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Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,314 ratings  ·  570 reviews
This is the story of a happy family whose life suddenly fell apart, never to be the same again. Of two devoted parents plunged into a waking nightmare as their eleven-year-old daughter stopped speaking and eating, and her younger sister struggled to cope.

As they desperately searched for answers, they began to see how their children's suffering reached far beyond medical di
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 4th 2021 by Penguin (first published December 12th 2018)
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Liz The digital version is available through many public library systems as an ebook and an e-audiobook. It's also on kindle and audible.…moreThe digital version is available through many public library systems as an ebook and an e-audiobook. It's also on kindle and audible.(less)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,314 ratings  ·  570 reviews


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Jenna
Snark Alert!

Greta Thunberg is one of the people I most admire and so when I saw this book on Overdrive with her name first on the cover, I assumed she wrote it and that it was about climate change. It would be a book full of facts and maybe contain a bit about herself as well.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The book is actually written by her mother Malena Ernman and though there are a few climate change facts sprinkled throughout, the book is largely about their family...... especially her. I
...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
I admire Greta Thunberg. She’s young, but she’s got guts. Her “School strike for climate“ has gained a lot of momentum since I saw the first news of her probably about a year ago, and hopefully it will help.

When I started to read this book, I thought it was going to be a environmental book, and it is, but it is a little more than that. It’s a memoir, not just Greta’s, but her family’s. As far as I understand, all the family contributed to this book, but Greta’s mother, the opera singer Malena E
...more
Alice (Married To Books)
I was invited to review this via NetGalley from the publishers Penguin!

I knew a lot about Greta Thunberg from seeing her speeches and her school strikes for the climate. However, not so much about her family and their lives in Sweden. This memoir written by Greta and her family discusses not just environmental thoughts, but also the education system and the stigmas of women and girls not being tested for Autism/ADD/ADHD and having treatment for eating disorders. It was an interesting and informa
...more
Gritnay
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-home
Devastated. Climate change is a crisis and change needs to happen.
Bought this book at lunch time today, sat down to have a brief look and have now finished it with plenty of oh shit moments, tears and shock.
Right now I don’t really know what to do with myself except to reflect on the choices I make.
They are calling to action and if we want to have a future then this is the time.
Bettie
Feb 23, 2020 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition

Greta, aged 4, was already delivering shade hee


Guardian review
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Maria
Interesting cross between memoir and discussion of societal issues.
- Aspergers, ADHD, sensory processing sensitivity
- societal lack of awareness and capability regarding mental health
- climate change, activism
Aldo
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ming Wei
Brilliant book, Important book, very interesting, will look for more book from the author Greta Thumberg, well written, no publication errors. Really enjoyed it.
mimi
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is very important, and it’s also a real story of a real family so I won’t review the story itself.
That being said i did not like this book, I found it very repetitive and honestly not helpful. I just didn’t gain anything from this, no knowledge and especially not any suggestions on what to do..
David S Williams
Mar 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The biography of a drama queen

The author turns the climate crisis into a vehicle for her own ego, parading her hyper-sensitivity and self-regard on every page. Badly written, hard to read, self-indulgent.
Karen Whittard
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a happy family whose life suddenly fell apart, never to be the same again. Of two devoted parents plunged into a waking nightmare as their eleven-year-old daughter Greta stopped speaking and eating, and her younger sister struggled to cope.

They desperately searched for answers, and began to see how their children's suffering reached far beyond medical diagnoses. This crisis was not theirs alone: they were burned-out people on a burned-out planet. And so they decided to act.

O
...more
Carol Riley
Jun 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a marketing ploy!!! Based on the cover photograph and text, I looked forward to a book about Greta Thunberg. NOT! It's a book about climate change...facts, figures, pleas...repetitive and dry. In fact, you don't really see Greta in action until page 223 (out of 278!). As others have mentioned, this is alternately a brag book or a woe-is-me book focusing on Malena Ernman (Greta's mom).
I did like the quote: “When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
...more
Gergely Csanda
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fabia
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book describes the life of climate activist Greta Thunberg and her family before she rose to fame. While her famous climate strike was only in planning by the time the book was published, it's clear that Greta was a fierce environmentalist long before her international recognition. The book recounts Greta's struggle with bullying and psychological issues during childhood and it does so from the very loving and sensitive perspective of her mother. It's sad and funny at the same time and you ...more
Emma Andersson
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent. It truly shows that the time to act is now. I am moved by Greta Thunberg's family. Their life hasn't been easy. It shows that society doesn't include everybody. Some are forgotten and have to "fit in", although society should make space for them. The climate crisis is ignored. In "Scener ur hjärtat" Malena Ernman describes what is happening, and why it is happening. Most importantly she writes about us, the people, who should wake up and do something. Now. ...more
Alina Aarnio
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book every student should have to read at school, instead of the same old boring ones. It is an eye-opening novel that is not pleasant to read, it made me very anxious at some parts, but that is what makes it so important. I have admired Greta for a long time now, but I appreciate her and her family even more now after reading this book, I had no idea how much they have actually been through.
Ryan Mizzen
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible book by an incredible family who have overcome so much, and who have propelled the #climatecrisis into mainstream news. I have nothing but awe and respect for them. A must read book for everyone.
Boglarka Caup
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a must read book!
ftnrsnn
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our House is On Fire has been on my radar for quite some time now because I’m quite intrigued to know more about Greta Thunberg, a girl who is suddenly making international headlines for her decision to go on school strike to protest against government inaction towards the climate crisis. But shockingly, this memoir has so much more to offer to the readers. Not only discussing difficult topics,it’s an uplifting story of one family celebrating strength and resilience, also rising together to cope ...more
Yvonne
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Malena shares her ideology, her thoughts and beliefs both as a person, wife and mother. This is about the world, climate change, helping refugees, schooling children with neurological conditions and various other topics of interest to her.

