'A passionate and gripping book, about the importance of standing up for what we believe in, of not making judgements about others, of allowing each other to learn and grow, and the power of friendship' JUNO Magazine
Zaynab is from Somaliland, a country that doesn't exist because of politics and may soon be no more than a desert. Lucas is from rural Devon, which might as well be a world away. When they meet, they discover a common cause: the climate crisis. Together they overcome their differences to build a Fridays For Future group at their school and fight for their right to protest and make a real impact on the local community. But when Zaynab uncovers a plot which could destroy the environment and people's lives back home in Somaliland, she will stop at nothing to expose it. Lucas must decide if he is with her or against her - even if Zaynab's actions may prove dangerous...
[Gifted] For anyone who wants to get involved in climate change activism but has always felt intimidated by the topic, this is the ideal introductory guide. Two teenagers start protesting with Extinction Rebellion's school strikes, and learn more about the politics of the climate emergency as they uncover a corrupt scheme by an oil company. This novel tackles some big, complex topics like greenwashing, feminist intersectionality and the disproportional effects of climate change on third world countries. It's incredibly well researched and ultimately uplifting, despite the difficult topics.
Zaynab is from Somaliland, a country that doesn’t exist because of politics and may soon be no more than a desert. Lucas is from rural Devon, which might as well be a world away. When they meet, they discover a common cause: the climate crisis.
Together they overcome their differences to build a Fridays For Future group at their school and fight for their right to protest and make a real impact on the local community. But when Zaynab uncovers a plot which could destroy the environment and people’s lives back home in Somaliland, she will stop at nothing to expose it. Lucas must decide if he is with her or against her – even if Zaynab’s actions may prove dangerous…
I loved this book! What a great exploration of climate change in such a meaningful way. Burning Sunlight was an easy to read text with multiple points of view (Zaynab and Lucas) which allows the reader to feel Zaynab’s plight fully as she fights for the community and world that she loves. For ages 12-14, this is a fabulous choice – there’s enough complexity and interest in the discussion of real world issues, but no sappy romance or needless dramas. I think this is one that children will really enjoy.
Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
It's only as I've gotten older I've realised how serious climate change is & why we as inhabitants of this earth need to save Mother Earth before its too late.
Wasn't sure if I'd like this book, but I found myself really enjoying it & applauding the main characters for their efforts of raising awareness. Primarily aimed at younger readers, it was the beginners guide of how to foray into raising awareness of climate change.
When Somaliland born Zaynab & Devon lad Lucas discover they have the climate change crisis in common, they embark on their fight to raise awareness & protest. Zaynab discovers a plot which could ruin the lives & environment of her home country, she will stop at nothing to expose it!
"We are the first generation to know how serious climate change is & we may be the last generation to be able to reverse it" - David Attenborough
Many thanks to Netgalley for my ARC in return for my honest review.
𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮 4 ⭐ 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Excellent idea for a book and I wish my kids would read it because I think they would enjoy it but nobody was picking it up after winning it in a competition so I read it myself. Sadly don't think we can see happening in real life what happened at the end. But you never know and we need to continue our protests and campaigns anyway! Things are changing!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This is a very timely book, which falls very neatly into that space between MG and YA, and explores the climate emergency, making it a perfect book to pick up during the first week of COP26. It has a dual narrative format split between Zaynab, a girl who has just moved from Somaliland to Devon following the death of her beloved mum, and Lucas, a boy who has lived there all his life and has a complicated relationship with his dad, as they both become involved in campaigning to stop the climate emergency and change the way we live.
I really liked how informative the book is about the climate crisis, and how it explains not only ways you can help by changing very small things about your life, but also why it makes a difference and gives examples of exactly the sort of people it will have a huge impact on. Again, it all felt very relevant and up to date, with the references to Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg and the school strikes
Moving on to things I enjoyed that were more story craft than themes and ideas covered, I think the characters were all incredibly strong and felt like people you could genuinely meet. Zaynab is a character I can imagine a lot of people deeming unlikeable, but for me I found her incredibly strong-minded and determined and principled, which are all excellent qualities given the severity of the cause she is fighting for. I also loved that it was clear her mother’s influence drove a lot of her passion, and she was trying to make her proud by making the planet better. I felt a lot of sympathy for Lucas, particularly with regards to the way his dad treats him, but I loved how the campaign helped him grow in confidence, and he was such a good friend to Zaynab, as she was to him. One of my favourite things about their friendship was that they acknowledged they both had different strengths and weaknesses, and used to this to their advantage, while also constantly encouraging and challenging one another to be better.
The secondary characters were also great; I absolutely despised the headmistress, who reminded me of certain teachers at my own high school, and Aoife was just brilliant fun. I don’t know if she was a rebel just attaching herself to this cause or if this was genuinely something she fully believed in before joining the group, but I loved her nonetheless and she did make me laugh with some of the things she said!
Overall, this is quite hard-hitting as the climate crisis is obviously not a cheery topic, but it’s definitely something I would recommend and I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read on the subject, while also acknowledging that there is still hope to be had.