Two Degrees: A Planet in crisis. And time is running out.
Alan Gratz, Author
Scholastic Books, Fiction, Oct. 4, 2022
Suitable for ages: 8-12
Themes: Climate change, Global warming, Survival, Adventure, Science and nature
Fire. Ice. Flood. Three climate disasters.
Four kids fighting for their lives.
Akira is riding her horse in the California woods when a wildfire sparks–and grows scarily fast. How can she make it to safety when there are flames everywhere?
Owen and his best friend, George, are used to seeing polar bears on the snowy Canadian tundra. But when one bear gets way too close for comfort, do the boys have any chance of surviving?
Natalie hunkers down at home as a massive hurricane barrels toward Miami. When the floodwaters crash into her house, Natalie is dragged out into the storm–with nowhere to hide.
Akira, Owen, George, and Natalie are all swept up in the devastating effects of climate change. They are also connected in ways that will shock them–and could alter their destinies forever.
Bestselling author Alan Gratz is at the top of his game, shining a light on our increasingly urgent climate crisis while spinning an action-packed story that will keep readers hooked–and inspire them to take action.
What’s to like about Two Degrees:
I am an Alan Gratz fan and I feel he’s outdone himself with Two Degrees. It is a brilliant action-packed novel about the most important topic of this century — our rapidly changing climate. It is a breathtaking read, but it will also have readers holding their breaths as they encounter many suspenseful moments and wonder what will happen next. I felt a lot of energy in this novel that I am hopeful will energize readers to do something.
This is storytelling at its finest. It is a necessary story with a harrowing and fast-paced plot that will keep readers engaged. Just look at that gorgeous and engaging cover. It speaks to readers.
Gratz did a remarkable amount of research in his thoughtfully penned novel. Although he focused his story in North America, he also addresses climate change worldwide. That’s why there are moments that are truly chilling as readers watch Akira, Natalie, Owen and George in survival mode outsmarting fires, rising waters and polar bears. Make sure you check out his author’s note at the end and learn about how he created each character.
The story is written in three alternating stories, each ending with a big cliff hangar, which adds to the suspense. The characters are authentic and their engrossing stories are drawn from real-life situations that are particularly relevant with the recent wildfires in the west and fury of Hurricane Ian. All four characters are courageous, determined and committed. And they are connected in ways they can hardly imagine in an over-the-top (crescendo) ending that will inspire and energize students to want to do something about climate change. As Natalie realizes in the story “we can’t do it alone, it will take all of us doing something.”
Gratz’s novel belongs in school libraries and would encourage interesting discussions in classrooms. Many readers will have already lived through wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts. Climate change can be scary and it is important that readers are in touch with their feelings. Next week I’m reviewing All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal with Climate Change by Leslie Davenport. It pairs beautifully with Two Degrees.
Alan Gratz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many highly acclaimed books for young readers include Ground Zero, Refugee, Allies, Projekt 1065, and Prisoner B-3087. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Look for him online at his website.
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*Reviewed from a purchased copy.