How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming
Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch
Dawn Publications (2008)
Reviewed by Maya Landers (age 10) for Reader Views (4/08)
“How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate,” by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch, was both interesting and informative. I didn’t know anything about Global Warming, or how scientists know about it, but this book explained it to me. It also told me ways that I could participate in helping scientists get more data, which I thought was fascinating. I didn’t know that there was anything that I could do to help. One of the ways that the book said that children could help was to record and chart when the first birds began to appear and when the first buds began to blossom.
The pictures were clear and sharp, and they featured extraordinary and beautiful views, as well of pictures of the some children who helped the scientists to collect their data. The type was large and easy-to-read. The book laid its facts out in a simple, easy-to-understand way that young children could understand, and there were definitions for most of the words, making everything even clearer still. While it could be for any age group, I thought that it was best suited for six-to-twelve-year-olds, although children and adults of any age would be able to understand and enjoy it.
The combination of pictures and information helped balance the book so that it was not too much like a textbook. Throughout the book, the authors show pictures and write articles about children who helped scientists collect data. In addition, readers learned facts about Global Warming and how scientists know about it. I thought that this was a very good balance between scientists and non-scientists, something that I do not find in many science books.
There are also photographs in the book that compare “now and then” — for instance, what the Athabasca Glacier looked like in 1917 compared to what it looked like in 2005. The difference was astounding! I wasn’t aware of the changes that Global Warming has provoked, and this book explained it to me. However, it wasn’t a discouraging book. It told the facts, and then told you what you could do to help, not dwelling unnecessarily on gloomy or dispiriting things.
I would recommend “How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate” to my friends because I thought that it did a good job separating fact from fiction, and also because it showed real-life situations where children were able to help scientists.