You Can Change the World: The Kids’ Guide to a Better Planet

Andrews McMeel. Oct. 2020. 224p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781524860929.
Gr 4-7–This colorfully illustrated title offers upper-elementary and middle-grade readers a wealth of information on how to reverse their environmental impact. Chapters cover topics such as plastic, ethical and environmentally friendly clothing, waste, gardening, and electricity. The text provides statistics and relevant information, as well as practical ideas and activities. For instance, in the chapter about plastic, a fact box states, “Every single known species of turtle has been found with plastic in or around its body.” A large section is devoted to waste and how to avoid it through recycling, reusing, composting, and buying less. In the chapter devoted to food, there is information on the food supply industry and its impact on land and sea environments. Simple recipes using sustainable foods are included. Short biographies of an international group of young people who have made a difference by starting and promoting environmentally friendly programs are featured throughout. A final chapter entitled “An Act of Kindness” encourages making a positive difference in the lives of others. There are suggestions on “How To Be Nice in Everyday Ways,” including smiling, reaching out to other kids, and helping members of your family. The text emphasizes that small acts of kindness can also help change the world.
VERDICT An excellent resource for classroom studies of the environment and how to bring about needed change. An added bonus is the section on how to be kind to others.

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