We need to know about our environment—water, air, soil, energy, and climate—in order to understand how and why it is changing.
A French-Canadian writer for young people takes on this complicated subject, splitting it into parts and presenting them in short, accessible-looking bits. Each major component gets a chapter; each spread covers a single topic with headings and subheadings. He moves logically from topic to topic and provides some connections. Concluding with the idea of climate change, he makes clear that “human activities…are largely responsible for [it].” Some vocabulary may prove challenging, but important words and phrases are bolded and defined in a glossary. Some choices are downright puzzling: Readers will wonder why this text calls what every American child learns about as the “water cycle” the “hydrologic cycle” instead. The survey is digitally illustrated with stylized images that colorfully support the text. On a final spread describing positive efforts to solve environmental issues, the illustrator shows a diverse group of children sitting on a tree branch made of two different kinds of trees, with roots that also connect. It’s a nice touch. Many books that break complex subjects down for young readers with general statements and attention-catching examples can leave a few false impressions. This survey shares that flaw.
Not “everything you need to know” but a well-intentioned effort. (glossary, selected sources, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)