Readers who want to know when their jet packs and food tablets will be coming will find no answers in this mishmash of...

READ REVIEW

HELLO FROM 2030

THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE AND YOU

A Belgian import attempts prognostication.

Schutten opens and closes with the dead-cinch prediction that readers in 2030 will laugh at his views on where household tech, sustainable land and water use, medicine and robotics are heading in the near future. In between, he delivers debatable prophecies that microwave ovens will be superseded by unspecified new devices, that computer games will replace most toys and like airy claims. These are embedded in equally superficial surveys of the pros and cons of fossil and alternative energy sources, as well as cautionary looks at environmentally damaging agricultural and lifestyle practices that are in at least the early stages of being addressed. Conversely, he is blindly optimistic about the wonders of “superfoods,” carrying surveillance chips in our bodies and supersmart robots managing our lives. Uncaptioned photos and graphics add lots of color but little content. A closing section of provocative questions, plus endnotes citing news stories, blog posts and other sources of more detailed information, may give would-be futurologists some reward for slogging their ways through.

Readers who want to know when their jet packs and food tablets will be coming will find no answers in this mishmash of eco-sermons and vague allusions to cutting-edge technology. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58270-474-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Beyond Words/Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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A broadly diverse roster of role models.

KID ACTIVISTS

TRUE TALES OF CHILDHOOD FROM CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE

From the Kid Legends series

Introductions to iconic world changers of the present and recent past who stood up for racial justice and human rights.

Most of the 16 main figures are or should be familiar to young readers, but along with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Dolores Huerta, and Rosa Parks, Stevenson lays out early experiences and influences for some less-high-profile names: There’s gay politician Harvey Milk, for instance, transgender activist Janet Mock, and formerly enslaved child advocate Iqbal Masih, assassinated at the age of 12. In between the main profiles, the author slips briefer ones of associates, such as Mama Sisulu for Nelson Mandela and, for Milk, nods to the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, both early gay and lesbian organizations. Only a few are or were true “kid activists,” but the reminder that they all started out as children may make them and their causes seem accessible, and the preponderance of smiling faces in Steinfeld’s frequent, neatly drawn cartoon vignettes keeps the hardships and violence that many of them experienced safely distant. From Martin Luther “Little Mike” King’s “When I grow up I’m going to get me some big words” to 10-year-old Anishinaabe activist Autumn Peltier’s standing before the United Nations with the demand to “warrior up” in defense of clean water for all, their stories offer inspiration as well as memorable moments.

A broadly diverse roster of role models. (bibliography, index) (Collective biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68369-141-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no...

THE INCREDIBLE PLATE TECTONICS COMIC

From the Adventures of Geo series , Vol. 1

Superhero Geo introduces readers to plate tectonics.

Reviewing information on his way to school for a big geology test, young George transforms himself into “Geo,” a uniformed superhero with a rocket-propelled skateboard and a robotic canine sidekick. In his imaginary adventure, he leaps over sidewalk “faults,” swerves away from “tsunamis” splashed up by a passing truck and saves an elderly lady from falling into an open manhole “volcano.” Meanwhile, supported by visual aids provided by inserted graphics and maps, Geo goes over the convergent, divergent and transform movements of tectonic plates, subduction, magnetic “stripes” paralleling oceanic ridges and a host of other need-to-know facts and terms. All of this is illustrated in big, brightly colored sequential panels of cartoon art hung about with heavy blocks of explication. After the exam comes back with, natch, a perfect score (“I guess all that studying paid off”), Lee, a geophysicist, abandons the story for a final 10 pages of recap and further detail on plate tectonics’ causes, effects and measurement—closing with a description of what geologists do.

African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no more than a mouthpiece—perhaps there will be more of a plot in his next adventure. (online projects, index) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59327-549-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: No Starch Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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