From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—This adaptation of Flannery's 2005 adult publication shows the results of meticulous research and superb grounding in scientific facts. It lays out, in great detail, the ways in which humans have changed our weather and the possible outcomes for us and our planet if we continue as we are going. Clearly labeled illustrations accompany difficult concepts and greatly aid in understanding the sometimes-complicated climate models. Each chapter ends with a "Call to Action" describing how humans can make relatively simple changes in our lifestyle to reduce our impact on the planet. Yet, despite the many great aspects of this book, one issue clearly reduces its usefulness. The research and issues surrounding global warming are changing at an incredible pace and the adaptation presented here, while doing some updates, is not sufficiently current. For example, Chapter 22 covers the Kyoto Protocol, which, though mightily relevant in 2005, is being eclipsed by the upcoming Copenhagen (December 2009) conference, where the United States is poised to play a much more involved role. The Copenhagen Climate Conference is not mentioned. Some of the research on animals (harp seals, for example) that are endangered does not update past 2005. Additionally, the sections entitled "Call to Action" are often aimed at adults rather than teens. Not many teens will be weatherproofing their homes, checking water heaters, or buying new appliances—just yet anyway—and this disconnect is jarring.—Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library, CA
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Adapted by award-winning science writer Walker, this youth edition of Flannery’s adult title, The Weather Makers (2005), speaks straight to “the generation who will act on global warming” about the realities of climate change and the devastating consequences if humans don’t alter their behavior to protect Earth’s atmosphere, its “great aerial ocean.” The language is both blander and more direct than in Flannery’s adult book: an opening section originally titled “Gaia’s Tools” has been changed to “Earth’s Carbon Cycle and You,” for example. What remains are the lucid explanations of science, illustrated with numerous examples, including many chosen specifically for this youth edition; and each chapter ends with suggested ways that young people can reduce the carbon emissions in their homes, schools, and communities. Unfortunately, the dull format, featuring grainy, dim, black-and-white photos and cramped charts and maps, isn’t a great advertisement for the eco-friendly printing process that produced this book; but the comprehensive coverage of issues and urgent call to action make this a must-have resource for both school and public libraries. Grades 7-12. --Gillian Engberg