Yes she has a famous daughter, but Malena herself has travelled the world and is successful in her own right as an opera singer.

This is her story, about how she struggled to balance work and being there for both her daughters who have their own neurological con
...more
Gina
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The fact that our purely existential challenges are still being reduced to party politics is absurd." This. So much this. ...more
Roselyn
I haven't reviewed a book on here in quite some time, but this is the kind of important book that I feel compelled to write about, if only just to organize my thoughts in a logical way.

"I read about all the burned-out people on a burned-out planet where weather, wind and everyday struggles intensify with every second of the day. And I think that these are all symptoms of exactly the same disease: a planetary crisis that arose because we have turned out backs on each other. We have turned our bac
...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Our House Is On Fire was first published in August 2018, a few days before Greta Thunberg sat down outside the Swedish Parliament and began a solitary school strike to bring attention to the global climate crisis. However as a reprint, this particular edition includes an addendum of sorts.

It’s written with the cooperation of the entire family, Greta, her younger sister, Beata, and their father, Svante, but told through their mother’s, Marlena, perspective.

“We had to write about this because we a
...more
Elisabeth
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a family with psychological conditions which don't make it easy to live a normal life, but who see the beauty when their daughters manage to do incredible things and develop and grow despite their handicaps as such. Also highlights how the society is not yet ready and willing to accept people who are different, and expect everyone to act in a similar manner.
And of course it tells the journey of Greta Thunberg from seeing a documentary at school to the climate change protest in front
...more
Agne
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thunberg - Ernman family story, told thought the eyes of Malena Ernman, Greta Thunberg's mother. Even though I expected to learn more about climate, Fridays for Future or even about Greta than I did, it does offer some interesting insights on family and mental health. ...more
Natasha | readalongwithnat
CW: depression, eating disorders

Highly recommend this book on audio. Very educational in regards to the dangers of climate change.
Judy Frey
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is extremely interesting reading, but not necessarily easy. It’s about Greta Thunberg often but not only about her. It’s written by her mother, Malena Ernman. She’s an internationally famous opera singer, which I hadn’t ever known. I had trouble at first with her writing. She seemed to jump from topic to topic ; it seemed somewhat disjointed. But the start of the book is basically more about family crisis than environmental crisis. She and her two daughters have a number of significant diag ...more
Maria
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
‘It is 2 November 2014, and on this evening I will sing my last opera in Sweden. But no one is aware of that. Including me. This evening I will sing my last opera ever’ (Malena Ernman).

Malena Ernman is an internationally famous Swedish opera singer, and a winner of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Oh, and she happens to be Greta Thunberg’s mother.

‘Our house is on fire’ is an agonizing, honest, unprettified description of a family’s collapse: that’s half the story. Swedish sisters Greta and Beat
...more
Grace
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Before reading I did know about a little about Greta Thunberg and what she has done for climate change but was keen to find out more.
This book is mainly written by her mother and is sort of like a diary or blog, with anecdotes from childhood through to now.
Greta's mother was a famous opera singer and it seemed a little to me that she had a bit of fame and therefore wanted her daughters to be famous too, no matter the cost.
Greta and her sister had extensive needs between them including autism, OD
...more
The Reader's Spot
I was incredibly excited about this book but honestly it was probably the biggest disappointment of my life!
Let me start off by saying Greta is one of the people that inspires me the most. I think she’s such a smart altruist person with good intentions.
However-
First, when I saw the book for the first time, I saw that she was not the only one writing it, but I deduced it was mostly her writing it since her name was way bigger and more highlighted than the rest. After reading the book I found ou
...more
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