Saturday, April 07, 2007

Kids Edition of “An Inconvenient Truth” Being Released This Week

On April 10, 2007 a children’s edition of “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore will be released by Viking Juvenile in both paperback and hardcover formats. The publisher states this is written for children in grades 5-8.

John Peters of The Library Journal did a book review which is featured on Amazon. Here are a couple of sentences that I feel are good explanations of what to expect.

“…cuts the page count by about a third but preserves the original's cogent message and many of its striking visuals.”

“O'Connor rephrases Gore's arguments in briefer, simpler language without compromising their flow, plainly intending to disturb readers rather than frighten them.”

Note: The review references O’Connor but no one by that name is credited on Amazon as authoring the book and it is not on the cover. I am unsure and unable to verify if O’Connor was the writer who revised the book (sorry).

As of today there are no customer reviews of either format of this book on Amazon (since it was not yet published). I noted though that three times this book has been tagged as propaganda!

If you like this message and the book that Gore wrote for adults then you may be happy that this book was revised for children.

If you don’t like Gore’s message and don’t like the book then you may not be happy to know this is being published. I can imagine that what will happen is that this book will be recommended by teachers in public school as reading material or maybe even used as a required resource in some classrooms. It seems to me that global warming and saving the environment are two strong issues that are already taught in the public schools so that is why I suspect this. Some parents have voiced opinions that they feel that sometimes public schools push one agenda or have bias on certain topics taught and don't always provide a "fair and balanced" overview (which I think can be a problem with public schools or actually any kind of school for that matter). We homeschoolers also have our biases and I am sure that some homeschooling families are intentionally teaching their children their own biases and views and that to do so is considered a "pro" of homeschooling while anyone with an opposing view may think it is a "con" of homeschooling!

So if you don’t like the book it may bother you to suspect that the book may be used in public school classrooms. If you child attends public school then, they may be exposed to this book.

I don’t have an opinion on the adult version or the children’s version of the book as I have read neither. I have heard both praise and criticism for the adult version of the book. And I can’t review the books either as I have not read them. Lastly, I know very little about global warming and surely not enough to be able to read Gore’s books and be able to compare what he writes to facts or studies that have been published. Even if I were to read these books I’d have no basis for being able to compare and contrast information, to sort out what is opinion vs. fact, or to know what studies were considered “good” and which might be “problematic”. I fear that if I read this book and nothing else I may be exposing myself to biased information or that I’d be so ignorant on the topic that I might get so wrapped up in the emotion (the fear) and I’d probably believe every word he wrote without question (and that is not a good thing when one wants to read critically which is what should be done when writing a book review). I don’t want to just rely on what other tells me whether they are family or friends, I like to research a topic on my own, if I choose to study it, and then come to my own conclusions.

So if you want to buy this book you can pre-order it now from Amazon and get it at a discount. (Today the discount is at 32%.)

Paperback ISBN-10 0670062723

Hardcover ISBN-10 0670062715

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1 comment:

Jenny said...

My husband loved the adult version. I wish my girls were a little older. It would be great for them to share learn about this topic with their dad.