An effective introduction clearly designed and organized for its audience.

CLIMATE ACTION

WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT WE CAN DO

A veteran science writer describes some of the environmental effects of our changing climate, introduces some teen activists, and offers suggestions and examples of what can be done.

Adept at distilling science topics of all kinds for young readers, Simon has been writing about the environment since 1972. He opens and closes this title with photos of and quotations from 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, who challenged the world at a U.N. Climate Change summit in 2019. After defining essential concepts—global warming, climate change, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases—he describes specific consequences: heat waves, droughts, wildfires, deforestation, floods and other weather extremes, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and wildlife destruction (especially bees). Simon’s presentation is distinguished by the leavening of each bit of bad news with examples of individual actions and steps that can be taken. He describes what scientists are doing to reduce the effects of drought, new methods for fighting wildfires, and what young readers can do to help save forests, water, and energy. The straightforward exposition is interspersed with images and quotations from teen activists from around the world and set on and among relevant and clearly captioned photographs and illustrations. There is nothing particularly new in this quick overview, but the author’s expertise at interpreting science topics for the age group will make it welcome. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 86.2% of actual size.)

An effective introduction clearly designed and organized for its audience. (glossary, reading list, photo and illustration credits, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-294331-6

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.

FLASH FACTS

Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more