If you can get only one climate change book for youth, let it be this one.

HOW TO CHANGE EVERYTHING

THE YOUNG HUMAN'S GUIDE TO PROTECTING THE PLANET AND EACH OTHER

This guide to climate justice for young people shows the roles of individuals, corporations, and governments in fighting for the planet and vulnerable populations.

Divided into three parts—“Where We Are,” “How We Got Here,” and “What Happens Next”—this book explains some well-known facts and exposes many less-acknowledged realities about climate change and its disproportionate impact on poor communities and communities of color. Readers will find details about climate science, disaster capitalism, youth activism, geoengineering, the original New Deal and the Green New Deal, and more. With coverage of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Indigenous people’s initiatives for change, and lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, the authors make a solid case for changing everything and offer practical and realistic steps for doing so. Klein’s journalistic credentials and Stefoff’s vast experience writing nonfiction for young readers merge to create an engaging account of how and why we find ourselves confronted with these urgent issues as well as how and why we might find our way out—if we work quickly. With its wide focus and pull-no-punches real talk, this book stands out among climate change books for its uniquely inclusive perspective that will inspire conviction, passion, and action.

If you can get only one climate change book for youth, let it be this one. (resources, notes) (Nonfiction. 10-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7452-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Ultimately adds little to conversations about race.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK BOY

A popular YouTube series on race, “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,” turns how-to manual and history lesson for young readers.

Acho is a former NFL player and second-generation Nigerian American who cites his upbringing in predominantly White spaces as well as his tenure on largely Black football teams as qualifications for facilitating the titular conversations about anti-Black racism. The broad range of subjects covered here includes implicit bias, cultural appropriation, and systemic racism. Each chapter features brief overviews of American history, personal anecdotes of Acho’s struggles with his own anti-Black biases, and sections titled “Let’s Get Uncomfortable.” The book’s centering of Whiteness and White readers seems to show up, to the detriment of its subject matter, both in Acho’s accounts of his upbringing and his thought processes regarding race. The overall tone unfortunately conveys a sense of expecting little from a younger generation who may have a greater awareness than he did at the same age and who, therefore, may already be uncomfortable with racial injustice itself. The attempt at an avuncular tone disappointingly reads as condescending, revealing that, despite his online success with adults, the author is ill-equipped to be writing for middle-grade readers. Chapters dedicated to explaining to White readers why they shouldn’t use the N-word and how valuable White allyship is may make readers of color (and many White readers) bristle with indignation and discomfort despite Acho’s positive intentions.

Ultimately adds little to conversations about race. (glossary, FAQ, recommended reading, references) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-80106-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

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