As a new, reoccurring feature on the Sustainability Roundtable blog, we will be posting reviews of books related to sustainability. Enjoy our first review, written by Kacper Jarecki, below! Interested in submitting your own review to the blog? Contact August at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
By Greta Thunberg
Review by Kacper Jarecki
I like to pet-sit since I enjoy making new animal friends. Over the holidays I was pet-sitting 2 cats in someone’s home. It was here that I saw Greta Thunberg’s book for the first time. The book is small – 106 pages, so it’s easy to pick up and start reading.
Greta’s personal story is very inspiring. She was born in 2003 and from a young age took a stand based on her belief of what is right. She has Asperger Syndrome. Now she is famous world-wide, even getting a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. She started getting attention in 2018, refusing to go to school at 15 years old to instead strike in front of Parliament in Sweden, her home country, holding up a sign to protest a lack of action on climate change. Since then, she’s given speeches world-wide – in the UK, Poland, Germany, France, USA, and more.
Greta’s speeches are collected here. Her style is very conversational and hard-hitting, for example, making a metaphor for global warming that “our house is on fire” (p.17) and “I want you to panic” (p.22). She also includes pertinent facts, many of which I didn’t even realize, such as that scientists estimate that 200 species go extinct every day (p.7). Greta is definitely capable of giving memorable quotes and keeping the reader’s attention engaged.
Besides being a primer on climate change, Greta also discusses overcoming hardships, such as her parents’ refusal to support her, to having Aspergers, to getting bullied on Facebook, not to mention the dire future she may inherit from the catastrophic effects of climate change. She writes “hope is something you have to earn” (p.38). Reading this book is a great motivation to go out and stand up for what you believe in.
Greta’s book is a great addition to any library. The book at full price is only $10, so any library with budget limitations can still easily obtain a copy. It appeals to a large audience from older kids to adults, and I can tell you from personal experience that cats will enjoy sleeping on the book while you are reading it.
Book Discussion Questions:
- Greta writes “Asperger is not a disease, it’s a gift” (p.28). What makes you unique and how do you use your gift to make the world a better place?
- “What do we want the future living conditions for all species to be like?” (p.54). Describe what a perfect future would look like from your perspective.
- One of Greta’s speeches is titled, “Can You Hear Me?” (p. 55). If you could say one thing to everyone in the world, what would you say?
- Greta expressed anger at the previous generation for not doing enough to combat climate change and leaving a mess for future generations. When you were in your teens, what did you rebel against? Would the teen version of you approve of your current self?
- Which speech of Greta’s is your favorite? Do you have any favorite quotes?