What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

Recently Viewed

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 7 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<July 2017>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: pollution, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 16 of 16
1. On the finiteness of the atmosphere

I guess the funniest thing I ever saw was a person driving down the highway in a Toyota Prius smoking a cigarette with the windows closed. It was like they were telling me, “I respect your atmosphere but not mine.” That got me thinking, does human generated, gaseous, atmospheric pollution actually make up a significant part of the total atmosphere, and can it possibly affect it?

The post On the finiteness of the atmosphere appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on On the finiteness of the atmosphere as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. ऑड ईवन दिल्ली और मेरे मन की बात

Odd Even Delhi aur mann ki baat ऑड ईवन दिल्ली और मेरे मन की बात Odd Even Delhi aur mann ki baat बधाई अरविंद केजरीवाल जी… !! ऑड ईवन की सबसे ईवन बात … अब दिल्ली सबसे प्रदूषित शहर नही रही और सबसे ऑड बात यह कि मीडिया ने इस खबर को कोई प्रमुखता नही […]

The post ऑड ईवन दिल्ली और मेरे मन की बात appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
3. Show me the bodies: A monumental public policy failure

In the 21st century, “show-me-the-bodies” seems a cruel and outdated foundation for public policy. Yet history is littered with examples—like tobacco and asbestos—where only after the death toll mounts is the price of inaction finally understood to exceed that of action.

The post Show me the bodies: A monumental public policy failure appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Show me the bodies: A monumental public policy failure as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. In the Limelight with Middle Grade Author: C. S. Ulyate…

I want to thank and welcome magnificent middle grade author, C.S. Ulyate for sharing his personal writing journey with us on my blog today. C.S.’s book Seasons is the first book of a series and can be purchased from Amazon, and other on-line bookstores. Bonus: Stay tuned for a chance to win an ecopy of Seasons at the end of this post. So let’s get this interview started…

How long have you been writing, C.S.?

I’ve been writing for about 8 years now and will continue to write every day.

Now that’s dedication! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Seasons?

The idea for Seasons came from an environmental awareness project that I worked on in 2010. I fell in love with drawing and writing about a list of villains that represent different forms of pollution. Add a bit of wacky costumes, inspiration from video games, and give the villains’ world breaking superpowers and you got Mother’s Nature’s true nightmares.

What sets Seasons apart from other books/series in the same genre?
Miss Plastic

The thing about Seasons is I wrote it in mind for ADHD non-reader and female audience. I understand that finding the perfect book to read can be a bit of challenge for kids. The plots can be slow and drag on until finally something starts, but by that time the readers have already lost interest. I throw my readers into constant conflict and mystery, and make it as unexpected as it can be. I write the book like a video game; I’ll keep my characters moving to new locations, send them into the sewers, burning forests, and where ever a battle with Pollution takes place.

In the middle grade genre, I always hear about super powered boys getting to go on an awesome battle adventure full of dangerous monsters and evil forces. That’s why I have Winter take the main role with her brother Fall right behind her. Winter’s independent, she’s wants to rescue her sister and is willing to start a war over it. She may have a love interest, but her end game isn’t to fall in love with the boy, but solve the mystery of Mother Nature’s disappearance. Her ice abilities will become stronger as the series progresses to the point where she may be able to create the next Ice Age.

The world certainly needs authors like you to bring awareness to what’s happening to the Earth. As a middle grade/young adult author, what is your writing process?

Mr. Oil
My writing process involves listening to tons and tons of music from Pandora. Music brings me into the writing vibe and motivates me to come up with some awesome scenes. I’ll research the pollutions that I’m going to cover and scientific topics like water or soil to develop an overall theme. I also create a small outline for each chapter. I’ll plug in what characters I want and decide where I want them to be mentally by the end of the chapter.



How long did it take for you to start and finish Seasons?

Seasonstook me around four months to write and another four months for the editing process. I want to make sure my novel is as polished as it can be.

Wow, you’re certainly focused! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write in your genre, C.S.?

I’ve always wanted to answer this question! I would say have good judgment when you’re
Professor Voltage
researching about the writing world. There is tons of conflicting information out there that can lead you in the wrong direction. Be wise and keep researching until you’re certain. When being critiqued, don’t worry—some people will love your work and others may absolutely hate it. Know your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. When writing for the Middle Grade genre, it’s ok to be immature; it’s our business to be immature. Don’t be afraid of what you are, some of the best inspiration comes out from things we never expect.

