Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman


Using expose-styled writing, Fleischman attempts to educated readers about myths, cover-ups, and deceptions in current environmental issues. Rather than simply giving young adults small projects they can do to help the environment, the author seeks to paint a bigger picture — one that will show young adult readers what the world will be like if real action isn’t taken. Fleishman fills his book with pictures, relevant examples, and call-out sections that help explain more complex terms and concepts. Though an important topic, the author sometimes comes across as heavy-handed, judgemental, and, because of the large of images, the pages appear cluttered. The piece would perhaps be more effective if presented in sections rather than as a whole.

While I thought the information in this book was important, I didn’t appreciate the author’s tone. Though he attempts to enlighten the reader about persuasive tactics and fallacies used by companies to trick the public, he neglects to mention that he’s using fear-mongering himself. I’m not saying the author is telling any lies or trying to trick you — environmentalism is definitely something that more people should be paying attention to. But the author tries to tackle too much in this piece, making the problem seem insurmountable. Additionally, he often talks down to the reader or makes generalizations about the way people feel. I didn’t appreciate it. Pick this one up if you’re interested in environmentalism or persuasive techniques, but try to ignore the author’s tone.

*Rating: 3/5

*School Library Journal, Best Books of 2014

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.


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