Listen up, warns January in this arresting work: everyone is watching, and nothing is deleted for keeps.

READ REVIEW

INFORMATION INSECURITY

PRIVACY UNDER SIEGE

Some sound advice: assume everything you do on the Internet is seen or collected by someone other than your intended audience, out of malice or opportunism, pure and simple.

Readers who pay any attention will finish January’s tour of Internet snooping with some measure of paranoia. His point is not to frighten but to inform, and he provides tips on how to avoid some of the more egregious snoops (easy-peasy: “switch from Google to DuckDuckGo”). He opens with a look at the history of privacy in the United States, how it has always seemed an inalienable right, and how it is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment regarding unreasonable searches. “But US judicial and legal systems have not kept pace with the quickly changing world of technology.” Namely, people will get away with any loophole until the law plugs the hole. January writes in a clear, frank style that also contains some artful foreboding. His examples of intrusive data collection touch everyone. Although the United States does not have such laws, the European Union requires Facebook to comply with requests for disclosure. On the other hand, some behavior seems conspicuously naïve. “Hackers stole nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities by breaking into their iCloud accounts.” Forget about diamonds; it’s digitized nude pictures that are forever.

Listen up, warns January in this arresting work: everyone is watching, and nothing is deleted for keeps. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-2517-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Immediately actionable: use less, think more, and do something.

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING

THE EXTINCTION REBELLION YOUTH GUIDE TO SAVING THE PLANET

A youth activist’s blueprint for mitigating climate catastrophe.

Although Sandford, a 17-year-old Extinction Rebellion Youth London coordinator, knows the relevant research, she isn’t concerned with making the case for anthropogenic climate change in her authorial debut. Per scientific consensus, ecological collapse is a pressing reality that demands action, and writing—or reading—a manifesto isn’t akin to activism. Indeed, it’s a form of greenwashing: making a superficial improvement (taking a reusable tote to the grocer) while perpetuating systemic issues (purchasing unsustainable products). To make meaningful change, one must acknowledge complicity and take ultimate responsibility for individual decisions. This concise, personable, and unpretentious book contains three illustrated sections, each concluding with a self-questionnaire to aid readers in gauging their own engagement. The first, on combatting big business, shares primers on boycotting, petitioning, and conscientious consumption relative to agriculture, beauty, fast fashion, and travel. The second, on inadequate governmental responses, urges civic participation and outlines procedures for protesting, striking, and taking nonviolent direct action. The third models self-sufficiency through reclamation and rewilding; scavenging for food and goods; community-building; and consuming art, the natural world, and human experiences rather than commodities. Throughout, Sandford implores readers to constantly interrogate and amend their own beliefs: question what you’re told, choose your own morals, and know that your opinions matter. All merits aside, a bibliography is sorely lacking.

Immediately actionable: use less, think more, and do something. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84365-464-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Pavilion Children's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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A concise companion and update to Vicki Oransky Wittenstein’s Planet Hunter (2010).

EXOPLANETS

WORLDS BEYOND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

An enticing overview of tools, techniques, and discoveries in what the author rightly characterizes “a red-hot field in astronomy.”

Alas; it is perhaps too red-hot. Not only is Kenney’s count of accepted and potential exoplanets (as of May 2016) well out of date already, but her claim that “Wolf-1061” (sic: that’s actually the name of the star and its system) is the nearest Earthlike planet in the habitable “Goldilocks Zone” has been trumped by the recent discovery of a closer candidate orbiting Proxima Centauri. Still, along with describing in nontechnical terms each tool in the researcher’s kit—from space- and ground-based telescopes of various types to instruments that detect subtle stellar wobbles, spectrum changes, microlensing, and other telling signs—the author fills in the historical background of exoplanet research and profiles some of its weirder findings. She also casts side glances at extremophile life on Earth and other, at least tangentially related, topics. The small format gives the assortment of photos, artists’ renditions, diagrams, and generic star fields a cramped look, but readers curious about how researchers could possibly detect such dinky, distant objects as planets belonging to other star systems will come away satisfied and intrigued.

A concise companion and update to Vicki Oransky Wittenstein’s Planet Hunter (2010). (index, source notes, bibliography, websites) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-0086-1

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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