Wonderful advice! I love your take on strengths and weaknesses. So, what’s next for C. S. Ulyate the author?

I’m currently working on book two for Seasons: Waves of Madness. As well preparing for the two new series I will be writing in the future. Curious what the series are? Don’t worry the main characters have already made cameos and introduced themselves in Seasons.
I also have a hint for any of my readers looking forward to book 2.

Be welcomed into the sea, but for those who seek Hy-Brasil will turn to madness.
Queen Noise

The Perfume Inhales

The Farmer Counts

The Toymaker Ticks

Intriguing! You’ve got me hooked. Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?

Pre-American colonization, way back before Columbus, the Native American world is so mysterious and filled with lost history. Traveling through that time would make up for an interesting adventure.

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Winter is starting to believe she might be going crazy. It seems like every other way she looks, she’ll see soup cans and plastic bags form into monsters to terrorize her. But when Winter discovers that she and her three siblings were born from Mother Nature, everything is about to change. Winter’s evil relatives have kidnapped her little sister Spring and are using Spring as bait to bring Winter to Yellowstone National Park. 

Now Winter and her other two siblings have five days to get Spring back. However, Winter must be strong if she ever wants to confront her evil relatives that control oil, plastic, tin, and their monstrous trash pets. She will need to learn to surf on rivers and master her ice-age ability, unravel the past for her Mother’s disappearance, and control the nightmare that makes her maple syrup for blood boil. Unknown to Winter, the true evil waits for her underneath the Park.

Buy Links:


Bio:


C.S. Ulyate (Cameron) grew up in California. As a kid, he could be found climbing mountains or kayaking in the ocean when he had free time from acting rehearsals. As an author, he loves writing about adventures that he never read as a kid. And he loves to break the rules. Who said wizard pirates can't ride mechanical dinosaurs? In the past, he has worked for several acting agencies and promoted environmental ad campaigns. 







a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on In the Limelight with Middle Grade Author: C. S. Ulyate… as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

9781447235910I have been meaning to ready Megan Abbott for ages. I’ve only heard good things, in particular her latest books, so thought I’d begin with her brand new novel. Abbott’s last few novels have all been set in the world of teenage girls, a world she has been exploring because ‘Noir suits a 13-year-old girl’s mind’

Not only is The Fever a fantastic noir crime novel but it is a great exploration of the secrets and lies of teenage life and the hysteria that can so easily get whipped up now in a world of social media, Google and 24 hour news.

One morning in class Deenie’s best friend Lise is struck down by what seems to be a seizure, she is later rushed to hospital and put on life support. Nobody knows what caused the seizure. When other girls are struck down with similar symptoms confusion quickly turns to hysteria as parents and authorities scramble for answers. Are the recent student vaccinations to blame? Or is it environmental? And what steps are authorities taking to protect other children?

Abbott tells the story from one family’s point of view alternating between Tom, a teacher at the school, his son Eli, who is the object of a lot of girls’ affections and younger daughter Deenie, whose best friend Lise is the first girl struck down with this mysterious ailment. Each point of view is almost a different world giving not only a different perspective to the story but a different emotional intensity and sense of urgency.

The secrets and lies of teenage lives coupled with the paranoid and hysterical nature of parenting in the 21st century make for a truly feverish and wickedly noir-ish read.

Add a Comment
6. Oil Companies Can’t Watch Themselves – And They Know It

By Benjamin Ross


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been plugged, but the fire on another oil platform recently is a disturbing reminder of the unfinished business that it leaves behind. The root cause of the disaster – an absence of outside supervision that allows profit-driven managers to set their own priorities – has yet to be remedied. As long as the oil companies are left free to pursue short-term cost savings at the expense of safety, new catastrophes are all but inevitable.

The vast scale of this summer’s spill offers no guarantee that there will be real change. Its oil slicks are far from being the first to afflict our coasts – floating oil first became a national scandal nearly a century ago. The issue has been a political football ever since, with the oil industry exercising its political muscle again and again to fend off outside oversight.

Remarkably, it’s not just environmentalist outsiders who have criticized the petroleum producers’ resistance to regulation. Since oil spills first became an issue, the industry’s own experts have told their employers that to prevent spills, the discretion of company management must be limited.  Controls work only when they are imposed from the outside.

The controversy first arose in the years after World War I, when floating oil became a national scandal. Fouled beaches and dead birds shut down ocean resorts, whose owners organized to seek relief. They were joined – so severe was the problem – by fire insurance companies, burdened by claims for burning docks.

