Book Review: How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate/Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming
By Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch 2008
In a unique partnership, photojournalist Gary Braasch, and children’s author Lynne Cherry have teamed up to fill a gap in the myriad of books coming out about global warming. This book focuses on students as a vital part of the research teams assisting scientists in documenting the changes in our environment. The book is a pleasure to read with all its beautiful pictures and clearly explained concepts.
The first section of the book is about where clues about climate change are found. Students are featured gathering data about migrating birds and butterflies, the changing of the seasons, water quality and flow, tree growth, plant diversity and range, and frog populations. Clues are explained such as tree rings, levels of carbon dioxide, changes in penguin and polar bear habitats, melting glaciers, rising ocean levels, and information gathered from mud and ice samples.
In the second section, the focus is on the interconnectivity of all life. Hypotheses are presented with graphs and other visuals to explain some of the effects we are already seeing and those thought to be on the way. Throughout the book, kids are introduced to the scientists doing the research.
The third section is about what kids and scientists can do together to both gather data and mitigate the effects of global warming. Projects are featured along with their teachers and students. Concrete suggestions are presented on how to reduce your carbon “footprint” or impact on the environment. The power of one voice is shown with political action and environmental advocacy. The book is one of hope about such a serious topic.
The resource section contains internet sites and books for further reading for the topics presented. A teacher’s guide is available for order.
The book is geared towards 5th – 8th graders and the authors are writing a grant to try to get the book distributed to science teachers in those grades.
Teachers wishing to collaborate may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.