Holly Fretwell's book has a clarity and logical simplicity without being simpleminded. I've been a science writer for a long time and I recommend that anyone who has kids 9-18 or who has contacts with kids this age try out the book on them. It's not a pirate or Star Wars thriller, but it's lively and it will spark some kids to challenge the conventional wisdom. It will also be a reliable relief to any science teacher looking for a solid non-partisan critique of current knowledge. It's a good demonstration that science is not the selective popular wisdom often found in newspapers and magazines and on television, but a process of learning.
A good example of the kind of clarity this book brings to the issue is that Fretwell acknowledges the conventional wisdom, or the alarmist view, and gives its data--such as a graph of the hockey stick spike in temperatures or of growing intensity of hurricanes. Readers say, exactly! So why isn't that convincing? Then she gives the wider context, the longer graph and readers see how the alarmists have misled people. It's good expose without being triumphal.
Finally kudos to Fretwell and/or the publisher on the format. It's easily readable, nicely illustrated, chapters the right length for short attention span kids, and nice "fun facts" in the margin--"we didn't leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones" and "In New Zealand, belches, farts, and other gaseous emissions from cattle and sheep are a greater source of greenhouse gas than cars."
This is a book by soneone who knows kids. It's got the kind of material that a lot of kids will quote or add after, "Did you know . . . "