As in the Gulf this summer, the search for causes brought finger-pointing. Oil companies blamed steamships and their practice of filling drained fuel tanks with seawater. The unfiltered ballast was dumped into harbors when it was time to reload. Shipowners pointed back at wastes from refineries.

After a fierce lobbying battle, the Oil Pollution Act of 1924 exempted the refineries. But as the price of this victory, the newly formed American Petroleum Institute promised that the industry would police itself.  An API technical committee quickly came up with a program to control the oil discharges. It designed devices to separate oil from ballast water and wrote a long manual on refinery waste. The committee recommended that the trade association send out inspectors with the power to compel compliance with these practices. But this idea was shot down by objections from member companies, and self-regulation became purely voluntary.

The New Deal put water pollution control back on the national agenda. The oil industry, advised by the API to “play poker rather than throwing down its cards in advance,” adopted a strategy of undeviating opposition to federal oversight. This effort was crowned with success in 1940 when a bill to regulate new sources of pollution, passed by the House, died in conference committee.

Peacetime concerns, the environment among them, returned with the end of World War II, and oil companies received another expert warning. The chair of the API’s committee on refinery wastes admonished the readers of National Petroleum News in 1946 against “the futility of adhering further to the policy of objection and obstruction.”

This message too went unheard. The industry continued to resist outside control, and a Republican congress gave them a sympathetic ear. The toothless Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 limited the federal role to research, training, and grants to local governments.

Laws were at last passed to put polluters under federal supervision in the 1970s, following a well blowout off Santa Barbara and other well-publicized ecological disasters. Statutes governing oil spills were further tightened after the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989.

But laws by themselves provide no guarantee of effective supervision.  The people who write and enfor

0 Comments on Oil Companies Can’t Watch Themselves – And They Know It as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. Devil’s in the details !

As we are busy blaming “BP” for messing up the Gulf of mexico I would suggest a solution for oil barriers along the beautiful beaches there and in fact all along our coastlines. First I will direct you to search floating “debris in the gulf of Mexico”.

There are enough objects floating there that if gathered and strung along the beaches could cover all the coastlines of our country I believe. It is floating so we would not have to buy new floating barriers, all we need is nets, which could be made from shredding more of the junk out in the ocean. “BP” didn’t put it there, it came from the cities along the waterways that feed into the gulf.

Though much of it is oil byproducts washed out from storm drains, a lot came from the “Beautiful” beaches and those “Valuable tourists” that are so afraid of getting a tar ball on their tootsies visited and left behind. They should come back and volunteer to help clean it if they really care!

I also propose instead of dredging sand that will destroy animal habitat we build berms of the garbage that came from those beaches in the first place. It may be ugly, to say the least, but it would do more for the fish and birds in the region that get trapped in it than any other thing I can think of, just cover it with a small portion of sand from the tourist beaches.

The wild life doesn’t want it and it’s only fare that the people that made it take it back and recycle it or something. They need to pay for every bit of the pollution just like “BP”, all of us who let that junk float out to sea should pay for it to be cleaned up!

If an honest look at what is in the ocean was taken “BP” would look like small potatoes or in this case oil  byproduct pollution.


0 Comments on Devil’s in the details ! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. 34. Can't Breathe

The haze from the eruption at Anatahan lingers over Saipan today (Monday). Yesterday, when I didn't yet know about the air quality problem, I thought I was getting the flu. Today, I just keep coughing, can't breathe, have a headache. There's an advisory for people with "respiratory illnesses" to stay indoors, and I thought it didn't apply to me. But either I have such an illness or the warning is too limited in scope.

It doesn't help to drive around because the emissions from jalopies and tour buses and trucks go unchecked. Today, it seems that every other vehicle is spewing smoke and oil. This unregulated pollution isn't good for our environment. It isn't good for our "tourist industry." And it certainly isn't good for my health.

So it's not a good day in paradise, and I'm finished kvetching for now.

