For middle and high school readers, an encouraging example of earth scientists working to understand and deal with climate...



From the Scientists in the Field series

A 1990s science experiment aimed at space exploration finds a new purpose in the 21st century.

Built to test long-term human survival in a closed ecological system like a potential Mars colony, the 3.14-acre glass-enclosed structure called Biosphere 2 is now being used for investigations of climate change here on Earth. Framing her narrative as a tour of the facility, now open to and welcoming visitors, Carson’s information-packed text introduces the original experiment, in which eight people survived for 2 years, and then, chapter by chapter, describes new studies. In the rain forest, biogeochemist Joost van Haren investigates how much carbon dioxide a forest can hold and the effects of drought. An “ocean” with a no-longer-viable coral reef is being repurposed into a model of the nearby Gulf of California, under the supervision of marine biologist Rafe Sagarin. What was once a farm is now a Landscape Evolution Observatory, with replicas of a nearby hillside where hydrologist Luke Pangle studies how water, energy, and carbon move through landscapes. Sustainability coordinator Nate Allen works underneath in the Technosphere, where power and plumbing systems support the entire structure. Well-chosen, clearly captioned photographs support the text, while flashback boxes inform readers of what came before.

For middle and high school readers, an encouraging example of earth scientists working to understand and deal with climate change in new and amazing ways. (glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-41664-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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Peddle debuts with a small, wordless epiphany that flows like an animated short. A low winter sun first lights a child building a snowman, then, after a gloriously starry night, returns to transform it—to melt it. Leaving most of each page untouched, Peddle assembles a minimum of accurately brushed pictorial elements for each scene: the builder; the snow figure; their lengthening shadows; the rising sun’s coruscating circle in the penultimate picture; a scatter of sticks, coal, and a carrot in the final one. Most children will still prefer The Snowy Day, but others may find layers of meaning beneath the story’s deceptive simplicity. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-385-32693-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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Lacking in character development and depth.



When people in a small Italian town lose everything in an earthquake, its youth must find a way to heal.

The 2016 earthquake in central Italy offers a backdrop for this graphic novel. Matteo; his girlfriend, Giulia; and their school friends are frightened: Their world has been destroyed, and they feel aftershocks daily. Many of their neighbors have moved away, but Matteo’s mother and stepfather work in the village, and they must stay. Matteo is luckier than most—his father brings them an old camper trailer so they can leave emergency housing. But tensions run high for others, and problems began to arise. Matteo’s friend seeks his lost dog in the forbidden zone. His little sister has trouble sleeping, and someone at their school commits vandalism. Matteo and Giulia set off to find the culprit and help a friend in need, leaning on an art teacher who teaches them an important lesson from Japan. Unfortunately the language feels stiff, and the friendships at the heart of the story are too generic. Readers learn little about these characters before the earthquake, and they fail to emerge as individuals afterward. The simple frames, awash in blue for nighttime scenes and shades of ocher for day, feel static for such an energetic premise. Most characters appear white; there is a Muslim refugee family; and Giulia is brown skinned.

Lacking in character development and depth. (author’s note) (Graphic novel. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3368-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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