Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them.
We're living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking – suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world.
This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as molecules in the environment, science is joined with politics, history, and psychology to provide the briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century.
Extensive back matter, including a glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as numerous references to websites, provides further resources.
Paul Fleischman won a Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images. He is the author of numerous books, including picture books, young adult fiction, poetry, plays, and nonfiction. Paul Fleischman lives in Santa Cruz.
Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines 3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Imagine a world where the planet is slowly wearing away, falling apart. There are all kinds of natural disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis. The water is slowly creeping in to take over the land. Other places are missing water. The air is virtually unbreathable. It’s polluted and dirty and very unhealthy. You want to get away from it, but there’s nowhere to go. It is air. It is life. It is all around you. It is essential.
Now guess what. This is the world you’re living in.
Eyes Wide Open is written by a man named Paul Fleishman who starts off the book by saying he lives in a town in California that is so small that it doesn’t even merit a traffic light. Just a few years earlier, Fleishman didn’t know a whole lot about the stuff he talks about in his book. His curiosity started with a dead bee. Because of that, he walks you through Eyes Wide Open. He’s very careful about what you may or may not know, but it’s not dumbed down either. There’s a glossary in the back, too, for any words he’s underlined that you might not know. He gives you a good rundown of the topics he wants to cover, and then gives you the option of finding out more information in side notes with websites, book titles, and pictures. Eyes Wide Open is full of fun pictures!
As basic as Fleishman is in Eyes Wide Open, it seems to me he didn’t just talk about the earth and the environment, trying to guilt you into caring more and doing something, like you might think, or maybe like other things you’ve read. It’s obvious he wants you to do something, and that something is to be aware. He’s trying to literally open your eyes. And not just about the environment, but everything-the food you eat, the world you live in, the information you’re told. A lot of things in this world are deceiving.
Eyes Wide Open seems like the perfect book for someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about the environment. I thought it was pleasantly ironic that I heard about solar roadways while I was reading this book. Solar roadways sound amazing. I hope Paul would approve. I liked how the book didn’t just focus on America and what we can and are doing, but it focused on parts of the world you might not know too much about like India and China. We’re all tied. Everything you do affects someone else, whether it be environmentally or otherwise. Keep your eyes open and see.
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