NONFICTION

Climate Change: The Science Behind Melting Glaciers and Warming Oceans with Hands-On Science Activities

Nomad Pr. Apr. 2020. 128p. pap. $17.95. ISBN 9781619308992.
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Gr 5-8–Climate change (or global warming) is proving to be a long-range problem impacting everything from tiny diatoms to humans. Sneideman and Twamley approach the complex subject with a conversational, nonsensational text full of informational boxes, colorful diagrams, photos, and maps, attempting to present cause and effect for middle school students. Having broken down broad topics (“Spaceship Earth,” “Ancient Climate”) into smaller, tidier explanations (“Icy Times,” “Coral Reefs”) the authors go on to discuss the details of processes such as ocean acidification and glacial meltdown. Each chapter closes with several experiments or activities to reinforce the message (and make excellent fodder for projects and science fairs). Safety measures (mostly adult supervision) are encouraged for some activities, such as dealing with dry ice. Unfamiliar terms are highlighted and defined in callout boxes and in the extensive glossary. The information boxes cover brief biographies, difficulties with unrecycled plastics, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, and more. All of this is formatted to attract the eye and accommodate short attention spans. While the book is not overly in-depth, it is sure to be useful for classroom teachers and homeschooling parents alike. Its cover image of Earth as a melting ice cream cone is an eye-catcher.
VERDICT A useful, appealing text that explains an important topic.

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