FICTION

Kids Who Are Changing the World

photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. 128p. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 2014. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781402295324.
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Gr 3–6—This slim but powerful volume profiles 45 young environmental activists who have initiated projects that are changing the world. Tween and teen activists ages nine through 16 and from countries around the world are featured, with a balance of gender, age, and ethnicity. Each two-to-four page profile includes an attention-grabbing tagline, biographical information, a one-line objective, a captioned photograph (typically a landscape), and a section in which the activist responds to prompts such as "My Advice" and "What I Am Most Proud Of." Pull-out quotations, websites, sidebars of background information, and several sections of shorter profiles complete the layout. Especially intriguing are projects that involve science (collecting water samples to help an international climate change study), the arts (painting, music, theater, and dance), and local social action (convincing one's school to replace disposable water bottles with reusable ones). The book acknowledges that some stories have multiple sides ("the pipeline and its construction will provide work for some people but…") and recognizes that sometimes success can require multiple attempts, resulting in an optimistic but well-rounded tone. Mentions of organizations large and small emphasize the power of community and will perhaps leave readers curious about how their peers were able to attend major international summits. Although the book lacks internal subdivisions, it will easily inspire readers to pursue their own environmental action projects.—Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ

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