3 Comments on 34. Can't Breathe, last added: 2/26/2007
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. From “Nuclear Winter” to “Carbon Summer”

zimmer.jpg

When Al Gore received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to raise awareness about man-made climate change, his acceptance speech featured a new word, or rather a new sense of an old word, that Oxford lexicographers have been watching closely: carbon, in the sense of “carbon dioxide or other gaseous carbon compounds released into the atmosphere.” As I wrote back in July, this extended sense of carbon can be found in all sorts of novel lexical compounds: carbon-neutral (2006 New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year), carbon footprint, carbon tax, carbon trading, and so forth. In his speech, Gore introduced another compound into the mix: carbon summer.
(more…)

0 Comments on From “Nuclear Winter” to “Carbon Summer” as of 1/1/1990
Add a Comment
10. 70s modern stamps from Israel

Rare 70s modern stamps from Israel
Israeli environment stamps - 1975

Beautiful stamps addressing both noise and industrial pollution.
Be sure to check out this modern stamp from Israel as well.

, , , , , , ,

©2007 -Visit us at Grain Edit.com for more goodies.

Add a Comment
11. Booklist gives SMOGTOWN a Starred Review

The September 1 issue of Booklist offers a rave starred review of Smogtown: The Long-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly:

"Remember those great 1950s horror movies, when some superpowerful creature menaced a city while the citizens panicked, law enforcement officials bumbled, politicians pontificated, and plucky scientists worked at a fever pitch to find something, anything, to kill the monster? That’s pretty much the feel of this remarkably entertaining and informative chronicle of the birth and—so far—inexorable evolution of smog. On July 8, 1943, smog attacked Los Angeles without warning (well, not much warning). People didn’t know what to make of this gray mist that blanketed the city, and when it didn’t go away (or went away and then came back), the citizenry began to react in strange ways: there were rumors, for example, that this smelly cloud was some sort of chemical attack by the Japanese—less than a year after Pearl Harbor, this claim didn’t sound so silly. By 1947, when it looked like smog was here to stay, the governor of California created the country’s first smog agency. The following year, a documentary about smog was released in theaters, animated by some guy named Walt Disney, and a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter was writing investigative pieces about the stinky mist. Later, smog helped launch Ralph Nader’s crusading career, and today it’s a central theme in the environmentalism movement. This book is just amazing, a gripping story well told, with the requisite plucky scientists (including Arie Haagen-Smit, a Dutch biochemist who was “the Elvis of his field”), hapless politicians, and a nebulous biochemical villain who just will not be stopped."

0 Comments on Booklist gives SMOGTOWN a Starred Review as of 8/22/2008 10:58:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. SMOGTOWN: "A Zany and Provocative Cultural History" of Pollution in Los Angeles

Kirkus Reviews takes a look at Smogtown: "This colorful history of smog in Los Angeles begins in the 1940s and ends with a warning call for action. Self-proclaimed "survivors" of "L.A.'s greatest crisis, " journalist Jacobs and California Energy Circuit senior correspondent Kelly (draw on newspaper articles, scientific case studies, policy books andoral-history archives to dredge up the story of smog in all its hazy—andsometimes humorous—permutations. It all began on July 8, 1943, when a blinding, "confounding haze" spread around unsuspecting Angelenos, birthing a decades-long battle against a toxic, shape-shifting monster. The side effects were sinister and wide-reaching: increased car accidents andcancer rates, ruined crops, suicides and even smog-induced mental conditions, like "globus hystericus," the formation of an imaginary lump thataroused the need to swallow constantly. Most remarkable, note the authors, was the push to develop sprawling, car-dependent communities even while L.A.officials and scientists were trying to combat the deleterious effects of automobile emissions. Jacobs and Kelly cover many familiar events and figures,such as the Rodney King riots, the early work of Ralph Nader and the legacies of Gov. Jerry Brown and then-Gov. Ronald Reagan. Awareness increased in theearly '70s when doctors compared inhaling air on the most smog-ridden days as"tantamount to puffing a pack or two of cigarettes a day." By 1982 legislation was passed that required car smog checks every two years. In this tale of underhanded deals, gritty politics, community organizing and burgeoning environmentalism, the corruption is plentiful and the subplots replete with intrigue. . . The authors offer a zany and provocative cultural history."

0 Comments on SMOGTOWN: "A Zany and Provocative Cultural History" of Pollution in Los Angeles as of 10/7/2008 10:58:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Nissitissit Witch by Rosemary Chaulk


Reviews of Nissitissit Witch

A book you can't put down, one minute you are sitting on the edge of your seat then you fall off, rest and before you know it, you are still reading and its the next day. The characters are so real, and the eerie feeling . . . is so real. --Barbara

The mystery, history and the story of Sarah, which comes to life, you can actually see it play out before your eyes and (it) leaves you craving . . .more. –Cheryl Pillsbury



http://rosemarychaulk.blogspot.com/

Joining us today is author Rosemary Chaulk. Her debut novel, Nissitissit Witch was recently released from AuthorHouse. We’ll talk to Rosemary about the book, the history behind it, and current social tie-ins.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Rosemary. It’s great to have you with us!

