Two Degrees

Two Degrees

by Alan Gratz

Narrated by Sophie Oda, Adam Sanders, Almarie Guerra

Unabridged — 8 hours, 58 minutes

Two Degrees

Two Degrees

by Alan Gratz

Narrated by Sophie Oda, Adam Sanders, Almarie Guerra

Unabridged — 8 hours, 58 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

Alan Gratz is back at it with another timely, action-packed tale of survival – this time tackling climate change. These three interconnecting stories of kids facing deadly natural disasters around the world are sure to spark important conversations.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz (Refugee; Ground Zero) is back, tackling the urgent topic of climate change in this breathtaking, action-packed novel that will keep listeners riveted while making their own plans to better the world.

Fire. Ice. Flood.Three climate disasters.

Four kids fighting for their lives.

Akira is riding her horse in the California woods when a wildfire sparks-and grows scarily fast. How can she make it to safety when there are flames everywhere?

Owen and his best friend, George, like spotting polar bears on the snowy Canadian tundra. But when one bear gets way too close for comfort, do the boys have any chance of surviving?

Natalie hunkers down at home as a massive hurricane barrels toward Miami. When the floodwaters crash into her house, Natalie is dragged out into the storm-with nowhere to hide.

Akira, Owen, George, and Natalie are all swept up in the devastating effects of climate change. They are also connected in ways that will shock them-and could alter their destinies forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Deftly balancing four teens’ perilous, climate change–related experiences, Gratz (Ground Zero) specifically centers scenarios around the earth’s warming by two degrees. With urgency, the tense narrative alternates between three story lines, following 13-year-old Norwegian American Akira Kristiansen, who rides her horse through the Sierra Nevada range in California as a wildfire spreads; white 13-year-old Owen Mackenzie and his Mushkegowuk best friend George Gruyère in Churchill, Manitoba—the “polar bear capital of the world”—who are attacked by a hungry mother polar bear after they get too close to her cubs; and Puerto Rican seventh grader Natalie Torres, who must evacuate as a hurricane heads for Miami. Gratz renders pulse-pounding ecological tales and high-stakes calamity with the brisk pacing of a thriller, interweaving the cast’s thoughtfully wrought plights while ensuring that all survival-oriented strands prove equally urgent. This gripping, timely tale offers a meditative call to action about a global crisis, culminating in a tidy, if didactic, resolution. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)

From the Publisher

Praise for Two Degrees:

A New York Times bestseller

An ABA Indie Bestseller

A USA Today Bestseller

A Junior Library Guild Selection

A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"A Hollywood thriller of a book...essential for this moment." — The New York Times

"Gratz renders pulse-pounding ecological tales and high-stakes calamity with the brisk pacing of a thriller...gripping [and] timely." — Publishers Weekly

"Gratz plunges his middle schoolers into desperate, life-threatening straits in three wildly dangerous scenarios... delivered with wrenching, dramatic urgency." — Kirkus Reviews

"A seamless, thrilling adventure...important." — Booklist

Praise for Ground Zero:

* "The plot starts at a heart-pounding pace and never relents... In a superbly structured plot, the two protagonists experience similar perils, and both respond with determination and hope... A contemporary history lesson with the uplifting message that humanity's survival depends on us working for, not against, one another. A must-have." — School Library Journal, starred review

* "The pace is quick (don't blink or you'll miss something!), its emotions deeply authentic, and the highly visual settings resonate with accuracy. With a moving author's note, pertinent back matter, and a surprise twist which brings the book full circle, Gratz delivers another winning read." — Booklist, starred review

"Gratz's deeply moving writing paints vivid images of the loss and fear of those who lived through the trauma of 9/11." — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Allies:

