No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change

by Lindsay H Metcalf (Author) Jeanette Bradley (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

Fans of No Voice Too Small will be inspired by young climate activists who made an impact around climate change in their communities, countries, and beyond.

Climate change impacts everyone, but the future belongs to young people. No World Too Big celebrates twelve young activists and three activist groups on front lines of the climate crisis who have planted trees in Uganda, protected water in Canada, reduced school-bus climate footprint in Indonesia, invented alternate power sources in Ohio, and more. Fourteen poems by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, David Bowles, Rajani LaRocca, Renée LaTulippe, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, and others honor activists from all over the world and the United States. Additional text goes into detail about each activist's life and how readers can get involved.

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Kirkus Reviews

Profiles of 12 young climate activists and three grassroots groups, matched to painted portraits and original poems.
Similar in concept to No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (2020), by the same creators, but taking a worldwide perspective, these entries highlight successful initiatives undertaken by school-age children in locales from the Marshall Islands to Ukraine and the Americas. Though Greta Thunberg--flashing her magnificent scowl in Bradley's digital pastel--is the subject of one of the early entries, the other chosen activists will be mostly unfamiliar to readers. The poems are largely identified as free verse, such as one by Traci Sorell that acrostically spells out the name of Indigenous Brazilian tree planter Artemisa Xakriabá, but include examples of less common forms, too, such as a dokugin (or single-author) renga by David Bowles praising Mexica activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and a Vietnamese-style lục bát by Teresa Robeson commemorating the work of biodiesel-promoting "Grease Police" on Bali. The editors spread prompts for both individual and collective action throughout and add capsule biographies of the poets and descriptions of each kind of poem at the close.
Inspiring examples for fledgling defenders of the environment.


Introducing climate change-combating young people and related actions readers can take, this unusual, quietly forceful book will be a great addition to classroom and public library shelves. It starts with a macro view, with the editors briefly explaining to readers what "nearly all of the world's countries" agreed to in the Paris Agreement: "to reach climate neutrality--no increase in the greenhouse effect--by 2050." The book then zooms in on individuals and groups of young people who aren't waiting for that change. Short prose explanations of their actions are accompanied by poems in various forms that memorably address the same topics. Greta Thunberg is here, but the book also introduces lesser-known activists such as teens from theMarshall Islands who teach their peers to advocate for island-saving progress and Leah Namugerwa, a Ugandan who planted 200 trees on her fifteenth birthday and whose BirthdayTrees project helps others follow suit. Digital images portray each person in an artful but realistic style, giving the serious topic a welcome, hopeful air. Closing the work is a helpful guide to the poetry forms used.

School Library Journal

A timely and relevant book highlighting youth activists and youth-led organizations fighting climate change around the world.

Using poetry and art, the authors write about some of the most prominent, but also the lesser known, young people opening the door wider on global activism. The book highlights a variety of activists with a wide range of inventive solutions to climate change issues. Each activist is introduced via poem, and then a short summary about the activist and a practical suggestion for reader involvement follows. The poetry includes many popular forms such as found poetry and free verse, but also lesser-known forms such as sea chantey and dokugin renga, a Japanese form of linked verse. The many poetry types reinforce the belief that ­different peoples and ideas can work together to effect change. The seeming pencil-and-ink illustrations are digitally produced, but well designed; the activists depicted are easily recognizable. Color elements, such as the constant brown paper-style background, supplement the environmental message. There is a glossary of terms and poetry forms, as well as biographical information for each poet. The publisher pledges to offset the climate footprint of the book's publication by purchasing United Nations certified emission reduction credits for each copy purchased.

VERDICT A great title to introduce curious readers and budding environmentalists to what youth are doing around the world right now to fight global climate change.

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lindsay H Metcalf
  • Lindsay H. Metcalf grew up on a Kansas farm and is the author of Farmers Unite! Planting a Protest for Fair Prices. An experienced journalist, Lindsay has covered a variety of change-makers as a reporter, editor, and columnist for the Kansas City Star and other news outlets.
  • Keila V. Dawson was born and raised in New Orleans. She has been a community organizer and an early childhood special education teacher. She has lived in the Phillipines, Japan, and Egypt. She is the author of Opening The Road.
  • Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. She is the author and illustrator of Love, Mama. Jeanette lives in Rhode Island with her wife and kids.
  • Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. She is the author and illustrator of Love, Mama. Jeanette lives in Rhode Island with her wife and kids.
    Lexile Measure
    Guided Reading Level
    Charlesbridge Publishing
    Publication date
    March 14, 2023
    BISAC categories
    JUV000000 - Juvenile Fiction | General
    Library of Congress categories
    American poetry
    Children's poetry, American
    Social action
    Climatic changes

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