Cover image for Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines
Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines

First edition.
Physical Description:
203 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Noticing. Optical illusions ; The essentials ; My town/your town -- Perception. Vested interests ; Common sense ; Out of sight ; In the now ; Backstory : The oil embargo -- Defense mechanisms. Denial ; Projection ; Regression -- Systems. Democracy ; Capitalism ; Backstory: Ozone -- Attitudes. Science to the rescue ; Never retreat ; No limits ; Losing control ; Backstory: Kyoto -- Eyes abroad and ahead. Conflict ; Chindia ; Fixes ; Coming soon.
Reading Level:
1080 L Lexile
"We're living in an aha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never seen before. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking - suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world. This book explains it. Using politics, psychology, and history for attitude, Eyes Wide Open shows how to see the principles driving events and attitudes, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Here's the briefing you need to comprehend the twenty-first century"--Page [4] of cover.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 363.7 FLE 0 1
Book 363.7 FLE 1 1
Book 363.7 FLE 1 1
Book 363.7 FLE 1 2
Book 363.7 FLE 1 1

On Order



Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them.

We're living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking -- suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world.

This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as molecules in the environment, science is joined with politics, history, and psychology to provide the briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century.

Extensive back matter, including a glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as numerous references to websites, provides further resources.

Author Notes

Paul Fleischman was born in Monterey, California on September 5, 1952. His father is fellow children's author, Sid Fleischman. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years, from 1970 to 1972. He dropped out to go on a cross-country train/bicycle trip and along the way took care of a 200-year-old house in New Hampshire. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977.

Fleischman has written over 25 books for children and young adults including award winners such as Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Newberry Medal in 1989; Graven Images, Newberry Honor; Bull Run, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; Breakout, Finalist for the National Book Award in 2003; Saturnalia, Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Honor. He has also garnered numerous awards and recognitions from the American Library Association, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and NCTE.

He founded the grammar watchdog groups ColonWatch and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to English.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. History is happening right here and right now, writes Newbery Medalist Fleischman in this challenging and provocative overview of current environmental and sociological problems, which urges readers to think critically and broadly about the world. Throughout, Fleischman gives readers a toolbox of deciphering skills with which to recognize-for starters-the vested interests that guide decisions made by those in power, media and PR distortions, and both real and shadow solutions. Photographs, sidebars, and an array of suggested resources bolster the hard truths outlined (Solving the environment requires looking straight at reality and calculating the costs of our lifestyle and options). Few readers will look at the world the same way after finishing this book. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Fleischman issues a wake-up call -- and a challenge -- to today's teens about the environmental crisis. He begins with a call to arms to see through "the everyday world's two biggest illusions: 'it's always been this way' and 'everything's fine,'" urging teens to critically examine the information fed to them through advertising, politics, and "the whole culture we're part of." The book homes in on five "key fronts" -- population, consumption, energy, food, and climate -- and explores the historical and sociological contexts in which those in power made the profit-driven decisions that helped get us into this mess. Fleischman writes urgently, conversationally, and inspirationally, in a flow of ideas that is sometimes quite dizzying as he connects the dots between major social, political, psychological, economic, and scientific concepts and his personal experiences and thoughts. There's a lot to process: a single page might hold references to a political speech, an internet video, a cartoon image, Fleischman's observations of his local environment, and a sophisticated scientific term. Yet none of the concepts is dumbed-down, and readers can look up more information if they choose using the copious source notes, resource lists, and a primer on critical media consumption found in the back of the book. Going straight to the issues that matter, this is a refreshingly opinionated approach to informed action, encouraging teens to think and act critically, communally, and responsibly. danielle j. ford (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This remarkable book offers young people the tools they need to become informed, responsible global citizens. While it opens with a tale of Fleischman finding dead bees in his driveway, the discussion quickly broadens to consider the application of critical thinking skills to environmental issues. Rather than advising readers to take specific actions, Fleischman tells them how to evaluate information on topics such as climate change and encourages them to take action by charting a course that seems reasonable. He also discusses techniques to sway public opinion, such as sowing doubt, discrediting scientific studies, and hiding corporate funding of organizations promoting, for example, fossil fuels. The cascade of facts, observations, informed commentary, and sage advice may occasionally overwhelm. On the whole, though, thoughtful readers will appreciate this insightful, refreshing title's broad scope, use of specific examples, and the many references to related books, documentaries, and online articles, lectures, and interviews. The appended How to Weigh Information section is particularly excellent. A Newbery Medal-winning writer, Fleischman notes that he is no trained scientist, but his exceptional ability to organize the information here and present it articulately makes him a notable citizen scientist.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This volume is a call to action that informs students about how they can evaluate environmental issues by using politics, psychology, history, and an understanding of economics and the media. Divided into six chapters, the audio follows the print version in organization and includes the final entry, "How to Weigh Information": a synopsis on how to judge media, follow the money, and check for fallacies. While the illustrations from the print book are not included, the narration does incorporate the numerous sidebars that offer additional information, definitions and facts. Science and government classes can utilize this audiobook to analyze current issues and trends in the environmental movement. Tom Parks narrates this book in a smooth, engaging style. This will work for individual listening as well as for classroom use. VERDICT This audiobook is helpful for research and will be a surefire source of inspiration.-Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel, IL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

With simple, matter-of-fact language, an attractive layout and an abundance of references, this compact guide to addressing climate change is a must-read for millennials and for all who seek solutions to global warming.Fleischman begins with a personal story about noticing dead bees in his driveway and wondering about the cause. He uses this incident to emphasize the point that historyspecifically history related to environmental issuesis happening all around us and is undeniably related to the choices made by both individuals and institutions. He clearly states the books goal early on: to give you a foundation under your decisions. The pages that followbest read slowly and sequentiallyrepresent a crash course in recent and ancient environmental issues, drawing from history, economics, psychology and sociology to pursue the stated goal. Readers are offered advice on how to analyze and interpret what they hear in person and discover through the media. There is a laudable restraint; even as the text relentlessly shows how human beings have created climate change, sources are also given to read the most respected divergent views. Despite its unflinching presentation of facts about myriad environmental concerns, the book manages to end on a note of hope for a new generation of activists.For high schools that assign one book for all students to read and discuss: This is the one. (source notes, bibliography, suggested resources, glossary, acknowledgements, image credits, index, website) (Nonfiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Table of Contents

Noticingp. 1
Optical Illusionsp. 2
The Essentialp. 8
My Town/Your Townp. 22
Perceptionp. 26
Vested Interestsp. 28
Common Sensep. 34
Out of Sightp. 40
In the Nowp. 46
Backstory: The Oil Embargop. 50
Defense Mechanismsp. 54
Denialp. 56
Projectionp. 64
Regressionp. 68
Systemsp. 72
Democracyp. 74
Capitalismp. 78
Backstory: Ozonep. 84
Attitudesp. 86
Science to the Rescuep. 88
Never Retreatp. 94
No Limitsp. 102
Losing Controlp. 108
Backstroy: Kyotop. 114
Eyes Abroad and Aheadp. 118
Conflictp. 120
Chindiap. 128
Fixesp. 136
Coming Soonp. 142
How to Weight Informationp. 154
Source Notesp. 158
Bibliographyp. 176
Suggested Resourcesp. 181
Glossaryp. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 190
Image Creditsp. 191
Indexp. 193