Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open
Paul Fleischman
ISBN 9780763671020
Candlewick, 2014.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: citizen-scientists critical-thinking eyes-wide-open fossil-fuels paul-fleischman technology

Eyes Wide Open
by Paul Fleischman

Eschewing the role of authority, in Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman (Joyful Noise) acts as a companion to teens in their quest to acquire the facts and arrive at their own convictions.

"History is happening right here and right now," he writes, giving examples of the things teens have never lived without, and the tradeoffs that come with them. He explores technology and the fossil fuels that power them, as well as farming and agriculture, and how decisions about the use of finite resources make an impact on teens' lives.

"I'm no trained scientist," Fleischman writes, but as a citizen scientist, he aligns himself with readers. He encourages critical thinking by pointing out the power of advertisers and lobbyists and the idea that "convenience is addictive." Further reading within the narrative and copious source notes, including the gold seed--his "How to Weigh Information"--at the back of the book give readers plenty of fodder for their own investigations.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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