Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fleischman

Eyes Wide OpenLynn: Renowned author Paul Fleischman is a man on a mission. He wants teens to look beyond their own “internal movie,” beyond the dazzling technological changes in our world to the side effects and huge environmental problems we face. Using in-your-face, blunt language in Eyes Wide Open: Going Beyond the Environmental Headlines (2014), Fleischman sets about giving teens the tools to find the truth. This is not a book that lists 50 ways to save the planet. Instead, he outlines how teens can create their own lists: “Notice. Gather Information. Reflect. Refine. Act.”

While this is a book that will gladden the hearts of environmentalists everywhere, it is a book that will make teachers and librarians cheer even more loudly. This is a primer on how to observe, think, investigate, evaluate, and think again—something that should be the foundation of every educational system…(more)

Cindy: I gave this to an activist who recently graduated from college and he reported back very positively. He agreed with Lynn’s assessment that it would make a great primer for teens to understand the buzzwords and issues in the environmental news. He liked the call to get informed, do your research, consider the bias of the source, and take action.

Source notes, recommended reading/viewing lists, and bibliographies are important for informational books but I know few teens who spend much time in the back matter. If they even use the index I get excited. For this reason, I like Fleischman’s choice to include many prompts for further exploration in the mix with the text and photographs in each section…(more)

Check out our whole post about this book, including Common Core Connections, at our Bookends Blog post for Eyes Wide Open over at the newly designed Booklist Reader.