* "A tour de force of war fiction." — Booklist, starred review

* "Both an excellent, inclusive narration of important historical events and a fast-paced, entertaining read." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "A tautly paced and multifaceted portrait. . . . This gripping novel offers memorable insights into the contributions and alliances of everyday people." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "A vivid and detailed snapshot of the D-Day Invasion from multiple complex and diverse characters . . . meticulously researched [and] honest." — School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for Grenade:

* "Told by both young men, the story is gripping from start to finish as each encounters ambushes, engages in battles and experiences their devastating aftermath, and mourns the plight of innocent civilians caught in the middle. Impossible to put down, the story unapologetically demonstrates how war affects people emotionally and physically. . . . Action fans will have this flying off the shelves." — Booklist, starred review

"The plot is suspenseful and the characters sympathetic." — Horn Book

"Intense and fast-paced, this is a compelling, dark, yet ultimately heartening wartime story." — Kirkus Reviews

"Gratz (Refugee) depicts the events and fallout of WWII's 'Love Day' while exploring the emotional and cultural damages of war." — Publishers Weekly

"Chilling." — School Library Journal

"The book illustrates the horrors of war and the narrators' dual realization that the enemy is a person, too. This is a sad and compelling story that sheds some light on a battle that is rarely mentioned in books written for juvenile readers. . . . Highly Recommended." — School Library Connection

Praise for Refugee:

An Amazon Best Book of the Year

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus Best Book of the Year

A Texas Bluebonnet Master List selection

"Unflinching and sympathetic." — The New York Times

"Grade A: A stunning, poignant novel." — Entertainment Weekly

"Harrowing, timely." — People Magazine

"A gripping, visceral, and hold-your-breath intense story." — John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

* "Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future... Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "[A] hard-hitting novel... Filled with both tragic loss and ample evidence of resilience, these memorable and tightly plotted stories contextualize and give voice to current refugee crises, underscoring that these journeys are born out of a desperate need for security and safety." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Gratz, who is known for well-written and well-researched historical fiction, doesn't disappoint. His latest is timely and moving... This compelling novel will help young people make sense of today's refugee crisis. Meant to be read, discussed, and shared widely." — School Library Journal

"Some novels are engaging and some novels are important. Refugee is both." — #1 New York Times bestselling author Ruta Sepetys

"This heart-stopping novel is not only compelling — it is necessary." — Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied

"An incredibly important, heartrending, edge-of-the-seat read, bringing light to the plight of immigrants who search for safety and freedom." — Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of the New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book Echo

"With urgent, clear-eyed storytelling, Gratz's Refugee compellingly explores the desperation and strength that unites those struggling for a place to call home." — Eliot Schrefer, New York Times bestselling author and two-time National Book Award finalist of Rescued and Endangered

"Full of struggle, heroism, and non-stop adventure, Refugee is not only an important book, it's a terrific story." — Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, author of the New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book The War That Saved My Life

"Powerful and compelling. Refugee is a story about what unites us all." — Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of Moving Target

Praise for Projekt 1065:

* "While the book is replete with fascinating historical insight, Gratz has also crafted a suspenseful mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With short, action-packed chapters, it is a great choice for reluctant readers as well... A winning combination of action, suspense, and historical setting." — School Library Journal, starred review

* "A rare insider's glimpse into the Hitler Youth: animated, well-researched, and thought-provoking." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[A] high-action spy thriller." — Booklist

Praise for Code of Honor:

"Readers will be swept up by both the intrigue and the rapid pacing... Kamran is a smart and sympathetic narrator, and readers will be happy to spend time with him in this action-packed thriller." — Kirkus Reviews

"Exciting, at times ripped from the headlines, and scary, this cinematic work has layers of intrigue and danger in each scene... will appeal to a variety of readers and will raise questions about patriotism, loyalty, and trust... A winner." — School Library Journal

"Vivid characters and timely topics, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, contribute to making Code of Honor a first-rate novel." — Voice of Youth Advocates

Praise for Prisoner B-3087:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Golden Sower Award, 2014-2015 Winner Nebraska

