For middle-grade readers concerned about climate change, a rich resource.

THIS BOOK WILL (HELP) COOL THE CLIMATE

50 WAYS TO CUT POLLUTION AND PROTECT OUR PLANET!

A primer on climate change focusing on practical suggestions for personal action.

These 50 short chapters are filled with information as well as advice for those who would like to do something about global warming and climate change. Science writer Thomas directly addresses her readers with short, lively explanations and examples liberally illustrated with Paterson’s grayscale cartoons. An informative “Planet-o-Meter” accompanies each, with helpful symbolic representations of what might be affected, the cost, the difficulty, and the likely impact. Thomas opens with background information on Earth’s temperature, the greenhouse effect, and climate change, as well as how scientists measure these things. She offers arguments to counter climate change deniers. And then she goes on to talk about myriad ways one may reduce one’s carbon footprint and one’s waste. Among her topics are food, equipment and repairs, sharing stuff, rewilding, growing trees, reducing the use of hot water, not flying, not using aerosol sprays, and staying home as well as suggestions for school and public campaigns. One startling chapter heading is “STOP RECYCLING,” but the sentence continues, “unless it’s a last resort! Always focus on reducing and reusing first.” Another surprise may be the suggestion to “pee on the compost pile!” (Urine needs to be sanitized by storing for a month first.) The organization is lively and unexpected—there’s a chapter of definitions in the middle.

For middle-grade readers concerned about climate change, a rich resource. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30870-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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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

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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