The Everywhere Atom by Christine Shearer & Kaz Clarke

subtitled A Journey Through The Carbon Cycle And Climate Change.

Honestly, with a title like that, you wouldn’t think that the contents would be as engrossing as they are, but this is genuinely one of the best science books for kids I’ve ever read. Heck, it explained things I hadn’t even known, and I consider myself reasonably well-informed when it comes to climate science, geology and organic chemistry.

The Everywhere Atom of the title is carbon. With accessible, clear language; cute illustrations, and hilarious asides, author Christine Shearer and illustrator Kaz Clarke brilliantly explain what the carbon cycle is and how it affects climate change, taking the reader from prehistory all the way up to the present. The book also talks about carbon-free alternatives to the fossil fuel consumption that is currently warming up the planet to disastrous effect, as well as what steps kids can take to help enact change in their own communities and, eventually, the world.

The book is capped in the end with a rather dry, if concise and scientific, recap of the issues presented. It’s the kind of thing you’d read in a textbook, and only serves to underscore how engaging the rest of the book has been, with its colorful, anthropomorphizing illustrations and copious butt jokes. While its target audience is aged 5-9, I feel that this is an informative, entertaining read for an even greater age range. I also feel it would be effectively persuasive for people who don’t already believe in climate change, due to its solid scientific basis.

Honestly, this is a terrific addition to any scientific library, but especially for children and anyone who appreciates a good fart joke. Unafraid to mix the highbrow with low, this book makes the science of climate change accessible to everyone.

The Everywhere Atom: A Journey Through The Carbon Cycle And Climate Change by Christine Shearer & Kaz Clarke was published March 5 2024 by Haymarket Books and is available from all good booksellers, including

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