Isinglass Teen Read Award, 2014-2015 Winner New Hampshire

Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award, 2014-2015 Winner

Junior Book Award, 2015-2016 Winner South Carolina

Grand Canyon Reader Award, 2015-2016 Winner Arizona

Truman Readers Award, 2015-2016 Winner Missouri

Reader's Choice Awards, Winner 2015-2016 Virginia

Volunteer State Book Award Winner, 2015-2016 Tennessee

"A powerful story, well told." — School Library Journal

"A bone-chilling tale not to be ignored." — Kirkus Reviews

"[A] remarkable survival story." — Booklist

"Gratz ably conveys... fatalism, yearning, and determination in the face of the unimaginable." — Publishers Weekly

"Heartbreaking, gripping, raw, and emotional... storytelling at its finest." — Voice of Youth Advocates

School Library Journal


Gr 4–7—A fictional story about climate change geared for the middle grade audience. It is told through the eyes of four middle school students, all individuals battling climate disasters in North America; the parallel plots are linked by climate events. In Nevada, Japanese American Akira Kristiansen witnesses giant sequoias catching fire, which seems impossible. She is separated from her family as she struggles to survive the extraordinary wildfire. In Manitoba, eighth grade boys Owen Mackenzie (white) and George Gruyère (Mushkegowuk) face ravenous polar bears. In Miami, Puerto Rican Florida resident Natalie Torres is washed away by a hurricane. All characters suffer losses and scars. Gratz writes at the end of the book that he was inspired by Greta Thunberg and other climate protestors and wanted to boost their signal. The chapters are short and flow well enough to keep the reader's attention. Gratz drives home the point that we are all very closely connected when it comes to climate change, and that everyone should be looking at the big picture. VERDICT Gratz urges readers to see that what is happening around them isn't in isolation, but affects everyone around the world. Fans of Gratz and the "I Survived" series will welcome this action-packed title.—Lisa Gieskes

JANUARY 2023 - AudioFile

A trio of talented narrators—Sophie Oda, Adam Sanders, and Almarie Guerra—take three storylines and infuse their performances with urgency and excitement, keeping listeners on edge. Oda portrays Akira, who is trying to survive a massive wildfire in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Voiced by Sanders, Owen and George have been attacked by a polar bear in the Manitoban wilderness; the bear is stalking them while they seek help. Finally, Guerra captures Natalie, who is living through the worst hurricane in Miami’s history. Guerra incorporates Spanish words seamlessly. All three narrators depict diverse characters of various ages and genders. The excellent performances, coupled with the exciting plots, are a thoughtful call to action to combat climate change. A.M. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

In parallel narratives, four young people simultaneously experience the harrowing effects of climate change.

If terrifying readers is an effective way to spur them to take the climate crisis seriously, Gratz does an admirable job, as he plunges his middle schoolers into desperate, life-threatening straits in three wildly dangerous scenarios. For Akira Kristiansen, a peaceful visit to a treasured grove of Sierra Nevada giant sequoias turns into a frantic scramble to outrace a roaring megafire. In Churchill, Manitoba, eighth grade dudes Owen Mackenzie, a White boy, and George Gruyère (Mushkegowuk) are viciously mauled and then stalked by polar bears. At the same time, Puerto Rican Florida resident Natalie Torres is whirled off in the storm surge when a Category 5 hurricane hits Miami. Along with acknowledging in his afterword that the specific incidents portrayed are fictional but are inspired by actual events happening around the world, not just in North America, the author pulls his characters—dedicated climate activists all in the wake of their narrow escapes from death—together to deliver speeches at an international climate rally at the end. “It’s your world,” Gratz finishes in his author’s note, “your future. It’s up to you to decide what you want that future world to look like, and what you can do to make it happen.”

Lecture-y toward the end, but the scary message is delivered with wrenching, dramatic urgency. (Fiction. 9-13)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940174864573
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/04/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 928,114
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years
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