Challenge Everything by Blue Sandford

Challenge Everything – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Shows us a different way.
YA book title: Challenge Everything. The Extinction Rebellion Youth Guide to Saving the Planet.
Children’s author: Blue Sandford.
Genre: Young Adult nonfiction.
Published by: Pavilion Childrens
ISBN: 9781843654643
Recommended for children aged: 11-18.
First published: Paperback May 2020.
This YA book is ideal for: Inspiring Eco-aware teens to ask questions and take action responsibly.

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Our review:

The future is a fragile place. A tiny, unconsidered thing done now may have horrible consequences in the years to come. This was graphically shown in Ray Bradbury’s story A Sound of Thunder, where a time-tourist accidentally steps on a butterfly in the primeval forest of 65,000,000 years ago and returns to find everything changed for the worse.

But we are not doing tiny things. We are digging up and burning the substances which Nature, over aeons of time, carefully buried in order to make the atmosphere free of poison and cool enough for life to evolve. In a little over 300 years, an eye-blink, we have embarked on an unstoppable reversal.

And Nature is now hitting back. The waves are lapping at our puny defences. An invisible virus is throwing the world into chaos.

Blue Sandford’s startling book shows us a different way.

And for what ? So that a tiny number of individuals can make a little money. So that we drive our shiny new cars. So that we can fly farther away and gawp at stuff a little longer.

At my age I was in danger of beginning to think that the generations behind me would meekly accept the empty ‘values’ which the mad world we have allowed to develop feeds them.

Blue Sandford’s startling book shows us a different way. We can resist mindless consumption, the pointless waste and the political complacency which makes it all possible. She not only spells out how all this has happened but also provides the would-be activist with practical advice on how to engage the media and make the biggest impact.

Our verdict

When I was her age I joined thousands of other young people every Easter, protesting against nuclear weapons. I am immensely cheered and encouraged that the spirit of rebellion, the rejection of conventional platitudes and just the sheer anger at what is being done to the future they will have to cope with is still aflame in the hearts of the young now.

Many thanks to Pavilion Children’s books for the review copy.

If you like this book you might also like No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg, This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion, There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee, The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells and The Ecology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK.

Why not have a look at our books for KS3 or books for KS4

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About Laurence Inman

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Laurence is an actor, poet, short-story writer, playwright, screenwriter, cartoonist, public speaker, retired lecturer, and former English teacher. IMDb | Linkedin | Reviews by Laurence Inman