Let’s get started by finding out a bit more about you. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Littleton, Mass which used to be a small farm town. We moved there from Waltham when I was in the third grade. At that time there was more cows than people.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I used to write when I was a teenager, later after college I was married with a family and had no free time or even the desire to write.
Three years ago I began to write again. Now I seem to be totally obsessed with writing.

And who is your greatest source of inspiration?
My greatest source of inspiration was my mother. Her life in some ways was a mess. She was a manic depressant alcoholic but never gave up and always got back up and tried again. When life knocks me down and I wonder if it is worth getting back I look to her example of never giving up no matter how dark it gets.

Tell us a little about Nissitissit Witch. Where did you find the inspiration for this story?
I was born under the sign of the bull, forever connected to the earth. I have spent my entire life working outside year round doing land survey. I have a deep respect and love for the land and at times in my career I was sickened and even despondent about the massive pollution that I saw. In the early seventies I worked in a survey crew doing topographic surveys along the banks of the Merrimack River in Lowell, Mass. The branches of the trees, which hung in the river, were covered with toilet papers and condoms; tampons swam by like perverted sperm on their way to the ocean to infect the source of life. I have carried these images my whole life.

In the town I live in was a village, North Village, and people to this day believe the village was cursed by a witch and died. A cursed piece of land right in the town I live in. But then I thought, “Can land be cursed or is it just the tortured souls who roam it who are cursed?

In this book I found a way to express my love for the land and make people aware of just how much we polluted North America once we took it from the Indians

When the settlers took the valley from the Indians they killed a tribe that had lived there for six thousand years. The settlers lust for the land was strong, it proved to be ironic that their lack of respect for this land was the very thing which killed them

Tell us about your main characters.
I based my fictional characters on actual newspaper articles. In doing the research I noticed that there were many mentions of people dying in an unusual way. Reading some of the research I found North Village to have a cobbler who made his own felt, in researching felt I found it to be made using mercurous oxide. The cobbler traveled the farms in the area selling his boots. There was also a velvet shop and in researching velvet I found that it has to be steamed and not ironed. Further research showed that all of the royal colors back then contained poisons and sometimes heavy metals, even the wallpaper back then was toxic and many infants died in their cribs. It is even rumored that Napolian’s insanity was caused by his love of green wallpaper, which was the most toxic. When I researched heavy metal poisoning research showed that people died raving lunatics, certainly that would be an unusual way.

Why will readers relate to them?
The story is very contemporary in the fact that we are still polluting our word, we still have bigotry and small mindedness and people are given derogatory labeled because we do not understand them.

What will they like about them?
My characters come alive and the reader will enjoy being with my characters as much as I enjoyed being with them when I wrote the book.

Is there anything they will dislike?
Everyone has detested the Norwegian and several people urged me to take him out of the book but he was a real character in the village.

The 1800’s was a time of great growth for America. The West was settled; railroad towns popped up across the land as the U.S. Government sought to connect the east and west coasts; and inventions like gas lighting, the telegraph, and the grain elevator made life better and easier for people living in the 19th century. How did progress affect the characters of your novel?
The industrial was one of the causes of the death of North Village. None of the small mill villages in this area survived the industrial revolution. All the large businesses moved to the large cities abandoning waterpower for steam.

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was a popular CBS TV show in the 1990’s. Set in the mid-1800’s it might have been the first show to showcase the mistreatment of the Indians and the crimes against the land that took place in favor of progress. Have you ever seen the show?
Yes I used to watch the show all the time.

And if so, do you feel there are parallels between Dr. Quinn and Nissitissit Witch?
Dr Quinn had trouble being accepted as a doctor because she was a woman. My main character is very intelligent like Dr. Quinn but she is a Quaker in a town that was Puritan in a backwoods village. Worse than Dr. Quinn my main character is persecuted and murdered because she is different.

