. Whenever an important point is to be made, font size increases dramatically, sometimes so that a single sentence fills a page—attention-getting but distractingly so. While it abounds with information, sadly, no sources are cited, undermining reliability. Additionally, there are no index and no recommended bibliography for further research, diminishing this effort’s value as a resource. Depressing and scary yet grimly entertaining. (Nonfiction/graphic-novel hybrid. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A splendid volume for young adventurers.



Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet