I often have the opportunity to review books but rarely do I receive a book that not only piques my interest but also draws the eye of my 10 year-old son. Iglu by Jacob Sackin is one book that both my son and I enjoyed. Set in 2140, Sackin examines what may happen to Alaska’s Inupiaq tribe if most of the ice in Antarctica and Greenland melts.
The description on the back of the book reads:
“The rising sea has swallowed up most of the Inupiaq people’s native land and millions of Americans from the lower forty-eight are being relocated to Alaska due to the devastation from global warming. But when the Inupiaq people rise up to fight for the survival of their culture, the private army Skyhawk is brought in to subdue the growing insurgency and the Inupiaq rebels are labeled as terrorists. Separated from her family in the aftermath of the ensuing battle, fourteen-year-old April Ipalook desperately searches for a place of refuge amidst the war zone of northern Alaska.”
Climate change, terrorism, private armies and war don’t sound like the typical 10-year old book topics and they aren’t. Iglu is a book geared at young adults but after reading the book myself, and knowing my son’s intense desire to learn more about climate change, I decided to let him read the book.
Sackin takes a different approach to climate change, at least when I compare it to other books I’ve read on the topic. Iglu is a fiction novel but the scenario that plays out in the book is not beyond the realm of scientific possibility. I can definitely see teenagers, even those not interested in climate change in general, being drawn into the action-filled novel. I can also see young adults being spurred to action after reading April’s plight.
Author Jacob Sackin was asked how can young people influence the changes occurring with the climate?
“The best way for young people to influence climate change is through local conservation and education. If the world was doing everything that we could and we were still failing, then I would be pessimistic, but even in cities like Santa Cruz, CA, or Flagstaff, AZ, a huge majority of people are still not riding their bike to work, growing their own food or getting their energy from solar and wind power. So, there is a huge potential to use conservation to lower ones ecological footprint.”
I enjoyed the book and so did my son, Alexander, so I decided to ask my son a few questions about the book to include in my review.
MNN: What was your favorite part of IGLU?
Alexander Ownby: My favorite part of IGLU was when April had to hide on board a ship to try to sail to Saudi Arabia because her grandmother told her to meet her there.
Would you recommend the book to other 5th or 6th graders? Why?
A big yes because it is really good and helps kids think about climate change.
Are you concerned about climate change? What do you think kids can do to have a positive impact on global warming?
Yes, very. Kids can keep lights off throughout the day to try and help and plant trees in their yard to provide shade to cool off naturally.
Although my son would recommend the book to other 5th and 6th graders, I would caution parents of children his age to read the book first. It is a more mature subject matter and with it some slightly mature language. I was more than comfortable letting my son read it but as in all things parenting, what is considered okay in one family may be off limits in another.
Thank you to Jacob Sackin for writing a book geared at young adults that is not only exciting to read but also written in a way that should compel the reader to action.
Photo: Jacob Sackin