Are there contemporary themes or struggles running through your novel?
When the settlers took the valley from the Indians they killed a tribe that had lived there for six thousand years. The settler’s lust for the land was strong; it proved to be ironic that their lack of respect for this land was the very thing, which killed them. This type of blind lust still exits today


Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and Nissitissit Witch?
The book and more information on the book is available at my website
http://www.rosemarychaulk.com/

I have two videos on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNHobuS_yE

And http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGSTiqs7gGQ

What is up next for you?
I am working on a science fiction story J1TIs there anything else you would like to add?
The book is entertaining and educational and is a must read if you love the environment.

Thanks for joining us today, Rosemary. I wish you great success!

10 Comments on Nissitissit Witch by Rosemary Chaulk, last added: 11/21/2008
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. SMOGTOWN Named One of the Top Ten Books on the Environment by Booklist

Booklist, the book review arm of the American Library Association, has announced the ten best books on the environment this year and Smogtown, by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly, has made the list: "A fun book about smog? Jacobs and Kelly capture the aura of 1950s sci-fi movies in this lively history of Los Angeles’ monstrous smog." Smogtown was also recently featured in Capitol Weekly magazine. For all the latest news on this fascinating history of pollution in Los Angeles, check out the Smogtown blog.

0 Comments on SMOGTOWN Named One of the Top Ten Books on the Environment by Booklist as of 2/13/2009 2:14:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. Pollution


3D style experiment.

More at Sevensheaven.nl

Join me at Twitter [I mainly write in the Dutch language]

0 Comments on Pollution as of 6/15/2009 5:23:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Doing Moral Outrage


When I was young and dreamt of being a children’s writer, I never imagined it would take me to China but that’s where I have recently been, invited by the British Schools of Beijing and Guangzhou to do my author/drama practitioner stuff for 3.5 days. Of course, by the time I’d added a couple of days sight-seeing in both Beijing and Hong Kong plus my time in transit, the whole trip took 11 days and I doubt if I’ll have made much profit but I have had an amazing, mind-expanding trip, moments of which I’ll never forget (especially three of us crammed into a motorised rick-shaw built for two, being driven down three lanes of heavy traffic in the Beijing rush-hour. Or my encounter with a taxi driver who, quite typically in Beijing taxi drivers doesn’t know where anywhere is but isn’t going to lose face by admitting it!)
This, however, is not the place for a travel blog. What of all of this, is relevant to children’s writing? Well....possibly the books I read. Late at night and on journeys, there was the luxury of time to read. On the flight out, I sweated my way through ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Very gripping. I would like to write gripping books for children, but without making readers nauseous with terror, without depicting scenes of violence degrading to women, without having a mind which pictures these things. I see from the sequel sample that the opening chapter is more of the same. Thanks but I think I’ve got the message!
With some relief I turned ot ‘The Roar’, the summer choice of my children’s book group by newcomer Emma Clayton. I enjoyed it. I had issues with the structure and the ending, all too frustratingly set up for what I expect will be a trilogy, but there was much to admire, not least the terrifyingly convincing picture of another world where the rich have quite literally built on top of the poor, condemning them to a life in the dreadful ‘Shadows’, a subterranean world of mould and darkness and squalor.
And then there was Leslie Wilson’s ‘Saving Rafael’, a refreshing spin on the holocaust novel – which I dropped in the bath! Really sorry, Leslie, but at least I was so gripped that I carried on reading and kept it in a plastic bag!
What connects there 3 books? Well...moral outrage, I think. It’s there in all of them. Steig Larsson, though I question his methods, is quietly ranting about violence against women and fraud, the strong terrorising those they perceive as weak. Emma Clayton is outraged by what we are doing to our world, both physically and socially. And Leslie, of course, is outraged by the holocaust – by our inhumanity.
We bloggers are all creators of story. We are all entertainers. But so many of us are also something else. Reflectors. Commentators. Prophets. Preachers. Voices crying in the wilderness?
So what, as I turn to story making again, be it on page or stage, should I be writing about? I could do moral outrage a-plenty after this trip. I have been treated with the utmost respect and courtesy throughout my stay in China – but supposing I had been a Chinese writer during the cultural revolution? Hmm. And Chairman Mao is still hugely honoured as a great hero by the ordinary Chinese. In Hong Kong I found a market full of stunning tropical fish, hung up in plastic bags, terrapins and turtles in tiny crates and puppies for sale in Perspex boxes measuring about 60cm beneath little dog jackets bearing the words. ‘We love all pets.’ Not far away, another market sold caged birds by the hundred.
A couple of weeks before I left, I stopped a child from kicking a plastic water bottle around during our break at Youth Theatre.

0 Comments on Doing Moral Outrage as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment