Be The Change by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens (Macmillan)
This book should be compulsory reading in all schools – primary and secondary – and ought to be distributed among as many adult organisations as possible, too! Not only are the poems well written but they also carry an important, indeed essential, message – if we don’t all work together, we soon won’t have a planet. I love the footnotes which add meat to the bones of the poems by explicitly explaining what practical actions the reader can take to help save the world. The poems themselves succinctly sum up the effect humankind’s thoughtlessness is having on our ecosystem. The subject is deadly serious and can be extremely complicated, of course, but the poetry is simple and straightforward and enjoyable to read. Given the chance, children will latch on to this book as one that encapsulates their feelings about climate change; if it’s competently promoted (as a critic I sometimes wonder if publishers actually want to sell the books they produce), I predict it will become a big favourite.