Monday, February 13, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Recycling

One of our circulation staff brought it to my attention that we had only one very outdated book on recycling. So I requested a selection from other libraries and I'm going to look through them today.

Recycling Step by Step by Jean M. Lundquist

This is an entry in Capstone's Step by Step series. It walks the reader through the basics of recycling and then what happens to four types of recyclables, plastic, metal, glass, and paper. We're shown how each one is sorted, crushed or melted, and reformed into something new. A little girl named Erica is pictured in most of the photographs and the book is loosely framed with her as the first step in recycling. The book includes additional resources

Verdict: Clear, plentiful photographs, and good basic information on the different ways materials are recycled. There's much more text in this volume than in Capstone's Pebble series, but it's still only available in a pricey library bound addition.

ISBN: 9781429660266; Published July 2011 by Capstone; Borrowed from the library

Recycling Earth's Resources by Barbara L. Webb

This book has large type and simple sentences, suitable for a beginning reader. It begins with an explanation of how people use earth's resources and the importance of recycling instead of throwing away so we don't use the resources too fast. The description of how things are recycled is very brief, but does include composting. There's a project to recycle paper and additional bibliographic resources. The glossary definition of resources is "natural things we can use" which bugged me as that's not the correct definition of the word resource, although it fits the context.

Verdict: This would be an acceptable choice if you need recycling books suitable for beginning readers to read on their own. It's available as a paperback, library bound, and bound by my vendor, which is about the cost of a trade hardcover.

ISBN: 9781615902996; Published August 2010 by Rourke; Borrowed from the library; Added to the library's wishlist

Remake it: Recycling projects from the stuff you usually scrap by Tiffany Threadgould

I have a couple recycling craft books, the best of which is Jane Bull's Make It, but I could always use another. There's a huge variety of projects, but I'm a little doubtful about the audience for this. Many of the projects - like making a bank out of an ice cream container or a play desk out of a cardboard box - are best for younger children. However, the directions are text-heavy and the illustrations small and sometimes difficult to follow. There's something for everyone here, but it would be best for teens and adults making things with or for smaller children. And, of course the one drawback with making recycled projects is you have to have the recyclables first!

Verdict: I've used some of Threadgould's projects before and they generally are best for adults or children with extensive adult supervision and help. If you already have a good selection of craft and recycled craft books and need more, this is a good additional purchase. It's only available in paperback, but Sterling's paperback bindings are usually decent.

ISBN: 9781402771941; Published March 2011 by Sterling; Borrowed from the library; Added to the library's wishlist

Green Matters: Making good choices about recycling and reuse by Stephanie Watson

This title would be useful both for students doing a research project and for those wanting to read about the topic. There's a basic introduction to how trash is collected and disposed of, including how landfills work, the importance of recycling, and various recycling programs. It ends with some of the arguments against recycling. Chapter 2 describes what items can be recycled and how they are sorted. Chapter 3 covers the history of recycling, various programs, and how recycling occurs around the world. Chapter 4 gives advice on how kids can be involved in recycling. The book has a glossary, further information, bibliography, and sources.

Verdict: This is a good choice if you're looking for an accessible book for middle grade and older students.

ISBN: 9781435853126; Published August 2009 by Rosen; Borrowed from the library

Hot Topics: Garbage and Recycling by Debra A. Miller

This title is directed towards older students, probably those doing a project or research paper. It's very text-heavy and deals with a variety of issues related to waste management. Issues with sending trash to developing countries, pros and cons of recycling, and more are included, as well as many additional resources.

Verdict: Unless you have a large number of middle school and high school students coming to the library for homework help (I don't) this is a purchase for a school library.

ISBN: 9781420501476; Published October 2009 by Lucent; Borrowed from the library

Can the earth survive? Waste and recycling challenges by Louise Silsbury

This easier book from Rosen talks about the growth of waste, both in the US and globally, as well as e-waste, pollution, sewage, and more. It covers how waste affects people's lives all over the world, ways it is broken down including landfills, and a variety of "sustainable solutions." There are lots of photographs, charts, graphs, and other documentation as well as further resources.

Verdict: This book is probably the best overall coverage of the topic. It includes a wide variety of solutions, pros and cons, and breaks down the complex issues of recycling and waste in a way that kids can understand. The layout does a good job of breaking up the text with lots of charts and other information. It's available in paperback as well as the expensive library bound edition. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781435853553; Published July 2009 by Rosen; Borrowed from the library; Added to the library's wishlist

Helping our planet: Waste and recycling by Sally Morgan

This book tries to make recycling simple for kids, focusing on a "what you can do" approach, but many of the recycling issues, like recycling e-waste and cars, are completely out of kids' control. The large size type makes the layout look confused and crowded.

Verdict: Tries to cover too much and oversimplifies. It's also only available as an expensive library bound edition. Not recommended.

ISBN: 9781842346082; Published January 2011 by Cherrytree; Borrowed from the library

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