Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

Listening Library. Sept. 2022. 539p. $45. ISBN 9780593626702.
Gr 4-8–The climate crisis has turned 12-year-old Haven into an alarming newspaper headline: “SEVENTH GRADER GRIPPED BY ECO-ANXIETY.” As embarrassed as she is, the article isn’t wrong—Haven’s worry over the environment has become personally debilitating. Her teacher offers gentle guidance by example: “I can’t fix the whole world, but I can have a local impact.” While single-handedly preventing glacial melt isn’t probable, Haven can help determine what’s polluting the town’s Belmont River—plus, nature is all connected! The most obvious change is the new glass factory that’s given Haven’s dad a much-needed job. Will fighting for the environment hurt her own family? Relative newbie Dudeja energetically, empathically embodies the rhythms of middle schoolers discussing school pizza, boring homework, new crushes, and—of course!—the fate of the entire planet.
VERDICT Dee shrinks overwhelming impossibility into manageable opportunity; Dudeja proves herself an ideally convincing ally.

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