cover image Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

Barbara Dee. Aladdin, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8983-7

For sensitive seventh grader Haven, “things counted only when I knew how they added up, or how they ended.” So when her science teacher shows the class a video detailing the impact of climate change on Antarctic glaciers, Haven can’t stop thinking about the global crisis; gripped by nightmares and eco-anxiety, she becomes desperate to help. Drawing inspiration from a Martin Luther King Jr. quote about doing “small things in a great way,” Haven advocates an investigation of changes to the town river, which a school science project reveals is newly acidic. As Haven wrestles with big issues, she also struggles with the social challenges of middle school, including changing friendships. A new company in town, which employs Haven’s father and has recently revitalized the community, contributes nuance to a plot about environmental and social ethics. Though Dee (Violets Are Blue) offers no easy answers about how an individual can make a significant impact, Haven’s endeavors are earnestly wrought, and her compassionate heart and interpersonal conflicts balance the book’s environmental thrust. Ages 9–13. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Sept.)