Fresh Air, Clean Water: Our Right to a Healthy Environment

Orca. (Orca Think: Bk. 4). Mar. 2022. 112p. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781459826793.
Gr 5-7–With a tone that is eager to share serious information without terrifying readers, this book provides the necessary background and inspiration to spur upper elementary-age children to environmental action. Bite-size chunks of text, a multitude of photographs, and occasional full-color illustrations lay out the imperatives of clean air, fresh water, and healthy soil for all life on Earth. An overview of how the development of farming and then industry have led to climate change sets the stage for discussion of how intertwined human rights and climate justice have become. The author explains how courts, laws, and provisions in national constitutions have been used to deter further threats to nature, and, by extension, to humankind. Inspiring case studies of citizen action, frequently led by young people, demonstrate a variety of approaches to environmental activism.
VERDICT Richly supported with stories and “You Be the Judge” sidebars that illustrate the challenging choices in fighting for environmental rights, this thought-provoking book offers a solid foundation for further exploration of the topic.

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