An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming

 
Green teens may want fewer facts, more activism ideas.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Teens learn about the problems facing the world. Could be a good starting point for families looking to take action. They may have to look beyond this book to do so.

Positive messages

Encourages greener practices.

Positive role models

Parents can argue about whether or not Al Gore is a role model, but he has certainly brought environmental issues to the adult world -- and now does the same for teen readers.

Violence

A few disturbing images of Hurricane Katrina. Some dramatic text on the shape of the planet (such as "It's a spiraling cycle of destruction").

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book on global warming contains almost exactly the same information as the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. A few images -- like those from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -- are disturbing, but the really upsetting part for kids will be that they get 166 pages of dire scientific evidence followed by just one brief chapter (#15) of ways people can impact the earth for the better. Parents may want to tackle this important subject with tweens more carefully than how it's presented here -- perhaps referring to chapter 15 every two or three chapters. A related website provides additional tips and reading.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Al Gore offers evidence of global warming, calling it a "climate crisis" and detailing how it will affect the planet and its inhabitants.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you saw the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and were left feeling overwhelmed by what could be in store for our fragile planet and our fellow humans, now you can pass that feeling on to your kids. The content here is basically the same, generously illustrated with Gore's slides. What the publisher failed to grasp in the repurposing process was that kids need a different approach. You don't have to dumb the message down, but you don't have to spend all your time trying to convince them with graph after graph, either -- they're already much greener than the older generations.

Blink and you'll miss the brief mentions in Chapter 15 of alternative forms of power, fluorescent lightbulbs, green roofs, hybrid cars, and hydrogen fuel-cell buses. After that, a two-page spread (out of 190 total pages) encourages everyone to take action: Ride your bike, recycle, turn off lights, spread the word. Kids may find the book alarming and overwhelming -- and need proactive parents to present the content with a hopeful tone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about where they stand on this issue and their concerns for the planet. Does this book and its warnings worry you? If so, what's the best way to deal with your concerns?

  • The current youth generation is already very aware of envirmnemental issues. Does the activism section go far enough or would you have liked a wider variety of ideas? 

  • What can you start doing now to help the environment? Check out the activism tips from this website.

Book details

Author:Al Gore
Genre:Science
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Viking
Publication date:April 10, 2007
Number of pages:191
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Read aloud:11
Read alone:11

This review of An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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