Monday, May 12, 2014
Every Last Drop, written by Michelle Mulder. Orca Book Publishers, 2014. $19.95 ages 10 and up
"Water's a funny thing. You need to drink it to live, but if it enters your lungs, you can drown. Every time people dug shafts and tunnels into the ground to find water, diggers risked drowning in a flood. In the Middle Ages in Europe, diggers ran this risk not to find water, but to find coal."
I have admired Michelle Mulder's writing in previous works from this Orca series, Footprints. This time she explains to her middle school audience the importance of having clean drinking water. She has two reasons for writing it: first, to show how humans have throughout history found drinking water in all parts of the world, and second, the difficulties faced by those who are still in search of safe water to drink today.
She uses personal stories and includes many well-researched facts to make the telling personal and of great interest to those who read her book. The beautiful, clear photographs up the interest and are placed to look like a well-designed scrapbook collection. The captions are informative and useful in classrooms, and for those whose interests move beyond home to include world health concerns.
A section includes resources, and a number of web sites.
Organized in chapters, and including 'Go With the Flow' text boxes which tell what the author has seen and discovered about water usage while travelling, and Water Facts which will prove interesting in providing additional information, this book also includes an index to take readers back to favorite places.
It's a book that would prove useful in classrooms studying water, in libraries for research, and for those who just want to know more than they knew yesterday. It's important for our kids to have access to information that deals with sustainability and the environment. Reading this might encourage them to find a way to make their future better. Only one in two human beings have access to clean water. Much of that water is contaminated, and not fit for human consumption. It is alarming for all to understand just how careful we need to be about this precious resource. It gives us pause to watch how we use it daily...and how much we waste.
The illustrations are varied, captioned and useful. If you want to know about the water cycle, how using water has evolved throughout history, how it came to be contaminated, and the engineering feats that make it available for so many, you need to add this book to your list.