Cover image for Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines
Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines
Fleischman, Paul, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
203 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"We're living in an aha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never seen before. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking - suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world. This book explains it. Using politics, psychology, and history for attitude, Eyes Wide Open shows how to see the principles driving events and attitudes, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Here's the briefing you need to comprehend the twenty-first century"--Page [4] of cover.
Noticing. Optical illusions ; The essentials ; My town/your town -- Perception. Vested interests ; Common sense ; Out of sight ; In the now ; Backstory : The oil embargo -- Defense mechanisms. Denial ; Projection ; Regression -- Systems. Democracy ; Capitalism ; Backstory: Ozone -- Attitudes. Science to the rescue ; Never retreat ; No limits ; Losing control ; Backstory: Kyoto -- Eyes abroad and ahead. Conflict ; Chindia ; Fixes ; Coming soon.
Reading Level:
1080 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TD170.15 .F54 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TD170.15 .F54 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Environment

On Order



Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them.

We're living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking - suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world.

This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as molecules in the environment, science is joined with politics, history, and psychology to provide the briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century.

Extensive back matter, including a glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as numerous references to websites, provides further resources.

Author Notes

Paul Fleischman was born in Monterey, California on September 5, 1952. His father is fellow children's author, Sid Fleischman. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years, from 1970 to 1972. He dropped out to go on a cross-country train/bicycle trip and along the way took care of a 200-year-old house in New Hampshire. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977.

Fleischman has written over 25 books for children and young adults including award winners such as Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Newberry Medal in 1989; Graven Images, Newberry Honor; Bull Run, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; Breakout, Finalist for the National Book Award in 2003; Saturnalia, Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Honor. He has also garnered numerous awards and recognitions from the American Library Association, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and NCTE.

He founded the grammar watchdog groups ColonWatch and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to English.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This remarkable book offers young people the tools they need to become informed, responsible global citizens. While it opens with a tale of Fleischman finding dead bees in his driveway, the discussion quickly broadens to consider the application of critical thinking skills to environmental issues. Rather than advising readers to take specific actions, Fleischman tells them how to evaluate information on topics such as climate change and encourages them to take action by charting a course that seems reasonable. He also discusses techniques to sway public opinion, such as sowing doubt, discrediting scientific studies, and hiding corporate funding of organizations promoting, for example, fossil fuels. The cascade of facts, observations, informed commentary, and sage advice may occasionally overwhelm. On the whole, though, thoughtful readers will appreciate this insightful, refreshing title's broad scope, use of specific examples, and the many references to related books, documentaries, and online articles, lectures, and interviews. The appended How to Weigh Information section is particularly excellent. A Newbery Medal-winning writer, Fleischman notes that he is no trained scientist, but his exceptional ability to organize the information here and present it articulately makes him a notable citizen scientist.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. History is happening right here and right now, writes Newbery Medalist Fleischman in this challenging and provocative overview of current environmental and sociological problems, which urges readers to think critically and broadly about the world. Throughout, Fleischman gives readers a toolbox of deciphering skills with which to recognize-for starters-the vested interests that guide decisions made by those in power, media and PR distortions, and both real and shadow solutions. Photographs, sidebars, and an array of suggested resources bolster the hard truths outlined (Solving the environment requires looking straight at reality and calculating the costs of our lifestyle and options). Few readers will look at the world the same way after finishing this book. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Written in a lively style, lavishly illustrated, and timely in its subject matter, this well-researched book is a call to action: now is the time to save our environment. The author describes his technique as getting altitude, or getting above the problem, to see the big picture. Rather than simply offering a list of simple things kids can do to help the environment, he offers more complex solutions for becoming aware of the issues, such as noticing that there is a problem, becoming aware of defense mechanisms preventing people from acting, and learning about systems like capitalism that allow environmental threats to continue. Each chapter, divided into nifty topic-highlighted paragraphs, is filled with historical facts and current events, sidebars, photographs, and definitions of key terms. Backstories, including the oil embargo, the ozone crisis, and the Kyoto Protocol, are presented along with a section on how to weigh information (evaluate the media, follow the money, and check for fallacies). The presentation of facts and the author's positive message are what shine here. An excellent and thought-provoking take on a well-worn subject.-Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community College, Mt. Carmel (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Noticingp. 1
Optical Illusionsp. 2
The Essentialp. 8
My Town/Your Townp. 22
Perceptionp. 26
Vested Interestsp. 28
Common Sensep. 34
Out of Sightp. 40
In the Nowp. 46
Backstory: The Oil Embargop. 50
Defense Mechanismsp. 54
Denialp. 56
Projectionp. 64
Regressionp. 68
Systemsp. 72
Democracyp. 74
Capitalismp. 78
Backstory: Ozonep. 84
Attitudesp. 86
Science to the Rescuep. 88
Never Retreatp. 94
No Limitsp. 102
Losing Controlp. 108
Backstroy: Kyotop. 114
Eyes Abroad and Aheadp. 118
Conflictp. 120
Chindiap. 128
Fixesp. 136
Coming Soonp. 142
How to Weight Informationp. 154
Source Notesp. 158
Bibliographyp. 176
Suggested Resourcesp. 181
Glossaryp. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 190
Image Creditsp. 191
Indexp. 193