alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.22 No.49 | December 5 - 11, 2013 

Book Review

Breaking Green

Freaking Green by Laura F. Sanchez • CreateSpace • paperback • $11.99
Freaking Green by Laura F. Sanchez • CreateSpace • paperback • $11.99

In a culture still arguing about whether or not carbon emissions are destroying the planet, two young adult novels engage the debate about global warming and climate change. In Freaking Green, Laura F. Sanchez uses home space as a site for exploring these ideas with her beautifully crafted narrative. And in The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth, Scott Erickson uses humor and wit to detail one girl’s quest to get to the roots of environmental problems in order to save the whole planet.

Sanchez, a native New Mexican, situates her story in Albuquerque and conveys it through the teenage eyes of Jasmine. Eccentric, leftist-leaning Aunt Olivia shows up in the opening scene as a dead person in a shipping crate; the plot begins to thicken as a manila envelope containing the aunt’s will offers a challenge to the cash-strapped family. If the familial unit can cut their total carbon footprint by 80 percent over the course of the year, they will inherit Aunt Olivia’s millions. If not, her estate goes to Greenpeace.

The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth • Azaria Press • paperback • $14
The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth • Azaria Press • paperback • $14

Sanchez has done a marvelous job crafting the characters in this work, depicting the attitudes of each family member as they try to modify their behavior into a greener way of living. We witness the evolution of each quirky family member, as they move from downright anger, to extreme irritation, to a renewed sense of zen-like purpose of creating a greener lifestyle. Importantly, Sanchez provides the reader with real-life facts and statistics on carbon emissions produced by a typical family. This book teaches about climate change as much as it provides an entertaining read. Multiple references to real places in Albuquerque add another fun dimension to this novel for local readers.

Like Sanchez, Scott Erickson deals with global warming in The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth, although his take on the topic is considerably less optimistic. Erickson’s novel is more satirical; even the notion that anyone can save the world is really his tongue-in-cheek commentary on the current politics surrounding the contentious climate change debate. The novel begins with Amy’s decision to camp in a local Oregon wetland to halt its destruction by a development company. She successfully halts the destruction of the wildlife refuge, and gains national notoriety as a young activist. Encountering corporations and nasty politicians, Amy uses a youthful exuberance and keen intellect in her attempt to try and halt the process of global destruction.

Erickson’s work includes many teachable moments. His well-researched commentary forms the basis of Amy’s diary as she works to create a more ecologically healthy world. Sarcastic and sardonic, the book’s biting humor isn’t for everybody. However, it’s hard not to feel disillusioned; the facts, as he repeatedly shows us, back him up and reflect the uphill battle that Amy faces.

Taken together, both Freaking Green and The Diary of Amy portray the cultural debate on climate change for a young adult audience. The humor in both these works makes for an entertaining read, while addressing the serious ecological problems that their age group will be trying to solve for many years to come.


Today's Events

Menopause The Musical at The Lensic


A musical parody staged to classic tunes from the '60s, '70s and '80s set in a department store, where four women who seemingly have nothing in common discover they have more to share than ever imagined.

Petroglyph Plática: Mark MacKenzie at Oñate Monument and Visitors Center

Excavations: Field Dressing at Tricklock Performance Laboratory

More Recommended Events ››

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    Outdoor Cats & Birds
    Outdoor Cats & Birds4.6.2017