Our World Out of Balance: Understanding Climate Change and What We Can Do by Andrea Minoglio, illustrated by Laura Fanelli


Our World Out of Balance: Understanding Climate Change and What We Can Do by Andrea Minoglio, illustrated by Laura Fanelli. Blue Dot Kids Press, 9781735000534, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? This is an educational book about climate change with a positive tone! Topics include rising sea levels, shrinking forests, more and bigger cities, plastic, the air, the water, fire, trash, and more. Each topic has four pages of text and illustrations to explain briefly about the topic and why it is important. There is a “before” and “after” section with images and facts about how this topic impacts our world. (Sometimes “before” would be hundreds of years ago or a number of decades ago; sometimes “after” would be recent decades, years, or projections into the nearby future.) Each topic also has an explanation of the science behind the topic, often including diagrams. There were also two additional sidebars for each topic – one on “how you can help” and one on “how people are helping.” These two sections really turned the tone of the book around from what could be a sharing of awful news and projections. But instead readers can see ways scientists and world leaders are working to make the world better, as well as how they personally can make an impact, from eating less meat, buying products that don’t use phosphates, carpooling or walking/biking, and limiting single use items. The layout of the book and the many detailed illustrations and diagrams make the book very browseable, and the collage and multimedia illustrations complement the theme. A table of contents, glossary, and index will help readers find specific information, and a number of websites listed at the back will help readers learn and have a larger impact.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be great for upper elementary students studying science – either for classroom instruction or for browsing to learn more. Readers who enjoy nonfiction books about plants and animals would specifically like this book. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians, science teachers

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction (300s)

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: May 22, 2021

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