The Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies
Grace ter Haar
9th February, 2010
An accessible, enjoyable book on climate change for the next generation of eco-warriors. Contributors include James Lovelock
Despite the dismal environmental outlook in the wake of Copenhagen, The Gaia Warriors presents a hopeful and constructive approach to dealing with Climate Change.
Aimed at children (aged nine or above), this book targets the future generation. With Nicola Davies, a renowned children's author, as the writer, and James Lovelock providing the afterword, it's an ideal combination of literary and environmental talent.
Split into three sections, the book has a coherent framework following the general structure of the history of climate change, the future of climate change and the afterword from the creator of Gaia theory himself.
The book is easy to read as it is aimed at a younger audience. Though some aspects of the book may seem patronising to an older demographic, it conveys the fundamentals of climate change in a way that all ages can understand.
The section 'A Short History of Treaties and Deals', for instance, would be helpful for anyone trying to figure out the ins and outs of the environmental debate.
The book is concise and varied in its approach: interviews with environmentally conscious people and organisations put into perspective what is being done, and Davies outlines the capacity of each concept for future integration.
Being aimed at the younger demographic, it suggests a number of organisations and events in which children and young adults can easily get involved with using case studies to emphasise the big impact little people can have.
The conversational tone makes the book accessible to all, and reading it enjoyable rather than a chore. It is easy to assimilate the information and by the end of a few pages you're likely to learn valuable insights to some key topics.
Humour is used cleverly and effectively, giving a light hearted touch to something that could otherwise be overwhelmingly daunting: 'if nothing ever changed we'd still be sitting in a cave chewing on old mammoth bones.'
Graphs, diagrams, photos and quotes are used to stimulate and engage with all types of children at all levels of interest and understanding.
Despite being aimed at children from the age of nine, I feel that the level of insight may be too complex for those at the bottom of this age range, and would be more appropriate for a slightly older demographic, perhaps young teens.
The afterword by James Lovelock seems rather gloomy and heavy-handed considering the age of the intended readers. That said, I believe it could also provide a critical introduction for children to a concept that is going to hold such a pivotal and relevant place in their adulthood.
The Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies (Walker Books)
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