Review Blog

Sep 23 2010

The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd

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Hachette Children's Books, 9780340970164.
(Age 13+) Recommended. The Carbon Diaries 2015 published two years ago told of a future where climate change has done untold damage to Britain and a dictatorial government has made sweeping changes to society in an attempt to curb their carbon emissions and change their dependence upon traditional energy sources. Two years down the track, and things have become decidedly worse. Standing pipes in the street give water, power is cut completely, some people are trying to grow their own vegetables, but the ever flooding Thames makes things impossible for many in the suburbs. Laura maintains her diary, giving us the day to day detail of life in general and that of her family in particular. It is absorbing.
Laura sees the split of her parents as each searches for a way of survival in these shockingly hard times, and Laura becomes more politicized, joining a fringe group to demonstrate and protest against the lack of innovative measures by the powers. She and others escape to Europe where they see things are far worse, with right wing organisations on the rise and racism becoming worse, while fights over water rights take people's strength. This pair of books is a chilling reminder of the need for change. The background of racism, rioting, fights over water, large scale immigration and the increasing power of right wing organisations is palpable, making the reader shudder when recognizing some of the possible futures laid out. The author has very cleverly used many of the problems we see around us today to make this a scary read indeed. A chilling read. Recommended
Fran Knight

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