Save the People!: Halting Human Extinction

Little, Brown. May 2022. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780759553941.
Gr 6 Up–McAnulty doesn’t hold back in this grim but entertaining book that documents a variety of ways that homo sapiens might become the next extinct species. The author addresses readers directly, recognizing fears and acknowledging that this text may not be for the faint of heart. In a casual and humorous tone, she moves from the history of the earth through historic mass extinctions, onto current potential threats to humanity. She emphasizes that the earth itself will likely survive while humans, a mere speck in the planet’s history, may not. A final section addresses what is happening today, finally coming to the topic of climate change and how our choices will inevitably make us the “heroes or villains” of our story. The book has a narrative feel and is interspersed with a few black-and-white illustrations. Though it has substantial back matter and an index, it is best read from start to finish rather than used as a reference text. The content is thoroughly researched and presented accurately, clearly, and with humor. McAnulty also addresses philosophical queries, such as humankind’s responsibility to each other and to the non-human animals on earth. She makes clear that science is to be trusted and climate change is real, debunking some misunderstandings and falsehoods on the topic.
VERDICT A casual but damning account of the future of our species, bound to turn many youngsters into climate activists. While this book won’t appeal to all readers, particularly those with anxiety, it is an essential purchase for nonfiction collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing