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Book Review: Challenge Everything: An Extinction Rebellion Youth Guide to Saving the Planet by Blue Sandford

Amazon.com: Challenge Everything: An Extinction Rebellion Youth guide to  saving the planet eBook: Sandford, Blue: Kindle Store

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews which originally appeared in an issue of School Library Journal.

Pavilion. Oct. 2020. 144p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781843654643

Gr 8 Up–This passionate, informative guide to creating meaningful change tackles the myriad issues connected to climate change. Sandford, a British teen activist and the coordinator for Extinction Rebellion (XR) Youth London, implores readers to challenge big business, government, and themselves. She breaks down ways to take action and fight for a better future. The text details the how-tos of boycotts: what to consider boycotting, how to start or grow a movement, organizing publicity, justifying and defending actions, and utilizing petitions. The text also examines industries and items to boycott due to environmental impact (such as pollution, waste, emissions, and deforestation). Sandford details the power of voting, strikes, protest, nonviolent direct action, and visual outlets like street art and murals. Finally, focusing on challenging personal choices, she emphasizes that each choice a person makes directly contributes to climate change and destruction. Each of the main sections includes space to take notes, with prompts to help readers reflect on their thoughts, morals, and actions. Black-and-white graphics, slogans, and statements (including an unfortunate “Find Your Tribe” spread) break up the text and add to the overall DIY punk-zine aesthetic. The conversational and deeply impassioned approach clearly depicts Sandford’s beliefs, practices, and actions while showing readers how they can get involved.

VERDICT An educational, empowering, and persuasive call to action and meaningful change that will resonate with burgeoning activists.

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