Wilson, Janet. Severn and the Day She Silenced the World. Book Review.

Click here to buy Severn and the Day She Silenced the World
Severn is the daughter of David Suzuki and a dedicated environmentalist in her own right. This book tells about her role as a grade school child in ECO. With the help of her friends, Severn raised enough money to buy a water purifier for a village in the Amazon. Through this experience, and other experiences with her parents, she realized that humanity’s behavior has sent the environment into a deathly spiral. The ECO (Environmental Children’s Organization )decided that in order to make the biggest impact, they needed to address the world leaders at the 1992 Earth Summit. Severn and her friends made many speeches and spoke to important leaders but the epitome of the event was when she received a standing ovation for explaining how the decisions of leaders are impacting negatively on their children and grandchildren.

In subsequent years, we may be tempted to say the speech had no effect. Earth, humanity, and every species on the planet are in grave danger of extinction due to human behavior. Every year we become closer and closer to the point of no return, and many scientists say we have already reached it. Severn and the Day She Silenced the World does not gloss over this. The book is heartbreaking. However, it is also hopeful. The girls’ work continues in a variety of ways as adults.

The amazing thing about this nonfiction book is that it shows how determination, commitment, and hard work can produce amazing results, even for very young children. This would be a wonderful book to share with your middle grade child and is sure to promote discussion and action. The style is approachable for young readers. The book includes photographs, newspaper clippings, drawings, and inspirational quotes. It has a helpful glossary and useful links.

In an age when we are trying to inspire girls to pursue careers in science, reading this book is an empowering experience. It clearly states the major reasons for the destruction of our environment and how a dramatic shift in attitude is necessary to save it.

This book is part of a series, A Kids’ Power Book. If they are all of this quality, they would be wonderful purchases for girls from grade 4 to 10.

I was given a copy of this book for review.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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