This book, one of eight in the excellent "Earth SOS" science series, deals with mankind's "dirty secret": the appalling, growing amounts of waste that we generate not just from industry, but from our own homes and offices. The book describes what waste is; how waste is disposed of in landfills; the effects of burning waste to make electricity; the downside of burning fossil fuels to make electricity; the pros and cons of nuclear fuel; the importance of clean water; and toxic waste. The book then describes ways to recycle waste and re-use glass, metals, and paper. As with other books in this series, it concludes with a section on "What Can We Do?" as well as a fact file, a list of relevant Internet sites, a glossary, and an index. Unlike many science books dealing with complex, modern issues, this book is readable, interesting, and well organized. Young readers will readily grasp the book's main points, not just because the subject may be familiar to them but also because the author presents the issues concisely. Children will also find suggestions in the book that they can help implement, either by themselves or with assistance from adults. This is a science book about an important topic that should be a favorite with children, parents, teachers, and librarians. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–These books read like accessible, over-the-top encyclopedia entries, with facts and statistics so captivating that students will want to read more. Each title outlines the history of the topic, defining terms and providing diagrams as needed, with the focus then shifting to possible solutions. A “What Can We Do?” section concludes each volume, and provides practical steps that students can take to improve the conditions addressed in the book. Other useful features include “Fact Files” containing interesting (un-cited) facts related to the topic, and thorough indexes. Though the British English might raise a few terminology questions, the books’ large print and color photographs will make this series attractive to readers, especially those who are struggling.